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Dari-speaking Cranbourne community band together for breast screening

Dari-speaking interpreter Zakia Hassan.

Dari-speaking Cranbourne community members attended our mobile screening service to have a free breast screen today.

People from Dari-speaking communities screen for breast cancer less often than the general population. To enable better access and help the community feel more culturally safe and welcome, we enlisted Dari-speaking interpreter Zakia Hassan. She was on hand to translate and support clients at the Cranbourne van.

A group of Dari-speaking women sitting.

Local community member Rabia Safa had her third breast screen at the Cranbourne van on Monday and is encouraging others to take the time to care for themselves by having a breast screen.

"We were able to talk to each other and share our experiences in our language, which made it easier for people," Rabia said. "The interpreter helped us fill out the forms and translate any questions, which really helped people having their first breast screen. The staff on the van were friendly, helpful and patient, and the van is closer to us, which makes it easier."

In Cranbourne, 45.4% of eligible people had a breast screen with BreastScreen Victoria (2017-2019 participation). This is below the average percentage of people who screened across the state (53.8%).

Dari-speaking woman in the audience.

BreastScreen Victoria CEO Terri Smith said, "Getting a breast screen can be a daunting experience for some people. Today, Dari-speaking community members were able to feel culturally safe and supported during their breast-screen experience with the help of an interpreter to cut through any language barriers. "

"We know that people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds face unique screening barriers, such as language and fear. It is important we can reduce barriers to screening wherever possible because early detection saves lives."

At BreastScreen, we're committed to being an inclusive space and supporting diverse community groups and under-screened communities to screen.

Breast screening is an important health check and is open during the current COVID-19 restrictions. We understand people could be concerned about having a breast screen at the moment.

We want to reassure you that our clinics have infection control measures to protect against the risk of COVID-19. These include fitted face masks worn by all staff, precautionary health and travel questions, and spaced-out appointments to allow physical distancing and more cleaning in-between appointments.

Like all our services, the Mobile Screening Service is screening with safety measures in place, and we look forward to welcoming you for your regular screen.