Cervical Screening Flipchart developed to help improve Aboriginal women’s health

Jenny O'Callaghan, Nerida Steel, Kay Walley and Millie Penny at the launch of the new Cervical Screening Flipchart.
Jenny O'Callaghan, Nerida Steel, Kay Walley and Millie Penny at the launch of the new Cervical Screening Flipchart.

WITH Aboriginal women two times more likely to be diagnosed with cervical cancer and four times more likely to die from it, a new resource has been launched in WA to combat the cancer.

Featuring work by WA artist Nerolie Bynder-Blurton, the Cervical Screening Flipchart has been developed by the WA Cervical Cancer Prevention Program (WACCPP) to help healthcare providers engage with Aboriginal women.

It has been launched to coincide with National Closing the Gap Day.

Aboriginal Health Promotion Officer Kay Walley said the message needs to get out that most cervical cancer cases are preventable.

“Our women should not be dying from cervical cancer,” she said.

“By taking a few minutes to take care of ourselves, we can then take better care of our families.”

The resource was developed over two years in consultation with Aboriginal women, and can help healthcare providers explain why regular screening is so important.

Welcome to country presenter and Telethon Kids Institute co-researcher Millie Penny said she hoped the resource would reach out to more Indigenous women.

“Everybody knows people personally with cervical cancer,” she said.

WACCPP manager Nerida Steel said regular screening saves around 1200 Australian women every year.

“These statistics show just how important regular cervical screening is in preventing cervical cancer,” she said.

In Australia, all women aged 25 to 74 who have ever been sexually active should have a cervical screening test every five years to monitor human papillomavirus and any changes to the cells of the cervix.

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