More women take Pap-smear tests after they wear masks

A creative campaign jointly launched by a tambon administration organization and a tambon hospital in Kamphaeng Phet province has succeeded in making more women to come forward for Pap-smear tests for cervical and breast cancers.

Called “the mask Pap-smear” campaign, women are given a mask to wear to cover up their faces so that they less awkward or feel less ashamed when undergoing Pap-smear tests for either cervical or breast cancer – two common cancers for women.

Mr Suwan Supakitcharoen, mayor of Sakaeo Tambon Administration Organization, said Sunday that the number of women who were willing to undergo Pap-smear tests for the two kinds of cancer in the tambon was very small each year, about 8-9 percent of women aged 30-70, because most of them felt ashamed to expose their private parts to the medical staff.

To overcome the problem, he said the TAO and the Tambon Nong Klod hospital, with financial support from the Health Insurance Fund, introduced masks to be provided to women so that the medical staff could not see their faces and, hence, they would feel more confident.

Mrs Pornthip Pongsak, director of Tambon Nong Klod hospital, admitted that it used to be very difficult to convince women to undergo Pap-smear tests because most were afraid or felt ashamed to disrobe in front of doctors.

But after the women were given masks to wear, she said that more women were willing to take the tests, averaging 40-50 cases each day.

One of them, Mrs Wanpen Sapcharoen, 50, said she felt more confident to take the test after wearing a mask.