12 October 2021 (CKT)
A project to try and ascertain the state of men’s health in these islands, began in earnest in Rarotonga this month. The project which is a joint effort by Te Marae Ora (TMO) and the Rotary Club of Rarotonga, hopes to attract 200 men aged between 18 and 70 to attend 11 clinics around the island over the next 11 weeks. The inaugural session was last Wednesday at the Tupapa Primary Care Clinic (Outpatients).
The Secretary of Health – Bob Williams – says, “While we know that many of our men suffer from illnesses like hypertension, diabetes, respiratory illness and obesity, they don’t go and seek treatment or help. Often it’s because they are the breadwinner of the family, and they can’t afford to take time off to see a doctor; or they don’t feel comfortable discussing their problems with women medical professionals.”
Stephen Lyon, president of the Rotary Club of Rarotonga says “Rotary was involved in a similar project ten years ago which was deemed a success. What the Club hopes to achieve by supporting these clinics is to remove some of the impediments and planning to make the consultations as easy as possible for men to just show up. It will be great to see the Rotary Health bus utilised around the around the island and hopefully some men will be less self-conscious having an all-male health crew to talk to.”
“We want to see men who haven’t been to a doctor for two years or more, and we want them to be comfortable to come in” added Mr Williams.
Population screening for Rarotonga over 2020 shows that only 1778 men were screened, leaving 57% of the male population of men 18-74 in Rarotonga yet to see a medical professional. Many of these men yet to visit a clinician have a family history of ill health. Other men who have not wanted to approach a female clinician because of shyness will also offered an appointment via the Men’s Health Co-ordinator.
During their visits our health professionals will screen for eyesight problems, sugar, cholesterol, height and weight, given a BMI- (body mass index), questions will also be asked around alcohol and smoking consumption along with any family history of illness. This information will be used to update the health database to assess health needs in the future.
This Wednesday’s clinic will be at Tupapa Primary Care Centre. The Rotary Health Bus will serve as the consulting room for the clinics which will be held every Wednesday afternoon/evening for the next twelve weeks. The planned schedule can be found on www.health.gov.ck or the Te Marae Ora Facebook page.
For more information, please visit www.health.gov.ck or contact Jaewynn McKay; email@example.com +682 55486