Reaching more women through mobile cervical screening

Amanda Herewini (left) and Beth Henderson with the mobile screening van.
Amanda Herewini (left) and Beth Henderson with the mobile screening van.
Auckland’s Well Women & Family Trust is taking cervical smear testing to women who might otherwise miss out – and seeing results.

For the past three years the Trust has been taking a mobile screening van to Work and Income offices, supermarkets, Salvation Army stores and other community locations in an effort to reach women who are not having smear tests.

“We know there are women who won’t seek out smear testing for a variety of reasons so we’re going to them,” says the Trust’s Education Nurse Manager, Beth Henderson.

Most days she and the Trust’s health promoters talk to at least 80 women, offering information about cervical cancer and screening inside the mobile van.   She recalls one particular day when they tested 21 women during a visit to a supermarket.

“We go anywhere people will have us.  We’re very discreet when approaching women of all ages. We show them our pamphlet about cervical screening and ask them if they’re up to date with their tests.  People are generally very receptive.”

Beth Henderson says the Trust set up the mobile screening van after witnessing the success of a similar initiative for breast screening.   Three nurses and four health promoters staff the van.

Health promoter Amanda Herewini says she enjoys knowing her job makes a difference.

“I really like working with women in the community and find them very appreciative of the fact we’re out there and making this service available,” she says.

“If the woman of the family is healthy and happy, then in my experience the rest of the whānau is good too.”

To find out more about the Well Women and Family Trust, visit

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Page last updated: 27 February 2014