Māori men encouraged to be more proactive in maintaining their health

By Dean Nathan
Te Ihi Tito

Every three hours a kiwi man dies from a potentially preventable disease. Statistics tell us that the health of Māori males is especially grim. 

So this week the Ministry of Health is strongly promoting men's health week urging males to take a proactive approach to their own healthcare . 

Māori men are dying eight years earlier than their European counterparts from illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular and respiratory related diseases.

Te Ihi Tito says, “the problem with Māori males is that they don't see the doctor or wait until it’s too late.  They need to be more proactive if we want to maintain the number of elders on the marae.”

Men’s Heath week has bought with it the opportunity for men to have free pit stops at pharmacies across the nation.

Pharmacist, Iain Buchanan says, “men are particularly bad at going to the doctor even when they are sick and they're even worse at going and having regular check-ups to catch things before they get to an area of concern.

Hone Tana  of Te Rarawa, Ngati Hine and Te Waiariki says, “That's the big one aye the fat the salt and smoking aye.  I know myself that smoking is no good for you.”

Some advice circulated by health professionals this week is that if a man can't see his own feet then it’s time that he got active. Further advice has been that men need to take a more proactive role in caring for themselves.

Te Ihi Tito is a testament to this proactive attitude, “I might be 74 years of age but I still workout at the gym.  As the saying goes, "a lazy man will become sick while an active man remains healthy. "

Te Kāea reporter Dean Nathan will have more details on this story tonight at 5:30 and 7:00 pm with subtitles.