BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - WHILE St. Kitts and Nevis joined the rest of the world in recognising yesterday (Nov. 19) as International Men’s Day, Minister of Gender Affairs Eugene Hamilton used the opportunity to urge all males to get checked for health-related issues.
Concerns have been raised in recent times that males the world over, including St. Kitts and Nevis, express their “macho behaviour” and do not like to get screened for ailments leading to high incidences of Non-Communicable Diseases.
In his address to recognise the day, Minister Hamilton pointed out that research has shown that heart disease, diabetes, lung cancer, prostate cancer, hypertension, kidney stones, stroke and depression are some of the leading ailments affecting men, who take a long time before being diagnosed and receiving treatment.
On the flip side, he also revealed that boys are falling ill because of the lack of vaccination resulting in ailment related to oral hygiene.
“The belief that men are less likely than women to visit the doctor regularly and take action to better their health is a fairly common one. I am therefore again pleading to all men and boys to consider the way in which they are currently treating their mind and body and to make a serious effort to change the ways that pose a threat to their lives,” said Minister Hamilton.
A major cause of some of the severe ailments among men in St. Kitts and Nevis, the Minister highlighted, are “the frequent alcohol consumption, smoking, unhealthy eating, inactive lifestyle along with irregular doctor visits”, which he emphasised must stop if a serious change is to be made.
“Fortunately for us, we have an array of remedies available including fresh local products and fitness services that are on the rise. Services like Crossfit organised by Mr. Delwayne Delaney, Get Fit Quick by Mr. Adolphus Jones and Soca Fitness by Mr. Yanos Bagnall are all fitness services formed by young men who are determined to make our society live an active and healthy lifestyle. I am also encouraging men and boys to engage in other active ways that reduce stress, including talking to someone if you become overwhelmed by life’s troubles,” the Minister added.
At the level of the Ministry of Social Development, the Government is providing food vouchers to those people who cannot adequately support themselves and their families.
In addition to that, the Ministry provides medical support up to $13, 000 to those who are ill.
“Anyone can also visit the Counselling Unit to seek professional clinical advice from our qualified counselors. All of these options show that help is readily available, but us men and boys must truly understand the severity of the issue and be willing to act right now,” added Hamilton.
He also called on women and girls to encourage men and boys to take action regarding their health.