The nexus between masculinity and men’s health-seeking behaviour is a multifaceted global discourse which has been quite enlightening when viewed from varying perspectives. Remarkably, cultural and patriarchal norms continually impact the chauvinistic character of men with regards to their health.
Father’s Day is quickly approaching and now is the perfect time to encourage the men in your life to take care of themselves. The month of June is Men’s Health Month and all boys and men are urged to stay healthy by eating right, exercising and seeking regular medical checkups to prevent disease and injury so they may live long and healthy lives. Men’s health is not just a ‘man’s issue’, it’s a family issue. Men’s health can impact everyone around them: wives, mothers, daughters, and sisters, etc.
There is overwhelming evidence across the world suggesting that men are less likely than women to seek help from health professionals for problems as diverse as depression, substance abuse, physical disabilities and stressful life events. Previous research has revealed that the principal health related issue facing men is their reluctance to seek access to health services. Otherwise put, men have poor health seeking behavior.
In an attempt to unravel this hot topic, I was invited, in my capacity both as Co-founder and Executive Director at LEGACY LEADERSHIP AFRICA, and Chief Program Officer at Stowelink Inc, to talk about men’s health and offer advice on how men can embrace positive health seeking behavior. The interview, which was lined with several question around men’s health, lasted for about 30 minutes, an ample time for a rich discussion on this topic. Embracing positive health seeking behavior by men, or lack of it is one of the public health concerns today. Men, generally die earlier than their female counterparts and this is partly blamed on their reluctance to seek medical help when their health is at stake.
The questions during the interview were:
- What are the common diseases that are unique to men and what causes these diseases?
- It is said generally that men die before their female contemporaries, mainly attributed to men’s negligence of their health. Explain this, if it is true. Also, are there other factors we should watch out for?
- How bad do you think the situation is; those men do not go for testing as far as ailments are concerned, now and in the future?
- The issue of prostate health really bothers a lot of men, older men especially and has continued to cause worry in the society. Would you speak briefly on the same and as you do so, can men self-test for prostate cancer specifically, and other diseases?
- In our previous health discussions here, we all agreed on one thing; that what we eat is very important as far as health is concerned. Are men supposed to feed the same way as women? If not, how differently can they ingest to ensure they enjoy good health?
- In your opinion, what is the ultimate protection gear against the diseases that continue to trouble and steal men from the society?
Did you miss that interview? Don’t worry! Herein is the link to that interview. Please watch and listen to the discussion. Encourage all men to embrace a positive health seeking behavior.
Remember: We really can’t afford to sit back and see men’s health as being exclusively the domain of males. It has a real impact on everyone, so let’s all look forward to making a difference.