Refugee Cancer Screening Project

Improving cancer screening awareness in refugee communities through capacity-building, research, and community engagement.

The Refugee Cancer Screening Project is proudly funded by the NSW Government through the Refugee Health Flexible Fund 2021-22 to 2022-23.

It aims to improve cancer screening awareness in refugee communities from the Middle East and Sub-Sahara Africa through capacity-building, research, and community engagement.

The Cancer Institute NSW has partnered with Settlement Council of Australia, NSW Refugee Health Service, Metro Assist, NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors (STARTTS), Northern Settlement Services Limited, and Mosaic Multicultural Connections to implement the project.

Seventeen community consultations with 161 people across seven metro and regional sites in NSW have been held as part of this project. This uncovered several barriers – including systemic and cultural barriers – impacting communities’ participation in breast cancer screening, bowel cancer screening, and cervical screening.

To address this, the Institute and partners are conducting culturally appropriate events, group tours, community champion training, in-language media articles, and in-language resource development. It is expected that these activities will contribute to improved participation rates of target refugee communities in cancer screening.

In May 2023, additional funding was received by the Social Health and Policy Branch in NSW Ministry of Health to extend the activities to newly arriving refugees from Afghanistan, Myanmar, and Ukraine.

See the NSW Refugee Health Plan 2022 - 2027 and Refugee Health Policy for information regarding NSW Health’s commitment to people of refugee background, including those seeking asylum