The activity will run for two days, June 16 and 17, and 100 appointments have already been scheduled.
The screening includes a free consultation and evaluation as well as a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test. It is targeting men between the ages of 40 and 69 years, who have never been screened for prostate cancer.
Beneficiary, Ram (only name given), told the Department of Public Information (DPI) that the exercise was a convenient and thoughtful one.
“I randomly turned on the radio this morning and I heard an advertisement about this promotion for Father’s Day, and it spoke about prostate health, and I decided to come in and try it out. The staff were very friendly. It is a good initiative. It’s very helpful,” he said.
MoM national health committee member, Dr Sawan Jagnarain, who is also a family and public health practitioner, said the exercise is part of a holistic approach to creating an ideal Guyanese man.
“Globally, you would find that men’s health isn’t being looked at very indepth because men tend to have this macho outlook, and are hesitant to visit health facilities. We want to let men know that silently they may be developing some health issue that they are not aware of, and we are encouraging them, from the MoM perspective, to go to a health facility, and seek help.
“This is not just something we do because we want to do it, but we see the value that men’s health is important and that niche is going to be awakened in our society,” Dr Jagnarain pointed out.
As MoM continues to implement programmes to tackle toxic masculinity, the stigma surrounding men’s health is specifically targeted through this outreach.
Prostate cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in Caribbean men. Screening is crucial in detecting cancer that may be at high risk of spreading and may help to lower the chance of death from prostate cancer in some men.
“Women would normally go and look for a checkup. They are always very inquisitive about what is wrong. We now have to encourage our men in society to do the same. In the public health system, one of the things that would encourage persons to come to a health facility is a promotion of issues that would require urgent attention, where you screen for these issues and try to prevent them. The more knowledge you give to the public, you find that they are more likely to come and seek help,”Dr Jagnarine added.
The MoM initiative is the brainchild of President, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali, and is aimed at tackling toxic masculinity while shaping a positive environment and safe space for men and promoting productivity, integrity and character-building.
Part of the agenda, Dr Jagnarain noted, is encouraging the health and well-being of men, mentally and physically. Thus, outreaches of this nature are well aligned with the aim of the initiative.
MoM has seen men countrywide answering the call for them to become part of the solution, and several innovative programmes have been implemented to advance its mandate of guiding men into avenues of productivity. (Department of Public Information)