Cervical cancer is one of the most preventable cancers. It can be detected early and prevented by a cervical screening test that can be performed by a doctor or nurse to check the health of your cervix. According to Cancer Council Australia, 80% of women who developed cervical cancer had never been screened or had not been screened regularly. It is known as the silent killer showing no obvious symptoms and can be passed through sexual contact affecting both men and women. With such high statistics and being a topic rarely discussed across Pasifika communities, it was important to educate our communities on cervical health.
In partnership with True Relationships & Reproductive Health, PWA hosted an online Roundtable Consultation on 29th April to review a cervical screening resource. This Roundtable was facilitated by True Relationships & Reproductive Health Project Officer, Dulcie Paina and provided an opportunity for Pasifika women to openly discuss ways to better inform our communities on the importance of cervical screening.
We acknowledge PWA members – Lisa Sipaia Baker, Dr Heena Akbar, and Inca Chow for being a part of this roundtable consultation and sharing their valuable insights. This initial consultation played a significant role – being the catalyst of the development and design of a culturally appropriate cervical screening resource in the form of a pocket-sized-fold-out booklet for our Pasifika community.
As well as extensive community consultation, this resource was designed by Travis Lee (T.Lee Graphics), a Fijian & Chinese-Solomon Islander currently completing a Bachelor of Design. Having Pasifika people across the development of this resource was a priority for PWA and we extend our sincere appreciation to True Relationships and Reproductive Health Project Officers – Gianna Parma and Dulcie Paina for meaningfully engaging with our community and providing resources to acknowledge all participants throughout the process.
We are thrilled to share that this resource was launched on 28th June! This pocket-sized-fold-out booklet explains reasons for regular participation in cervical screening, what is involved in the test, and includes information about the HPV vaccine. Booklets and downloadable PDFs will soon be available from the True Relationships & Reproductive Health website. We acknowledge all the valuable contributions, support and hard work that brought this initiative to life – a resource for our community, BY OUR COMMUNITY!
Photo Credit: T.Lee Photography