Zoe Hawke. Photo / Supplied
At-home HPV self-test kits which help screen for cervical cancer are a “game changer” for whānau Māori, an Auckland kaupapa Māori health and social support provider says.
West Auckland’s E Tipu E Rea Whānau Services says the accessibility and ease of use of the free kits, which began being rolled out nationwide on Tuesday, will make a significant difference for the whānau they work with.
“One of the barriers that our whānau have faced within the healthcare system is feeling safe enough to undergo a cervical smear,” E Tipu Rea CEO Zoe Hawke said.
“When whānau have complex histories and needs, more often than not we have seen people who have never had a smear or who have had one and never gone back because of the underlying complexities they face.
“These kits will make a big difference in their ability to choose to take part in a testing regime that feels safe and give them peace of mind for their future and that of their whānau.
“It is these sorts of targeted approaches to healthcare for our whānau that will make all the difference down the line in terms of healthcare resourcing, economic benefits as well as the obvious benefit of catching diseases before they become unmanageable. This is the upstream health promotion and prevention that we all deserve.”