AS part of a month-long cervical cancer awareness month in May South West women are beating their fears of the pap smear.
Hosted by the South West Aboriginal Medical Service (SWAMS), a series of women’s wellness events are being held in Brunswick Junction, Harvey, Bunbury, Collie, Busselton, Margaret River, Donnybrook, Manjimup and Bridgetown.
About 30 women attended the first event in Brunswick on Tuesday, and like mother of two Kaeann Hill, agreed the free clinic and information sessions raised the importance of regular Pap smears.
She said the the ladies also enjoyed a healthy lunch and were pampered at a nail polish booth, while children enjoyed mindful colouring in.
“The day was good because it gathered all the women and children together, It’s been a fun day out,” she said.
SWAMS’ Nurse Practitioner Jemima Higgins said the feedback from women attending the events so far indicated that they felt comfortable with the environment, and encouraged women to get a pap smear in the clinic on wheels.
“Having access to this free service is important as we are coming to them and it is giving women the opportunity to have a pap smear in a supported environment,” she said.
“A pap smear is a quick and simple test used to check the health of the cells on your cervix and it’s your best protection against cervical cancer for all women aged between 18 and 69.”
According to the Department of Health’s statistics, in 2013-14 the South West region had a cervical screening participation rate of 56.4 per cent, which is greater than the state rate of 55.5 per cent.
“We want to encourage women to come along to one of our events, have a free health check and enjoy some healthy snacks,” she said.
“We’ll also have prizes and giveaways at each event.”
The events are funded by the West Australian Cervical Cancer Prevention Program as part of its 2015/16 small grants program.
For more information about the free women’s wellness events contact the SWAMS Clinic on (08) 9726 6000, or the toll free number on 1800 779 000 or Jemima Higgins on 0408 912 779.
The mobile clinic will be in Busselton next at 10am to 2pm, Busselton Community Resource Centre.
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