Topic: Health

Men's Health Week throws down a challenge to Māori

By Numia Ponika-Rangi

“Don't ignore it, don't be stubborn," this is the vital message from health advocates to all men who are affected by any illness.

All forms of illnesses can affect males, heart problems, cancers, diabetes and more.

“We just go through life, we work hard we play hard and then we get to our 40s and 50s and a bit older, and the wheels start getting a bit shaky, a bit wobbly and they start falling off,” Dr Rhys Jones says.

Health worker Gary Brown adds, “That’s one of the initial conversations I have in my role working with young parents, to investigate, to enquire and to discuss health issues”.

As part of Men's Health Week, some chemists will be providing free "on the spot" health checks for men.  However, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink.

“For some men, there are barriers to going to the doctor, some men don't like to talk to other men about their problems or ailments, but I encourage men to speak up, talk to your families and friends about your health concerns,” Dr Jones said.

Gary Brown puts it down to being, “Lazy perhaps, some of them are, but unemployment, may be uneducated, unaware of the many services that they can access, in order to help improve men's health in general.”

Although this week is focused on men's health, the role of women in caring for men cannot be overlooked.

“That's the thing our girls look after us more than we look after ourselves, our partners, our sisters, our mothers, they look after us better.”

Men be aware, the challenge has been laid, rise to the challenge.