Did you know breast cancer is the most common cancer affecting Kiwi women? More than 3,000 women in NZ are diagnosed with breast cancer every year, including more than 400 wāhine Māori.

In New Zealand breast screening is free for women aged 45 to 69 years of age.

Currently Māori screening rates are not as high as for other groups, so the National Screening Unit, with the help of GSL Promotus, worked on a campaign to encourage more wāhine who are aged between 45 and 69 to access free breast screening through the BreastScreen Aotearoa programme.

This year (February to May 2019) the National Screening Unit ran a “Stay in the Picture Campaign” inviting women to take a positive step to look after their health/hauora by enrolling in the breast screening programme.

The campaign primarily centred around the Te Matatini Festival in Wellington, 20th to 24th February 2019. As part of the festival, the Wellington Māori health collective Mana Wāhine offered free on-site cervical screening services (via their mobile unit), as well as promoting breast screening, prostate cancer awareness, bowel screening and HPV vaccinations.

The media campaign included working with Māori Television and the Māori Media Network to update a TV and radio ad originally created by BreastScreen Counties Manukau, social media posts and a radio interview with a Mana Wāhine spokesperson, which ran across 21 iwi radio stations.

All campaign materials encouraged enrolments in the BreastScreen Aotearoa programme, as well as offering people the chance to find out more about screening services from www.timetoscreen.nz or by calling 0800 270 200.

Watch the Facebook post of the video below.