KZN Health MEC urges men to speak openly about illnesses that afflict them
KZN Health MEC, Nomagugu Simelane, said the department is putting in place measures to allow men to talk more openly about the diseases that afflict them and to prevent premature and unnecessary deaths. Photo: File
The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health has ensured that approximately 80 health facilities have at least one nurse during the day and after hours to meet the unique health needs of men.
The province’s health MEC, Nomagugu Simelane, said this was aimed at enabling men to talk more openly about the illnesses that afflict them and to prevent premature and unnecessary deaths. This comes as the province observes Men’s Month throughout July.
We don’t want a man with a sexually transmitted infection or showing symptoms of prostate cancer to say he has a headache because he’s being treated by a nurse.
“The department responds to the health needs of all members of society, but in the course of what we are doing it has become clear that certain population groups, such as LGBTIQA+, need to be treated in a special way. Men also need our attention because their attitude towards their own health and the healthcare system is concerning,” she said.
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Simelane mentioned that the men would only show up when they were too sick, adding that it was unnatural for them to die early.
“It is such a problem in our society that we have even come to accept that in any family, the man is the one who must die first. Indeed, when men are sick, they do not come to our clinics or our hospitals.
They persevere until it is too late and by the time they go to a health facility, their illness has dragged on and it is too late for them to get help.
Simelane said they wanted men to realize they were taken seriously and to know it was okay to go to hospital when they were sick.
“It is also not uncommon for many couples to have a woman tested for a myriad of illnesses, such as Covid-19, HIV and diabetes and when she returns with a clean bill of health, the man will automatically think she is cleared.. Each person must test for themselves.
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She added that another worrying factor was that when they talked to men, especially older ones, they often heard them say that they could not go to the clinic because their neighbor’s daughter or wife was a nurse who would take care of them.
“It then becomes difficult to say what they are suffering from. They said that if there were more nurses, they could speak freely. This is why we launched this initiative which, in the long term, will allow all our establishments to have nurses. »