A new campaign will harness different languages to spread the message about the importance of pap smears.
The video campaign, run by the Cancer Council and PapScreen Victoria, will be run in seven languages, including Hindi and Vietnamese, targeting women at risk of cervical cancer, with the message that regular pap tests save lives.
Hiranthi Perera from PapScreen Victoria told SBS News many women who have migrated to Australia were not informed about cervical cancer and did not know about pap smears or how to navigate the health system.
“Often it’s the cultural barriers, so it can be quite an embarrassing test to go and request,” she said.
“It can be quite invasive and for a lot of women they prefer to see a female provider.
“The videos feature women from both the Indian and Vietnamese communities from across Victoria and so it is really women sharing their stories and the benefits of screening.”
Shivani Goyal came to Australia from India nine years ago and was not aware of pap smears.
Now she is one of the faces of the campaign, which encourages women to have regular testing.
“I do it regularly, every two years, to have a safe life,” she told SBS News.
“It’s not to be scared about, it’s just to get it done and go to the doctor, talk about it, tell other women, help each other.”
General practitioner Sarah Ngyuen said she would always check with patients to make sure they were being tested.
“If they come in for some unrelated reason I would always check ‘have you had your pap tests done recently within the last two years?, have you had your breast screen?'” she said.