#ManUp for better Health
Men often take their health for granted. It is time to #ManUp and go for regular health check-ups to detect and treat preventable health problems early. Men of all ages (including boys and youths) should go for regular check-ups and those over 40 are advised to go at least once a year.
Frequent scheduled medical check-ups for cancer, high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes are being ignored which are vital for the early detection of illnesses. To put men in the driving seat of their own health and to sound the alarm about early detection, the Western Cape Government Health will have a “mobile health pop-up” activation at Thibault Square in Cape Town today (23 November 2018). This activation will take critical health services into the space of men and forms part of a broader media campaign which the Department has been running on social media platforms featuring real-day employees staying fit and going for their health check-ups.
The activation will offer men the opportunity to go for various health screenings such as HIV tests, have their blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels checked. These screenings will help identify any potential illnesses that might occur before symptoms start to show – without men having to physically go to a health facility. Part of the activation will include three active health zones where men can participate in challenges:
- Boxing (with a punching bag) - #ManUp and knock out men’s illnesses
- Skipping - ‘#ManUp & skip for health but don’t skip regular check-ups
- Basketball - #ManUp and stretch to reach your health goals
The Department, in collaboration with Jhpiego, recently also launched a mobile clinic which offers Medical Male Circumcision within communities as part of a national #ManUp campaign. This initiative supports the broader aim of highlighting the importance of men's health and heighten the awareness of preventable health issues in men.
The mobile clinic will assist in reaching men between the ages of 15 upward wherever they are. The Voluntary Male circumcision in men has various health advantages such as decreasing the spread of HIV, protects men from Sexually transmitted diseases and reduces the risks of their female partners from developing cervical cancer. All men are encouraged to take this initiative to visit the mobile clinic and book appointments for circumcision at no cost.
This year, Dr Darren Green, multimedia medical doctor and inspirational speaker, will throw his support behind the initiative in sounding the alarm.
Men’s Health Awareness month is a time to highlight the importance of men taking responsibility for their health. “I would like to encourage all men to take this opportunity to go for the necessary preventative health screenings. #ManUp is a way in which the Department makes health services more accessible for men. Men need to take action now because they are often unaware of the health risks they face,” says Dr Nomafrench Mbombo, Western Cape Minister of Health.
“We find that men struggle to speak about their stress or lack of coping mechanisms, which puts them at risk of burnout and depression. The “big boys don’t cry” mentality leads us to think that we are immune mental and physical health issues - there are currently 18 suicides by men in our country EVERY DAY. “We need to #manUp and take ownership of our health. To lead a meaningful life we need to stick around and not die before our time - be the leader, role model and father and make your life count,” Dr Green added.
Practical tips to be a healthy man:
Screening tests for cancer
Prostate screening tests from 40 years old or earlier if you have LUTS (lower urinary tract symptoms) due to enlarged prostate.
Testicular self-examination once a month. In order to feel abnormal growths you need to know what normal feels like.
Exercise at least 30 min a day - just MOVE and get your heart pumping. Sitting for long periods leads to obesity and puts you at risk. You don’t need a gym to exercise
Diet: see food as fuel for your daily tasks and make good choices by eating a balanced diet. Also controlling your weight assists in preventing diabetes and High blood pressure
SLEEP enough: between 7-9 hours if you can, it helps you function at your best and keeps your immune system strong
Stress: deal with stress by having a go-to-person and spending time with people who you trust but also build you up. If you are struggling - REACH OUT... your life MEANS SOMETHING!!
Western Cape Government Health
073 008 2842