Screening takes “centre stage” at Te Matatini Festival

Charmaine Mclean-Whaanga (Mana Wahine Kaimahi Health Promoter) and Oha Hurinui from Wairoa
Charmaine Mclean-Whaanga (Mana Wahine Kaimahi Health Promoter) and Oha Hurinui from Wairoa
Wellington Māori health collective Mana Wahine and the Central Region Bowel Screening Team helped to make screening “centre stage” at the Te Matatini ki te Ao National Kapa Haka Festival 2019.

Mana Wahine supports #Smearyourmea legacy

Four Mana Wahine providers (Hora Te Pai Health services, Ora Toa Health Unit, Kokiri Marae Health and Social Services and Koraunui Marae) worked together before and during the festival to promote screening and continue the legacy of Talei Morrison. 

Talei was the founder of the #Smearyourmea campaign, who died in 2018 after a nine-month fight with cervical cancer. Her dying legacy was to encourage all Kaihaka wahine to be up to date with cervical screening before taking the stage at Te Matatini ki te Ao 2019.

A dedicated bike ride, #Ride4Talei, was organised to carry the #Smearyourmea message from Rotorua to Te Matatini and raise awareness of cervical and prostate cancer. On the day before the festival, riders taking part in the #Ride4Talei event congregating at the Ora Toa Health Unit, Porirua, were met by Mana Wahine providers running a free cervical screening clinic, alongside providing health promotion on cervical and prostate cancer.

Mana Wahine staff then joined in the #Ride4Talei, cycling from Porirua to Wellington for the pōwhiri at the start of Te Matatini. During the four day festival, the team delivered free cervical screening services from their mobile clinic for 10 hours every day. They also delivered health promotion to festival goers on bowel and breast screening, human papillomavirus (HPV) immunisation and prostate health. Staff were also able to enrol women on to the breast screening programme and link them with their local screening provider for future screening bookings.

Overall, Te Matatini was an amazing success says Tira Albert, manager of Mana Wahine. “We are proud to have been present at Te Matatini ki te Ao 2019 and to have provided our service of excellence to our wahine and whānau. It was also an honour and privilege to work alongside whaea Sandy Morrison and support the #Smearyearmea legacy Talei left to ensure all kaihaka wahine are screened.”

Bowel screening gets first national promotion at Te Matatini

The Central Regional Bowel Screening Regional Centre (CBSRC) team were supported by staff from the other regional bowel screening centres, live DHBs, the Ministry of Health, the National Coordination Centre, Regional Screening Services and the Cancer Society to deliver the first nationally co-ordinated promotion of the bowel screening programme at Te Matatini.

“It was a huge effort to bring it all together,” says Nicola Giblett, Regional Centre Manager for CBSRC, “but once we were there, it was wonderful to see our passionate team engaging face-to-face with so many individuals and their whānau, raising awareness about bowel screening.”

The team of 16 included te reo speaking health promoters from Wairarapa, Lakes and Waitemata DHBs. From their base in the Hauora village, they promoted information and resources about the bowel screening programme to hundreds of festival goers in English and te reo. They also arranged for bowel screening kits to be ordered for those Māori who were living where the programme was available, but who had not yet received a test kit.

“It was a fantastic event”, says Nicola. “We engaged with not only with those eligible to participate in the screening programme, but also the younger generations who were able to learn about general bowel health and wellbeing.”

In addition to the health promotion activities, a media campaign encouraging more wahine Māori to participate in breast screening was broadcast on Māori TV, iwi radio and on social media during Te Matatini.

For more information, read the 'Breast screening media campaign gets a re-screen!' article in this issue.

 “We are delighted with the way Mana Wahine staff and the Central Region Bowel screening team were able to make screening a key feature of Te Matatini this year,” says Astrid Koornneef, General Manager NSU.” Together with the media campaign, it meant that we were able to achieve a really high profile for our screening programmes and reach so many Māori and their whānau with information that could protect their long term health.”

Yvonne Rogers (Lakes DHB), and Toga Marahwa (CBSRC Quality Lead) with a festival goer.
Yvonne Rogers (Lakes DHB), and Toga Marahwa (CBSRC Quality Lead) with a festival goer.

To receive the Screening Matters newsletter by email, fill out our sign-up form.

Page last updated: 03 April 2019