First men’s only health centre opens in Western Cape
Western Cape Government Health has officially opened a state-of-the-art men’s health centre on Monday, 30 November 2020, as the country marks the end of Movember and leading into commemorating World AIDS Day.
The facility, the first of its kind in the Cape Metro, aims to empower boys and men to lead healthy lives and will be a one-stop shop for wellness and chronic conditions screenings, HIV prevention interventions, treating sexually transmitted diseases, and offering medical male circumcision.
Dr Saadiq Kariem, Western Cape Government Health Chief of Operations, has encouraged men to put their health first, emphasising the importance of men’s health and its impact on society. “Today we are launching the Metro Men's Health Centre here at Karl Bremer Hospital's premises. I really want to appeal to all men to prioritise their health. This centre will often wellness screening, it will offer screening for chronic diseases such as HIV and TB, but also things like prostate cancer screening. I encourage all men to make use of this facility. It's a metro-wide facility. It is open to all men, as well as young men. You are all welcome to make use of this facility."
The centre will offer a bouquet of services, Northern Tygerberg health services director Juanita Arendse explains. All men are encouraged to access services at the centre. Boys who are aged 15–18 years old can also access the facility, but they will need a guardian to accompany them.
Juanita has welcomed families and men from around the city to make use of the men’s health centre based in Bellville. “This project was birthed in the Northern Tygerberg sub-structure, but we recognise the broader need and will be serving men from anywhere in the metro, that’s why we’ve named it the Metro Men’s Health Centre. We invite all men to visit the centre and to make use of the services offered. It is centrally located, based on the Karl Bremer Hospital premises and close to the local taxi and train station. Our hope is to scale up men’s health, expand services and to normalise men’s access to healthcare.”
Men who visit the facility can expect the following services, at no cost, to promote early diagnosis and treatment:
- Health education and promotion
- Wellness screening
- Chronic disease screening (to identify and reduce the risk of any chronic diseases, such as strokes and diabetes)
- Voluntary medical male circumcision and aftercare treatment
- HIV Counselling & Testing
- Condom education and distribution
- STI treatment and education
The space used for this centre was previously used as a cold chain storeroom but has been transformed into a men’s wellness centre, boasting rooms for counselling, screening, surgery and aftercare. It will be open from Monday to Friday, from 07:00 until 16:00. Men can easily access this service by using the mobile appointment line to book their appointment.
You can call or send a please call me to 079 530 2593, or use WhatsApp or your SMS service by sending the word “HI” between 08:0 and 15:30 from Monday to Friday. A healthcare worker will return your call to book your appointment.
“The appointment line service has been launched to protect our citizens and our staff as we continue the fight against the Coronavirus. It is important to prevent crowded spaces in all our facilities and booking your appointment means we can monitor the number of people entering our facilities,” says Juanita.
Facility manager, Elizabeth van Niekerk-Fortuin, a nurse who hails from Elsies River, says her team is privileged and excited about the new venture. “The Metro Men’s Health Centre will provide a comprehensive health service to men. The men in our societies have an important role to play and we want to ensure that their health is prioritised. Men often avoid health check-ups or clinics, and they may perceive them as women and child friendly. But we are here to provide a much-needed service and to give them peace of mind, so that they can perform their daily roles in good health.”
The journey to establish this men’s health centre commenced in June 2017, as the brainchild of the Northern Tygerberg Sub-Structure (NTSS) management. This was supported by the Karl Bremer Hospital Management team as well as the Departmental Infrastructure team, since they saw the benefit of scaling men’s health.
Parents of boys and men are encouraged to use the new facility to better manage their health.