The Ministry of Health in partnership with the Cook Islands Breast Cancer Foundation conducted the programme from July 16 to 27 last month.
“An integral part of the mammography screening programme are the wonderful NSW breast team ladies who visit from Australia, and their doctors were instrumental in this year’s success, with 409 women having a mammography screen,” Baudinet says.
“The target this year was to screen as many women from the Pa Enua as possible while they were here for the Te Maeva Nui celebrations, and some who were able to have their first screening made this year’s programme even more special.”
Baudinet says the Cook Islands Breast Cancer Foundation is a non-government organisation that is self-funding through donations, selling merchandise, and running a Pink Ribbon Day Appeal in October each year.
“October is International Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the support from various businesses and the Rarotonga community, helps keep us going,” she says.
“Our role is to raise awareness of breast cancer, and encourage and assist all women, especially those from the Pa Enua, to have regular mammograms.
“This is where Air Rarotonga plays an important role for the Foundation and we would like to thank Ewan Smith, Sarah Mooreland and her sales team who so generously sponsored airfares for women from Atiu and Mauke, and returned these women safely back home.
“If we did not have Air Rarotonga, with their continued support over the last 10 years, the women from the southern group Islands may well have missed out having their mammography screen.”
The Foundation also thanks Cook Islands Tours, who supported the programme with the transfer of 83 women from the Pa Enua from their respective hostels, and to Rarotonga hospital for their screening.
Baudinet says the Foundation is also grateful to Tohoa Cummings, (“Mrs C” as she is affectionately called at the Health ministry), who went out of her way to ensure this year’s programme saw as many women screened as possible, and especially those from the northern group.
“Involving Air Rarotonga, Cook Islands Tours, Mrs C and of course members of the CIBCF board, this year’s programme was highly charged and hugely successful, and we look forward to working with everyone involved for another successful mammography screening programme in the future”.
The Foundation would also like to thank Sonya Marsh of Curves, Kerikeri, NZ for donating to CIBCF 300 pre loved bras again this year, which we put out at MOH during the screening program for those women who wish to make use of this very kind offer.