15 Apr 2013

Hopes more Pacific women in New Zealand will have mammograms

7:32 pm on 15 April 2013

The numbers of Pacific women undergoing breast screening programmes in New Zealand rose significantly in 2012, but one health provider says there's still room to improve.

Health Star Pacific says since 2010, screening rates for Pacific women aged between 45 and 69 increased from 64 to 72 per cent of the eligible population, but hopes are that that figure can be boosted to 80 per cent this year.

The general manager, Togiai Vaifagaloa Naseri, says collaboration with other organisations and utilising Pacific media outlets has helped with awareness.

But other measures, such as translating more information into different Pacific languages, better transportation, and more education to help convince women to overcome initial fears, would help.

"Some of our women are so scared to come forth, especially when they heard that having a mammogram, it hurts, it's painful. So that also keeps them away. So there has been a lot of education, and convincing them that it is uncomfortable, (but) it's not painful. 17"

Health Star Pacific General Manager, Togiai Vaifagaloa Naseri.