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Māori cervical screening campaign
The Māori cervical screening campaign tells real and relevant local stories by going to where wāhine Māori are. A whānau approach acknowledges the importance of whakapapa and the value of the whole family being supportive of cervical screening, alongside the wāhine.
The campaign acknowledges the sacredness of te whare tangata and the importance for wāhine to focus on their own health and that of their whānau. Finding the time for screening can be difficult but wāhine prioritising themselves is important so that they can be well for their whānau.
You might be wondering why I called this hui.
We're having a cervical screening pub quiz.
What is this?
Francesca, what is this?
What is this?
Correct. (Tamsin claps)
And who can answer what this thing is?
Yell it out.
Get your buzzers ready.
What is that?
What is the age range who should get a cervical screening?
Between 25 and 69.
How regularly should you go?
Every three years.
You're fantastic. Yes.
Who should have cervical screens?
Those who have been through menopause?
They're still having sex?
If you have had a hysterectomy?
What's a hysterectomy?
I'm gonna go, yes.
That's when your uterus is removed.
Those who are no longer having sex?
I thought that you could only get it through having sex.
Am I wrong?
But what if you have had sex and then stopped having sex?
It can grow over time.
You see, I didn't think about it like that.
(Tamsin and Tanya laugh)
So, you're 24?
So from next year,
regardless of whether you're having sex or not,
you get a screening.
I got it, okay.
Okay, where can you go to get your cervical screen?
Your GP, family planning.
Also could have answered,
Marae-based or other Māori health centres.
Or visit the time-to-screen website
or call their 0800 number.
Who can give you a cervical screen?
A medical professional.
You didn't buzz.
I don't know.
You lose a point.
So the correct answer is nurse, doctor,
or qualified screen taker.
For your information, you can ask for a female
and you can also ask if there's a Māori screen taker.
Good to know.
What can you do to protect yourself against cervical cancer?
Use a condom.
[Host] Guess again.
I got it right?
Yes, HPV is a common infection that causes 99% of cervical cancers.
About four out of five people have an HPV infection at some time in their lives.
So 1, 2, 3, 4.
You do the math.
Does a positive result mean you have cervical cancer.
No, nothing's confirmed until they take a biopsy.
How many people die a year,
in New Zealand, from cervical cancer?
Put your numbers up so I can see them.
Tamsin, you are the closest.
It's around 116.
Oh, that's a lot.
Also, did you know that Māori women
have twice the rates of cervical cancer than non-Māori woman and are twice as likely to die from cervical cancer.
That's quite alarming and definitely a push
to get more of our friends and whānau off to get screamed.
What are some ways you can overcome
feelings of whakamā during your screen.
To take someone with you,
so you've got a support person with you, like we did.
Like keep telling yourself
you're doing it for a good reason.
[Tamsin] Your health.
Having more open conversations about it,
like it's a normal part of your health checks.
Wear a skirt. (laughs)
I don't know if it's got anything...
I like the way you think.
You know, I wasn't keeping count.
Because you're all winners.
You know why?
'Cause we're getting screened.
Because we're getting screened.
A for effort.
Tamsin, here's your prize.
Here's your cupcake, Francesca.
Here you go, Tanya, here's your prize.
Thank you so much.
Staying on top of our mea health means we’re “thinking about the future” for the special moments with our treasured mokopuna (Text Image Block)
Nearly all cervical cancer can be prevented through regular screening.
Prevention is key whānau mā.
- Kia ora te whānau,
I'm about to pick up
the rest of the whānau,
Mama, my daughter, our besties.
And I'm that one in the
whānau that brings things up
that nobody wants to talk about,
so what is the kaupapa for today?
The kaupapa is the kuha, the lady bits,
making sure that we have
our cervical screening
for our whānau, for
our whakapapa, our uri,
and to make sure that we're
looking after our tinana,
so that's us, hoake!
- [Tirama] Kia ora.
- Have yous got your good undies on?
- Have yous got undies on?
- Thank you all for doing this mahi today,
going to get our cervical screening.
My darling, this'll be your first time,
so showing the way for our young wahine.
And it's good, we gotta do
this. Not just for ourselves,
but for everybody out there. Let's go.
- Yeah, this is a very
unique experience for me.
It's not the norms that
you go to the doctors
and get your kuha swabbed.
- What do you think
happens in the screening?
- Is it like a, like a
Covid test but in your tero?
- Not quite, girl, not quite.
Does she know about the instrument?
- Who's gonna explain?
- [Becs & Maria] You are!
- They put it in there, and
then they crank it open,
and then they swab inside.
- Oh, okay.
- Swab your cervix.
- So Mama,
when was the last time you
had a cervical screening?
- The last time was
after I had my last baby,
because it was just automatically done.
That was 20 years before I had
my next cervical screening.
- Why so long?
- So I thought I didn't need
it. I wasn't having sex,
or I wasn't active down there.
Just kind of thought, oh,
well I don't need to go
and have any of this done,
but now I know different
and kia ora for that
Maria, to encourage me
to come along with all these
wonderful, beautiful wahine.
- What about the cervical screening?
You talked about that
with any of your mates?
- No, that's not a common thing for us.
- Yeah. We need to
normalize that conversation
a little bit more.
- So Mama, when you go for,
like, cervical screening
how do you get yourself ready?
- I just have a good wash.
- Bit extra.
- Yeah. Bit extra.
- Put your pretty knickers
on. Not the holey ones.
- You've got holey ones?
- Well, no
- Are you regular, my Becs?
- Well I wasn't, I was just
the worst procrastinator,
I really was, until my cousin passed away
from cervical cancer.
So, that got me in for a
smear and it was abnormal,
so now I'm having my smears once a year.
- But i te mutunga iho o te
ra, at the end of the day,
us wahine, us women,
know our bodies the best.
So if you feel like you've
had a cervical screening,
say, a year ago or whenever,
and a few months later,
or in between that time,
whether it's been regular or not
in terms of results, go and
get your tinana checked.
- Anyway, thank you my Maria
for getting us all together.
We really needed to do this, right?
- My shout after.
Whanau Car Pool
It is more than a cervical screen.
It is normal to feel whakamā when going to a cervical screen… why not gather some of your friends or whānau and go together?
Oh, my gosh, we just finished a cervical screening and Ari got major giggles.
Had to do some meditative breathing (deep inhaling and exhaling)
just so that she could relax so Dr. Barbara could finish the screening.
I was laughing.
We were laughing so much
that the speculum kept popping out.
I was popping out my speculum with my laughter.
Do you prefer having male or female doctors?
No preference, but have had both.
Yeah, I've had both.
I'm really lucky that I went and had my cervical screening after I had my daughter because I got some negative tests back or actually it was abnormal cells.
But after further testing it came back, it was totally fine, it was clear.
And if I didn't go and get that done or having my daughter actually meant that I would go and get checked out.
I would freak out.
I'd just be like, what does this mean?
Yeah. You get a bit of a shock.
You can't feel anything.
I couldn't feel it either.
Yeah. I remember that.
No, but I'm glad I did it and it came back all fine.
So that's good.
It's a little bit of a scary moment though when you get something like that back but it's always good to get it checked out.
But you know, having the support of your mom and your sisters to go and get those things done really helps.
Well, it's just lucky that mom got her screening or else we might not even have been born.
That is true.
Yeah, and then what would've happened in that alternative world?
Yeah. Very lucky.
'Cause I'd be so lost without you guys.
Well, that's why we're so big on it, on getting the cervical screening regularly.
But also that was instilled in us from a very young age.
That was seven, eight years before I was born.
And they actually did say that she might not be able to have children.
So that was very, very lucky.
Having my girl and hearing about your mum and her experience, it makes me feel better about going in early, staying on top of my screening so that I can be here for her as well.
And you know, your mum's here for you guys.
It's important that we all go.
Yeah, honestly guys, after going through all this today and hearing about your mom and talking about my sister, like I need to do it, let's go.
Zoom call – Sisters post-screening
Hā ki roto, hā ki waho wāhine mā - let’s catch up about your mea!
Whether it’s through a ‘zui’ or hui, tautoko the other wonderful wāhine in your life and normalise the kōrero! You can awhi each other to your next screening!
Big ones, the little ones, smaller ones.
Yep, there's a variety there, yep, yep.
She's seen thousands of them.
I'm not gonna ask your size.
Did yours just clench like mine did?
I don't know, but I got a pukana coming her way.
So, at 25, my daughter will be coming up for their cervical screening.
No, it was much younger.
Can't say it was the most exciting experience
I've ever had.
When she brought out the, whatever those tongs.
Oh, speculum. Yeah.
So, yeah, I think I'll go along with my daughter.
Yeah, I think that's nice.
Like, I remember going for my first one, and I can still see the poster that was on the ceiling.
I've got it logged.
You know, I think it's really important that first one.
So yeah, if she's comfortable with you coming along,
however it works.
So what do you think the biggest hangup is?
I had a bit of a problem with going for a screening.
It was seven years before I got one.
I only went cause I was at the Marae and they were doing screenings at the Marae and I thought, "Ah, seven years is long enough."
But I was really happy the way it came out because I ended up having to go in and get some things done.
And it could have got very, very serious, and I'm not quite ready to leave this place yet.
(giggles) I mean, it is a bit difficult for us to put our lady bits on show.
I just think you've seen it all.
But, how do you mentally prepare yourself when you're going in?
Well, I've decided I'm gonna call it the "whare mīharo" from now on.
I love that.
But for now I just...
Let's ask your husband.
He'll say "whare tino miharo"
Yeah, I just, I really think about the future.
I think about those mokopuna.
Have I said that enough times?
But I want to be around
and in my head I tell myself,
it's important, it's important.
It's a wondrous thing to celebrate
that we take care of ourselves,
that we grow wāhine
that will live generations longer
than what we have,
than what our parents, our grandparents have
This is about hauora and our future as Māori women.
I think that's the most important thing
was the conversation, right?
So having a kōrero
and also getting with girlfriends and talking about it and make it normalized, like you can joke about it.
I agree with that.
Cause I've been thinking
like having a Helen Reddy moment.
I am woman.
(all singing) Hear me roar.
And I'm gonna roar for a long, long time down there.
(all chattering and laughing)
Kia WHAKANUI tātou
Leading the arā for our tamariki
Holding mana of our hauora as wāhine Māori
Take charge wāhine mā!
Where can I get screened?
Find out here who offers cervical screening in your area. You can choose who to go to. It could be your GP, or another provider such as Family Planning or a community health provider. It’s your choice.Healthpoint website
The National Screening Unit can help you find someone to take your cervical screen. Give us a call on freephone 0800 729 729.