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Cancer Strategy Failing Maori Women?

19 May 2006

Cancer Strategy Failing Maori Women?

“The recent release of the publication Unequal Impact: Maori and non-Maori Cancer Statistics 1996 to 2001 presents findings that all New Zealanders should be dismayed by,” said Christine Low, National President, National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ).

“Maori women have a 25% higher incidence of cancer rates and despite a nationwide screening programme for cervical cancer, incidences are double that for other women. Combined with a mortality rate four times higher than non-Maori, this disparity requires immediate attention,” said Low.

The NCWNZ is pleased that this report has been finally published but it calls for more research and updated statistics to ensure that programmes to control and monitor cancer in the community are administered to their capacity.

“These statistics, a world first in identifying the status of health for indigenous people, provide detailed information on Maori and non-Maori cancer epidemiology," said Low. "The findings demonstrate the urgency for increased funding and resources to ensure that health inputs truly meet the needs of the people most at risk.”

“New Zealand’s Cancer Control Strategy, commenced three years ago, without the benefit of these statistics now requires urgent revision,” concluded Low


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