ST. GEORGE’S, GRENADA, THURSDAY, JUNE 28, 2012 – “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.’’
The words of former national football player and local football coach, Dexter George. He was speaking at 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 on mainland Grenada by the Ministry of Health.
During a clinical screening session on Tuesday, 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.
However, 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, programs and services and the benefits to be derived from their utilization.
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. He 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 men to take charge of their health and wellbeing, 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.’’
The Primary Healthcare Director told the gathering 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 wellbeing we are here today and we will continue to support you,’’ Dr. Martin said.
The participants also commended the Health Ministry for its initiative. They declared the activity as 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.