Screening help for Dari-speaking community

Member for Cranbourne Pauline Richards reached out to BreastScreen Victoria to put this session together back in January and help reduce screening barriers amongst the Dari-speaking community.

Dari-speaking community members attended BreastScreen Victoria’s mobile screening van to have a free breast screen while it is visiting Cranbourne.

People from Dari-speaking communities screen for breast cancer less often than the general population.

To address potential barriers to screening, BreastScreen Victoria enlisted the help of a Dari-speaking interpreter on Monday 15 February, who was on hand to translate and support clients.

Local community member Rabia Safa had her third breast screen at the Cranbourne van on the day 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,” she 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.”

BreastScreen Victoria’s mobile screening van will be at Cranbourne Library until Friday 5 March.

Member for Cranbourne Pauline Richards spoke of the importance of local breast-screening opportunties:

“In Cranboure we have low rates of screening and so being able to give access to a community that is already experiencing some social isolation in a location that is geographically close to them, it really cuts down the barriers to get access to screening.”

In Cranbourne, 45.4 percent of eligible people had a breast screen with BreastScreen Victoria according to 2017-2019 participation to data. This is below the average percentage of people who screened

across the state, 53.8 percent.

BreastScreen Victoria CEO Terri Smith said: “Getting a breast screen can be a daunting experience for some people. On Monday, 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.”

BreastScreen Victoria’s mobile screening van travels around the state. It provides an opportunity for communities to have a breast screen in a convenient location with female radiographers, and without the need for a doctor’s referral or Medicare card.

The vans use the highest quality digital radiography machines to ensure that women receive the best service, regardless of their location.

Breast screening is an important health check and is open during Covid-19 restrictions. Clinics have infection control measures in place to protect against the risk of Covid-19, including fitted masks worn by all staff, precautionary health and travel questions, and spaced-out appointments to allow for physical distancing and more cleaning between appointments.

To make a breast screen appointment on the van or at any clinic in Victoria, please call 13 20 50 or visit

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