The 22nd of January marks the start of a very important week, cervical screening awareness week. Cervical Screening or smear tests, are so important and can help save the lives of so many women.
On the 8th of January, we launched our Mam Cymru #YearOfTheSmear, campaign to encourage mums and women throughout Wales to attend their cervical screening appointments. I was keen to start this campaign after learning that 59,000 women in Wales decided not to attend a cervical screening test in 2016-17, despite receiving a letter to inform them that their test was due. As I explained in my previous article, I probably wouldn’t be here today if I’d decided not to attend my first test 17 years ago.
Within days of launching the campaign I was invited to discuss the issue on BBC Radio Cymru’s Taro’r Post programme, and last Friday I was discussing the campaign live on S4C’s Heno. You can watch the interview here.
The response from the media has been fantastic and it’s certainly helped us spread the word and raise awareness of this important issue, but without doubt, the best response is the feedback we’ve had from mums and women across the country;
“THANKS TO MAM CYMRU FOR RAISING AWARENESS OF CERVICAL SCREENING AND FOR REMINDING ME TO BOOK MY TEST” Lowri.
“THANKS MAM CYMRU. I’VE JUST BOOKED MY TEST” Elin.
“I WAS IN THE SAME SITUATION AS YOU HEULWEN 2 YEARS AGO, AND MAYBE I WOULDN’T BE HERE TODAY IF I HAD NOT ATTENDED MY SMEAR TEST” GEMMA
“I’M GOING FOR MY TEST THIS FRIDAY! THANKS FOR THE NUDGE!” Cathryn
Our #YearOfTheSmear campaign is making a difference, even Wales’ rugby coach Robin Mc Bryde was grateful when I met him on the sofa last Friday, BUT! We need your help to ensure that these statistics improve and that more women in Wales attend their tests. How can you help? Firstly, ensure you attend your own appointments. Secondly, make it your mission to inspire at least one other woman to book and attend their appointment. Working together like this can help save lives ladies.
If you would like to share your story or views please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information about cervical screening visit the Cervical Screening Wales website.
By Heulwen Davies, Mam Cymru.