At the heart of the Mangere Town Centre amongst the market stalls, the Counties Manukau Health (CM Health) bowel screening community event drew crowds last Saturday to hear from important dignitaries and enjoy entertainment from local cultural groups. The event was an opportunity for the community to learn more about bowel cancer and the importance, for those who are eligible, of doing the bowel screening test.
Attendees heard from CM Health CEO Fepuleai Margie Apa, CM Health bowel screening programme clinical lead Dr Alasdair Patrick, National Bowel Screening Programme Pacific National Network Fono Chairperson Tofa Suafole Gush, and Minister for Pacific Peoples Hon. Aupito Su’a William Sio. They spoke candidly on why it’s important for our Pacific whaanau not to feel shame about doing the test, and that early detection can be lifesaving. Minister Sio called upon church Ministers and the wider whaanau to encourage their loved ones who are within the programme age range (60-74) to take action and do the test.
A giant blow-up bowel was a highlight at the event as locals went through the bowel and learnt more about the bowel screening programme from CM Health bowel screening staff, as well as performances from the Nga Iwi Primary School kapa haka group, the Tongan Dance Group (Otahuhu), Drums of the Pacific, and Tipaula Dance Group. The event was closed by a karakia from Kaumaatua Hone Stipich (Mataatua Marae, Mangere).
For more information about the programme, please visit www.timetoscreen.nz, or call 0800 924 432, or talk to your family doctor.