Hapu Hauora
 Kohanga Reo compete for breast and cervical health image

Kohanga Reo in Tauranga are going head to head to get as many women as possible to undergo breast and cervical screening for the chance to win prizes.

Klash of the Kohanga Reo will see 18 Maori early childhood education centres encouraging their wāhine mā to undergo life-saving screening.

The challenge is being run by the Western Bay of Plenty Primary Health Organisation’s Support to Screening team which has been successful in using kaupapa Maori initiatives such as this one to boost screening rates for Maori women in the region.

The event was launched at the recent Matariki Mokotini event where kohanga reo gathered to perform kapa hapa to celebrate the Maori New Year.

Support to Screening Coordinator Joanne Tuhakaraina says kanohi ki te kanohi or face to face engagement with Māori is important and events such as Matariki Mokotini gives the PHO an opportunity to do that.

“The kohanga love the idea and support the kaupapa. They are really positive about encouraging not only their own whānau, but all women to be screened, both to earn points and help us save lives.”

The PHO’s work to boost rates of breast screening among wāhine Māori was acknowledged by the Ministry of Health’s National Screening Unit recently which held up the PHO’s successful rate of breast screening ­- 79 per cent of eligible Māori women in the region - as an example to other health agencies.

Services Leader Philippa Jones says the PHO is “very happy” with the result and is working hard to achieve a similar rate with cervical screening.

Women who receive breast or cervical screening, or both, between June 17 and July 26 will earn points for their chosen kohanga reo. The winning centre will receive $1000 worth of prizes and the runner-up $500 worth of prizes, as well as prizes for individuals who participate.

Those who take part in the challenge will also be eligible to attend a pamper day with Waipu Hauora on July 27, including a kawakawa foot spa and mirimiri (massage).

To find out more about the challenge, or to book an appointment for screening, contact Joanne Tuhakaraina at the PHO, phone 07 571 2100 ext 718 or email: joannet@wboppho.org.nz. Updates will also be posted on the Western Bay of Plenty Primary Health Organisation Facebook page.

- SunLive