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Maori Council applauds Cancer Action Plan

Maori Council applauds Cancer Action Plan – announce an immediate campaign called Act.Live – educating Maori men to be more cancer aware

The New Zealand Maori Council has welcomed the Government’s announcement today around cancer action and called it a “landmark” beginning when it comes to addressing this significant issue for all New Zealanders, in particular Maori. The Executive Director of the New Zealand Maori Council, Matthew Tukaki, has said Maori men are at particular risk of bowel cancer with the figures potentially being as high as one and two while Maori also suffer breast, prostate and rare cancers at a rate higher than non-Maori:

“For a year now the Council has come out strong and hard when it comes to cancer and lifesaving and extending medications because, to be honest, the data related to our people was terrible. But, cancer impacts all New Zealanders and, in all reality, we have a tough road ahead of us. One of the biggest single challenges is the advancement in both medical technology and medication that puts immense pressure on the nations finances – but we must always find a way to give all kiwis a fighting chance when it comes to life.” Tukaki said

“The additional $20 million in funding for PHARMAC this year and $40 million next year will see Lynparza for ovarian cancer, Faslodex for breast cancer, and Venclexta for chronic lymphatic leukaemia, all funded. In addition early prevention means additional screening and a focus on those at higher risk of certain forms of cancer which is where Maori will be key. To compliment that I am today announcement a targeted online campaign for Maori men when it comes to both prostate and bowel cancer testing from a much earlier age. Called “Act.Live” our goal is to make our Maori men in particular more cancer aware.” Tukaki said

“I am also pleased to see that we have a ten year plan – it will take that long to really get things under control and include further planning around infrastructure investment in the regions. But, this is an excellent start. I am though always mindful of the role our people can play. We just seize the moment to get more involved in the design of the plans actual implementation and I think this is also a great chance to get our young people engaged and involved in thinking about a career in cancer care, support and prevention.” Tukaki said

The Council will begin its online campaign educating Maori men to be more cancer aware beginning Monday morning. Council will also be working on a campaign to advocate for more prevention and screening tools for the regions focused on both Maori men, women and their whanau.

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