August 23, 2015
Cervical screening a life saver
A Manukau grandmother is urging Maori women to undergo regular cervical screening.
September is Cervical Screening Awareness Month, and the low rate of wahine Maori having the checks – and the disproportionately high number dying of cervical cancer – is of continuing concern to health advocates.
Vera Wipani says after one of her regular three-yearly checks spotted some abnormalities – which after further investigation proved benign – she started encouraging all her friends and whanau to get regular smears.
She still finds the procedure embarrassing, but the peace of mind is worth it.
"You know I still hate getting on that table it's the most awful thing especially for a Maori woman that's not always been the easiest thing to do. To jump up on the table and 'bare your wares', it's always been a tapu thing more for us but it's changing times and if you can save your life from a 15 minute check then just do it," she says.
Verna Wipani says as a young grandmother, she realises how important her health is so that she can be round to support her tamariki and mokopuna.
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