10th Nov '17

LiveBetter transporting Rural and Remote Aboriginal women for breast cancer checks

LiveBetter Community Services has started offering a free transport service to Aboriginal women living in rural and remote NSW to get to and from breast screening and it’s believed to be a NSW first.

To create the service, LiveBetter Orana Far West Aboriginal Transport Services partnered with the Western NSW Local Health District’s Aboriginal Health Leadership Team and Bila Muuji Aboriginal Health Services, which covers Aboriginal community controlled health services (ACCHS) in Western NSW. Funding has come from LiveBetter’s allocation for its Community and Home Support Program.

LiveBetter’s Community Transport Aboriginal Development Officer, Sharlene Wright, said breast cancer is the biggest killer among Aboriginal women. She’s worked closely with Christine Fling, Breast Screen Aboriginal Engagement Project Officer, who’s based in Orange, to ensure the women were as comfortable as possible with the screening process.

“The service means we’re able to help more Aboriginal women aged between 40 and 74 improve their health outcomes by taking part in breast screening in a culturally appropriate way,” said Ms Wright.

“We drive the women in our 12-seater bus to and from the breast screening service in the breast screening locations. The women attend a yarning circle before the screen where they learn more about the screening process and the need for it.”

Fourteen women travelled from Gulargambone, Gilgandra and Dubbo to attend a Breast Screen NSW facility in Dubbo last month. Nine of the women hadn’t been screened for between 5 and 18 years.

The service will operate twice a year to transport Aboriginal women from rural and remote NSW areas such as Gilgandra, Gulargambone, Warren, Narromine, Trangie, Balranald, Dubbo, Ivanhoe, and Wellington.

LiveBetter was formed to assist people to live better lives – for further information call 1800 580 580, search livebetter.org.au or visit a LiveBetter centre.