Bollywood tunes lure Asian women for cancer checks in UK | india | Hindustan Times
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Bollywood tunes lure Asian women for cancer checks in UK

Medical clinics in Birmingham are using specially adapted songs of popular Bollywood numbers to encourage Asian women to come forward for cancer checks.

india Updated: Dec 29, 2003 12:22 IST

Medical clinics in Birmingham are using specially adapted songs of popular Bollywood numbers to attract and encourage Asian women to come forward for cancer checks.

Health officials are targeting women from the Asian community who shy away from breast and cervical cancer tests because of cultural taboos.

Figures show that Pakistani and Bangladeshi women are especially vulnerable as they find the topic awkward to discuss or attend screening examinations.

The videos produced by Heart of Birmingham Teaching Primary Care Trust show a woman in traditional south Asian dress entering a clinic and going through the screening process, to the sounds of specially written Bollywood influenced tunes.

Shaireen Chaudhry, project manager for breast and cervical cancer screening, sai, "Historically, women from ethnic minority communities have had lower than average screening rates for breast and cervical screening."

"This may be because of the taboos around the subject of screening in their communities, or because they simply don't understand what screening involves," she said.

"Either way, our videos aim to encourage more women to take up the screening opportunities which save hundreds of lives every year," Shaireen added.

The videos, made in English, Urdu and Bengali, are being aired in various health centres and Asian community centres.

Every year, breast and cervical cancer kills 12,000 women across Britain.

Minister for Public Health Melanie Johnson said the NHS cervical screening programme was directly responsible for a 42 per cent drop in the number of cases of cervical cancer.

"These videos are an excellent way of providing information and reaching out to communities where uptake of screening is low," she said.