Men’s wellness critical to country; Nevis men urged to participate in Men’s Wellness Clinics

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health Ms. Angelica Elliott (file photo)

NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (September 12, 2012) — Men’s wellness is critical not just to the individual but to the family, community and country. Those words were recently echoed by Health Educator Ms. Shirley Wilkes when she delivered brief remarks on behalf of Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health Ms. Angelica Elliott, at a Men’s Wellness Clinic launched at the Franklyn Brown Community Centre in Combermere village.

The event which was attended by men throughout the St. James Parish was facilitated by the Ministry of Health through the district’s Health Centre in Combermere.

“We need our men to be in their healthiest state possible so that they can be effective fathers and role models to their children and other children, supportive husbands and partners, contributors to the building up of our nation and effective and progressive leaders of our country,” she said.

According to the Permanent Secretary, the aim of the Ministry was to increase the number of those health clinics on Nevis, in an effort to promote a higher level of health awareness among men. It was hoped that the clinics would result in healthy lifestyle changes and ultimately increased quality and years of healthy life.

“We are committed to continually providing access to health care services and health information through our wellness clinics. We also see these clinics as a source for other men to have the opportunity to meet and interact with other men and share experiences,” she said.

Apart from laying out the reason for the formation of more Men’s Wellness Clinics throughout the island, the top Health Official used the opportunity to encourage the men of Nevis to attend the clinics.

Health Educator in the Ministry of Health Ms. Shirley Wilkes delivering remarks at the launch of a Men’s Wellness Clinic at the Franklyn Browne Community Centre in Combermere Village

“We want you, our men to attend these clinics, mark the schedule on your calendar, make it a part of your ‘to do list’. We want you to be as concerned about your health as our women are about theirs.

“Through these clinics, we hope to see men learning and understanding the benefits of regular check-ups and screenings,” she said.

Among the list of expectations expressed by Ms. Wilkes on behalf of Ms. Elliott for the Clinics, was an increase in the number of men checking their blood pressure, blood cholesterol and blood sugar on a regular basis; an increase in the number of men seeking screening for Cancer and Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs); a decrease in the number of men with high blood pressure, high cholesterol blood levels, diabetes and obesity and an improvement in better self management and adherence to other men who had been diagnosed with chronic diseases.

She said that also there had been a constant increase in the number of men who sought screening for prostate Cancer, there was the need for an increase in men screened for Stomach and Colon Cancer. They were simple tests she stated which could be administered on by surgeons on Nevis.

The Ministry of Health Official was also of the view that the new picture had to emerge on Nevis with the depiction of men who valued their health; behavioural change; a move toward healthy lifestyle changes and one which kept the men of Nevis fully functional and productive for as long as possible.

“We hope to continue to motivate our men through these clinic sessions on the importance of healthy lifestyles and behavioural change and the tremendous benefits of prevention, proper management and the elimination of diseases.

“We have integrated this important programme into our public health services and now it is up to you to access them – they are yours!” she said.

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