October 2017

Main Mana tane social media poster

The Mana Tane poster promoting and encouraging men and women to have conversations about cancer screening.

Encouraging women and their partners to work as a team to encourage cervical screening is the mission of Tui Ora health promoter Kimiora Te Wiki.

Since taking over the role in October she's launched a social campaign called Mana Tane to get men and women talking about the need to keep up to date with cancer screening.

A poster shared and tagged hundreds of times on Facebook is titled 'A Man's Perspective' and poses questions and statements: Are they due to be screened? Be part of the solution. Make it your business too.

It asks men to upload a photo with a quote telling them why the health of their partners or wife is important to them.

It was Kimiora's husband - featured in the poster - that prompted the idea of both sexes opening up more to each other. "He said, isn't it our business too. We want our wives, our mothers, our sisters to be healthy.

"There is a lot of fear of cancer so this has generated a lot of korero."

People are fairly happy to talk about breast cancer, but cervical cancer is more sensitive. "Men aren't quite sure if they should have an opinion about it and many don't know anything about the test itself. This is raising a whole lot of awareness."

Those taking part have talked about how they are taking a stand, and publicly acknowledging the value they place on the females in their lives, she says.

The campaign has been running on the Tui Ora Public Health Facebook page and Kimiora backed that up with lots of emails and private messaging.

While the national cervical screening promotion is officially over, she wants to continue the conversations and see Tui Ora kaimahi taking part in the Facebook campaign. This month for example is Movember, an annual event involving the growing of moustaches to raise awareness of men's health issues, such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and men's suicide.

"Every single kaimahi has someone they know who might be affected. As many people as possible participating and sharing the messages would be fantastic."

Kimiora's not stopping there. Next March she plans to run a variety show to continue the kaupapa. There will be different acts from around Taranaki with an organising committee already set up.

The social media campaign was about spreading initial messages and the Variety show will continue to highlight some of the issues, she says. "This gave us an indication before the summer break of the interest out there. Next year, let's make it bigger and better and continue the conversation."

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