Pearl of Wisdom Brooch

The Pearl of Wisdom® Campaign to STOP Cervical Cancer

The Pearl of Wisdom is the symbol of the Cervical Cancer Prevention Campaign and the Cervical Cancer Prevention Week that is held every year in January.

Almost every case of cervical cancer could be prevented by cervical screening and vaccination against the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). However, many women in Europe do not have access to these programs because their governments have not prioritised their implementation. Further, even where cervical screening or HPV vaccination are available, many people do not use them because they have not been made aware of the health benefits these programs will provide.

Communicating health information is influenced by many things. One of the most important is that people must trust the campaign or they will not believe the messages. Trust takes time to develop but the process of building trust clearly cannot start unless people can recognise the campaign. The main purpose the Pearl of Wisdom is to be a visible symbol for the Cervical Cancer Prevention Campaign so people can easily recognise it among all the other things that are competing for their attention.

Raising awareness about cervical screening and HPV vaccination is therefore essential to reducing cervical cancer rates in Europe. The ECCA was launched in 2002 to run education and advocacy campaigns to raise awareness of cervical cancer and how it can be prevented. The Pearl of Wisdom is a key element in this campaign because it improves our ability to communicate with people.

Use of the Pearl of Wisdom has steadily increased since its launch in January 2008 with many organisations now endorsing it as the official symbol of the Cervical Cancer Prevention Campaign. To date, over 1.5 million Pearl of Wisdom pins have been distributed across Europe and numerous patient groups, cancer societies, medical associations, etc. have included the Pearl of Wisdom in their Cervical Cancer Prevention Week events. This is because it helps them to capture people’s attention and to communicate effectively as clearly seen in a statement from Ms Mo Foley, Coordinator of the West Limerick Primary Health Care Project. In the words of Ms Foley:

“The Pearl of Wisdom pins were great and all the women loved them. It is enormously helpful to give people something tangible, like the Pearl of Wisdom, when you are giving them information as it helps them to remember.”