“First of all on behalf of all of us present here today, I want to give the Ministry of Health a big high-five for bringing such a program to us in St. John. We think it’s very important and valuable to us and we know that from the turn out here today, we are ready to work with you to better provide for our healthcare needs.’’
Those were the words of former national football player and local football coach, Dexter George as he was speaking at last Tuesday’s Men’s Health Consultation in Gouyave, where more than 100 men received an array of healthcare services.
The event was the first in a series of consultations for men, planned for the western and northern health districts by the Ministry of Health.
During a clinical screening session, male clients were offered prostate examination services, blood pressure and blood sugar tests, weight and height checks, dietary services, stress management tips, body mass index checks and HIV/AIDS counseling and testing.
On completion of the screening exercise, the men participated in a two-and-a-half-hour-long consultation where they were informed of the Ministry’s plans, programmes and services and the benefits to be derived from their utilisation.
Participants were also encouraged to have their say on health-related issues that affect them and, most importantly, on how men’s health services can be improved.
The main facilitator of the consultation was Dr. Francis Martin, the Ministry’s Director of Primary Healthcare Services who looked at chronic diseases and the findings of a men’s health survey that was carried out last year in St. Andrew.
Dr. Martin used the opportunity to encourage the male folks to take charge of their health and well-being, referring to the doctrine that “prevention is better than cure’’.
“Men, you are in control of your health,’’ he emphasized. “Therefore, take charge, manage and control your diabetes, your blood pressure and sugar and your diet, and please exercise as often as possible”, he told the gathering.
The Primary Healthcare Director disclosed that although strokes are common in Grenada, prostate cancer is the leading cause of death among the nation’s men.
He called for positive lifestyle change that must be supported by early screening and detection, saying this can prevent and delay the onset of prostate cancer and – in some cases – reverse the disease.
“So, the onus in on you. And it is because of our commitment to service delivery and your health and well-being, we are here today and we will continue to support you,’’ Dr. Martin said.
The participants also commended the Health Ministry for its initiative and agreed that the activity was a major success and also described it as a very valuable event.
They also encouraged the Ministry to make the exercise an annual event and pledged their support towards the initiative.