- Publish Date
- Tuesday, 4 May 2021, 9:25AM
Labour MP and Minister for Emergency Management Kiri Allan has revealed the grim prognosis for her fight against stage 3 cervical cancer - just a 13 per cent chance of survival.
Allan shared the news last night, as part of her ongoing campaign to raise awareness of the importance of regular pap smears and also of the inequities in health care in New Zealand.
Speaking to Newshub's The Hui, Allan said that she discovered during her diagnosis that Māori women have a dramatically lower rate of survival than others.
"When I got told that I had cervical cancer, they said for somebody with stage 3C you have a 40 per cent chance of survival. As a wāhine Māori, I have about a 13.3 per cent chance of survival," she said.
"Do the maths on that. I don't know why that is, how that is, but it's wrong. The disparity is too much, people are dying far too young. This is a korero that needs to happen again and again and again."
Māori women are more than twice as likely to develop cervical cancer than Pākehā - and three times more likely to die from it, a 2019 study led by Victoria University of Wellington's Te Tātai Hauora o Hine Centre for Women's Health Research detailed.
Allan used her diagnosis to urge other wāhine to get smear tests, saying the late Talei Morrison's rallying calls for women, particularly Māori women, to get tested regularly was the push she needed to get it done previously.
She has said she'd been asked by people after her diagnosis: "Is there anything I can do?"
"My answer now is yes. Please, please, please - encourage your sisters, your mothers, your daughters, your friends - please #SmearYourMea - it may save your life - and we need you right here."
We're sending her all our love and wishing her all the best with her treatment.
This article was first published on nzherald.co.nz and is republished here with permission.