Family Health

 Human Papilloma Virus : HPV and Gardasil Vaccines

Human Papilloma Virus, the big topic currently in the media. Commonly known as HPV.

To vaccinate or not to vaccinate?  We need to discuss this so that our community is well informed.

Here at Kurow Medical Centre we are constantly receiving updated education and information surrounding the vaccine and of course the effects of HPV. Vaccination programme is changing and screening protocols are changing to incorporate it.

It’s a powerful disease that has is the leading cause of 90% of cancers found in the throat, vocal chords, anus, cervix and vulva.  Why there, well it is spread unknowingly from sexual intercourse of all types. Left undetected it goes on to cause cancer in so many people 10-20 years after first contact.

In order for the body to create antibodies to this powerful disease, people need to be vaccinated prior to sexual activity. In this day and age, whether we wish to believe it or not, children as young as 11 are known to be sexually active. Hence the Government’s decision alongside the Immunisation Authority that the school vaccine programme should start.

Gardasil® and Gardasil® 9 vaccines protect against HPV 6 and 11 that cause approximately 90% of genital warts and cause respiratory papillomatosis (warty growths on vocal cords and throat). Gardasil® also provides protection against the two highest cancer-risk HPV-types (16, 18) that cause approximately 70— 80% of cervical and other HPV-associated cancers. Gardasil® 9 also provides protection against the seven highest cancer-risk HPV-types (16, 18, plus 31, 33, 45, 52, 58) that cause up to 80- 95% of cervical and other HPV-associated cancers.

We understand there has been a lot in the media, but what you read should come from reliable and trusted sources.  If you are unsure about this, we would love to chat with you and your child so you feel well informed about it prior. We endeavor to bring you a community event this year to cover this topic and to provide information that could help you make an informed choice regarding this.

For up to date information on this perhaps you could try the following websites for more information

v The New Zealand HPV Project. 2015. Available from:

v National Screening Unit. National Cervical Screening Programme 2014. Available from:

v Consumer Medicine Information 2016. Seqirus (NZ) Ltd. Available from:


Smoking Cessation

We are proud to be part of a huge support network being established to help reduce the amount that people smoke, reduce the amount of people who do smoke, to help those who are ready to give up and of course to educate our younger community of the risks of ever starting smoking. 

There are some huge benefits to giving up smoking, mostly health and financial, but so many that are small and go un noticed until people really give up. We can all offer you our time and support to sit down with you or your family member, to look at where to start and how to go about it. We are trained to educate and support you on this journey with the help of medication, counselling, regular contact with us and knowing that however small your steps are, they are all steps in the right direction. 

Beat the smoking addiction.  You have everything to gain by quitting smoking.  It's one of the best decisions you can make for your health, you could save thousands of dollars every year, and it's a great thing to do for the well-being of your family and your friends.





Green Prescriptions

Ever wondered what it is, who gets one and what you do once you have got one?  Well if you are a candidate for needing extra support and guidance with a lifestyle change, diet change or health overhaul then this is for you. When we see you here, we can offer a Green Prescription which is a referral to a specialist team in Oamaru who have the skills and know-how to guide you through your journey to good health. Its worth a try, especially if you feel you keep hitting roadblocks along the way. Find out about it today from us. 

Cervical Smear Tests

The national standards for cervical screening state that all women who are between the ages of 20 and 70, should be aiming to have these done every 3 years in order to determine their risk and get early interception of cell changes on their cervix. For some you may require this annually initially, some who have had changes at various degrees in the past may also need them regularly, but most women will be 3 yearly. 

Juliet, Tracy and Ange are all qualified to do this screening for you. If you want to come in and find out about it if it is your first one or if you are worried, then please come in to chat. It’s more important that you begin screening than not at all. We have lots of information available to give you. 

Some of you will begin to receive letters and text message when your name has come up, to remind you that you are due. Please take the time to respond to and action this letter, as after three attempts in a year we will remove your name from the register, which will mean you increase your risks of going unchecked. So we look forward to all you ladies coming in at some stage. Find out on our news page if we are having a special clinic one day, it might be fun to get all the girls around you in to get updated. 


Breast Screening

Having a mammogram every two years improves a woman's chances of surviving breast cancer.  If you are under 50, screening reduces your chance of dying from breast cancer by about 20 per cent.  If you are between 50 and 65, screening reduces your chance of dying from breast cancer by about 30 percent. For women aged 65-69, it is reduced by about 45 percent

Every woman over 45 will be on a list in our system to be reminded that you are due for  mammogram, and when the Breastscreen bus is in the area next. For some of you this might be your first time, and there may be some who wish to get one done earlier due to family history. 

Come in and talk to us about all of that and we can give you advice on the programme, referrals, and general education around breast care and self examinations.



Mental Health is something that is talked about a lot at the moment in the media and now organisations such as  have some fantastic tools, people and networks in place to make sure each and every one of us, at any given time can access the support as we may need it. You can go onto the site and look at the “My Journal” section, a great start to making action plans. You can also hear stories of people first hand and how to help your self.  
We can offer you support also, anytime, even if it’s just to talk about things that are going awry for you, or outside your normal parameters. It’s so important to monitor, acknowledge and look after our health on so many levels. For some is family linked, for others it could be postnatal. Either way it inhibits you or your family’ ability to function at your best. We all deserve the best.

Depression Helpline  0800 111 757

Sexual Health

In this day and age it is so important to be aware of and maintain good sexual health. Our communities carry around several sexually transmitted infections (STI’s) that can often go unnoticed until the only symptom is sterility. We can help you with screening and education for all aspects of this, and for some of you, we offer two free sexual health related visits per year (conditions apply). This area of our expertise also covers contraception, emergency contraception, sexual violence,health promotion and early pregnancy care. We are here to help you all, all of the time. Keeping yourself safe is one of the most important things you can do.


Men's Health

This area is broad, but its main avenues include heart health, diabetes, lifestyle, urinary health (water works), prostate and hormonal health. We can offer you the support, knowledge, education and commitment to making sure you are all keeping your eye on the ball, looking after yourself and in the best possible care for any of the above issues. Look out soon for our Men’s Health Evening ahead.


Click on link               

Women's Health

Click on link


Children's Health

Our goals here are certainly to maintain optimum health of our younger generations. We offer everything you can think of in regards to children's health, from immunisations, to wellness checks to bandaging up the grazes and bumps of our busy children's lives. We get out into the community where we can to promote good health practices and educate the children and their families in their own settings. We are here anytime for you and your children.   or

Heart Health/CVRA

Cardiovascular Risk Assessments are our new tool to target all the over 45yr olds in our community so we can reach our goal of making sure 90% of our population at Kurow Medical Centre has had a healthy heart check and following that are being managed effectively and actively.  It is a 15 minute appointment that tests blood pressure, height, weight and cholesterol bloods. We are currently contacting all of our over 45’s so if you hear from us, don’t delay, come in and get yours done.  


Resources Available Support Those Who Wish To Change The Way They Drink

There are resources to help people assess their personal drinking status, cut down on their drinking, or to cope with relapses.  A resource for concerned family members and friends is also available to help them support those they know who drink to hazardous levels.

The resources cover:

  • Helping with problem drinking
  • Concerned about someone's drinking?
  • Maintaining the change
  • Stopping drinking
  • Cutting down
  • Is your drinking okay?
  • Available for free at:



Stroke has a new indicator  
STROKE: Remember the 1st Three Letters.....
S. T. R. 

During a BBQ, a woman stumbled and took a little fall - she assured everyone that she was fine (they offered to call paramedics) ...she said
 she had just tripped over a brick because of her new shoes.
They got her cleaned up and got her a new plate of food. While she appeared a bit shaken up, Jane went about enjoying herself the rest of the evening.

Jane's husband called later telling everyone that his wife had been taken to the hospital - (at 6:00 PM Jane passed away.) She had suffered a stroke at the BBQ. Had they known how to identify the signs of a stroke, perhaps Jane would be with us today. Some don't die. They end up in a helpless, hopeless condition instead. 

A neurologist says that if he can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours he can totally reverse the effects of a stroke...totally. He said the trick was getting a stroke recognized, diagnosed, and then getting the patient medically cared for within 3 hours, which is tough.


Thank God for the sense to remember the '3' steps, STR. Read and

Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke.

Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions:
S *Ask the individual to SMILE.

T *
Ask the person to TALK and SPEAK A
(i.e. Chicken Soup)

 *Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.
 If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call emergency number immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.

New Sign of a Stroke --------
NOTE: Another 'sign' of a stroke is this: Ask the person to 'stick' out his tongue. If the tongue is
'crooked', if it goes to one side or the other that is also an indication of a stroke.

Whooping Cough

Whooping cough, also known as pertussis, is a highly infectious disease with symptoms that can last for weeks to months.  Outbreaks of the disease occur every 3-5 years (currently one in Central Otago) because whooping cough protection decreases with time after having either the disease or immunisation.  Whooping cough occurs worldwide,  The bacteria can be transferred from person to person through close contact with droplets of saliva.  A person with whooping cough is most likely to pass the infection on from the week before they start coughing to three weeks after they start coughing.  Up to 90% of people who are not protected from the disease and living in the same house as a person with whooping cough will catch it.  Without immunisation almost every child will catch whooping cough at some time.  For further information visit the website below or phone 0800immune, 0800466863

We are offering immunisation at the medical centre.  Phone for an appointment.



Visit the Health & Disability Commission site or see our brochures and posters at the clinic that outline your rights when receiving a health or disability service




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