Health Minister Jonathan Coleman said the new Time to Screen website and Facebook campaign aims to help remove some of the barriers to screening through using a new mobile-friendly website and social marketing campaign to offer support to women and answer questions.
“With more than two million New Zealanders using Facebook on a daily basis, the campaign will enable us to reach more women who are not being screened or who don’t get screened as often as they should,” said Coleman. The campaign is aimed particularly at boosting screening participation by Māori, Pacific and Asian woman.
Time to Screen builds on pre-existing initiatives to offer practical support to women, including transporting and accompanying women to screening appointments.
Women aged 20 to 70 should have a cervical smear test every three years. Since the National Cervical Screening Programme was established in 1990, the incidence of cervical cancer and deaths has more than halved.
Women between 45 and 69 should have a mammogram every two years. The rate of death from breast cancer has reduced by a third for women who have been screened as part of the programme.
More information about the women’s health screening programmes is available at www.timetoscreen.nz.