Men’s Health Campaign has strong pulse

St. Kitts, April 23, 2010 (SKNIS): Approximately 300 hundred men have been screened for various medical concerns and the Ministry of Health has called for more males to access services from health institutions.

On this week’s edition of SKNIS’ radio magazine Perspectives, the Coordinator of Non-Communicable Diseases, Petronella Edwards said that the Men’s Health Campaign – designed to boost the number of males seeing doctors and visiting health centers – has been proceeding well.

“For the most part the Ministry is pleased,” she stated, noting that community outreach screenings have been particularly successful. “… But we have two clinics that are being piloted as Men’s Health Clinics and we are not satisfied with the attendance in those communities so I would like to appeal to males living in the villages of, and around St. Paul’s and Cayon to [visit] the health centers when we host the Men’s Health Clinic.”

The clinics are held on specific days and features doctors and nurses testing for diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease using an electrocardiogram (EKG). Based on the results, follow up testing may be recommended such as prostate-specific antigen (PSA). Persons are encouraged to call the relevant health centers for dates and additional details.

Ms. Edwards also encouraged persons to take advantage of a free prostate screening at the Joseph N. France General Hospital on Thursday (April 22). The test involves drawing small amounts of blood and will be administered to persons who have the relevant forms completed. Forms are available at health centers and doctor’s offices.

Her sentiments were echoed by Troy Watson, a facilitator at the Ministry of Gender Affairs. Mr. Watson indicated that men in the community welcomed the Men’s Health Initiative.

“You can’t get cheaper than free,” he said. “Health is not [just] about a response to something that is going wrong but it is also about staying healthy and it is important that our men are aware of that.”

Mr. Watson had high praise for the Minister of Health, Honourable Marcella Liburd for her leadership in the campaign.

“From all indications she is gender sensitive and all remarks made by her are gender sensitive remarks and not gender biased remarks,” he explained, stressing that the activities of the Ministry of Health and Gender Affairs are based on gender equity. “The request she has made of our Department in particular is to ensure that we are gender transformative so I am real happy that she is the one that is working with us (as Minister) and she is committed that we grow together as people, and the gender norms are observed.”

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