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Cervical screening campaign 'simply outstanding'


Cervical screening campaign 'simply outstanding'

Associate Health Minister Steve Chadwick today announced the success of the cervical screening campaign that encourages women to have regular smear tests.

"The results of this campaign are simply outstanding, and I am pleased to report these outcomes in September, Cervical Screening Awareness Month," Steve Chadwick said.

"The figures from the last 12 months show significant increases in discussion and awareness of the benefits of regular screening, a 27 per cent increase in calls to the Programme’s 0800 number, and increased rates of screening with all groups of women."

The campaign, launched by Prime Minister Helen Clark in September 2007, includes television, radio and print advertisements, and focuses on Maori and Pacific women.

Cervical cancer is one of the most preventable of all cancers. Having regular cervical smear tests can reduce a woman's risk of developing cervical cancer by around 90 per cent. All women from the age of 20 until they turn 70 are encouraged to take part in the National Cervical Screening Programme.

“Research shows the campaign has prompted women to talk about cervical screening and has improved their understanding and awareness of the benefits of regular smear tests. This will result in women's lives being saved.”

"Since the launch of the campaign, the number of women going for a cervical smear has increased. Figures to July 2008 show that since August last year screening coverage has increased by 6 per cent for Maori women, by more 11 per cent for Pacific women, and by nearly 3 per cent overall. There have been more than 40,000 new enrolments in the Programme,” Steve Chadwick said.

Women who have a smear test during September receive a free sample of hand and body lotion from the Cancer Society’s elements range of skin care products.

The campaign commercials can be viewed on the National Screening Unit’s website: www.nsu.govt.nz

ends

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