Pegasus Health supported NetP nurse Kiri Manihera to do a specialist cervical screening course and respond to a need she saw in her low-decile community.
Kiri will graduate from the NetP programme this month. During the year-long programme, Kiri worked at the Hei Hei Health Centre.
“I live just down the road. I have family here. I am Māori. It’s a really low-decile community and where I want to be. My heart is in general practice and the community.’’
She noticed how low cervical screening rates were for enrolled Māori and Pasifika patients. She also had patients tell her that they would get the screening if she did it.
“I’m the first Māori nurse they’ve had at the practice for quite some time, and [patients] would say ‘if you do it, I’d get it done’. So many people were saying that, I thought ‘there is a need here, and I can do something about it’, so I talked to Di [the Pegasus Health NetP coordinator] and got onto a course on cervical screening.”
Kiri is the first NetP nurse to do the course; programme participants usually do university papers. She will graduate from the programme this month.
She says she is honoured Pegasus Health let her forge a new path – so she can make a difference in her community.
“Let’s be honest, women are the Mums, providers, homemakers and often care for others in extended whānau. When there is a choice, women often put themselves last. But if they weren’t there to do all those things, everyone would be affected. Screening is such a simple way to protect ourselves. There are barriers like whakamā – they are embarrassed and it’s quite a tapu thing – but if we can work to minimise those barriers we can help our women look after themselves.”