Wāhine days helping Māori into breast screening
The BreastScreen Aotearoa screening workforce does a lot to encourage wāhine Māori to attend screening opportunities, one of those initiatives is Wāhine Days.
Wāhine Days are an initiative to support wāhine Māori through the breast screening process through korero and kai with staff and other wāhine.
After hearing about the days at BreastScreen Counties Manukau, Kia Ū Ora Breast Screening Auckland Central Service (BSAC) decided to trial them as well.
The service’s Health Promotion Retention and Recruitment Advisor, Susie Kite says “Because it was the first time it was done at BSAC it took a lot of work to get everything setup. Our day started with a karakia (prayer) and a whakatauki (proverb) to tautoko (support) our kaimahi (staff) and our kaupapa (plans) before they arrived.”
In June, 24 wāhine and their whānau were welcomed into the centre in June for the half-day event.
“The best part of the day was whakawhanaungatanga, where we were able to establish relationships with our community,” Susie says. “We want to generate positive korero of the breast screening process. We do everything we can to get them here and feel comfortable. We call eligible women and invite them, and free transport is provided by Well women’s family and Trust if they need it. Staff host and talk with wāhine, make them feel welcome and join for a morning tea.”
BASC also invited cervical screeners to attend the day so that wāhine could access more than one screening opportunity at the same venue.
BreastScreen Aotearoa is New Zealand’s free national breast screening programme for women aged between 45 and 69. Women can enrol onto the programme via website or phoning the 0800 270 200.