The World Endometriosis Society is proud to announce that is has endorsed Endometriosis New Zealand’s “me™” educational programme for secondary schools to promote early recognition of endometriosis symptoms and encourage timely intervention.
The programme, which addresses menstrual health and endometriosis (me™), is about well-health and is designed to fit into secondary school education programmes. The me™ programme is age appropriate and embraces cultural and gender diversity to encourage and empower health seeking behaviours utilising various educational tools, teaching strategies, and resources – reaching approximately 13,000 students in 2018 alone.
This is a great honour for New Zealand and gives credit to a number of people who have been involved in the programme over the years. It certainly is the perfect way to celebrate the programme’s 21st birthday
said Deborah Bush, chief executive of Endometriosis New Zealand (ENZ).
The me™ programme has changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders through earlier intervention, diagnosis and raising awareness. It is the only programme of its type where results have been published in the scientific literature.
The research, which came out of the programme, found that 27% of New Zealand students miss school, sometimes or always due to menstrual distress. The programme has been running in New Zealand schools since 1997 and recognises the World Health Organisation education principles and practices. The me™ programme integrates into the New Zealand secondary schools’ curriculum targeting specific achievement objectives.
The me™ programme has been gaining wider international recognition with Australia’s Federal Government ‘supporting the expansion of the me™ programme’ in the Australian National Action Plan for Endometriosis in 2018, following a successful pilot of the me™ programme in South Australia in 2017.
Dr Catherine Allaire, a trustee of the WES board of directors, said:
The me™ programme has a proven track record of raising awareness and allowing earlier intervention for endometriosis symptoms. Many young women in New Zealand and now in Australia have been helped by this programme, and the World Endometriosis Society is delighted to endorse it
Dr Allaire, who is a professor at the University of British Columbia’s department of obstetrics and gynaecology, added:
We are hoping to secure funding to bring this programme to Canadian schools, as we believe earlier treatment of endometriosis symptoms will improve the immediate as well as the long-term quality of life of girls and women who are affected.