Boss up and check your prostate, Tufton warns men
MILE GULLY, Manchester:
With prostate cancer, the leading cause of death among Jamaican men, Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Christopher Tufton believes males ought to abolish the perceptions they have of prostate exams, which continue to prevent them from making the best health decisions.
“What we have found is that our cultural tendencies and behaviour, in our Jamaican context, which have evolved over time, is that as men, we are expected to be tough and strong. Sometimes we assume that because we are supposed to provide overall leadership and protection, then we mustn’t have any vulnerabilities and we must not show any weakness.”
Speaking at the Mile Gully Health Centre where a Men’s Clinic was hosted on Wednesday, Tufton underscored the importance of taking a proactive approach, which can possibly forego a reactive approach.
“When we look at the sick profile of our men, a lot of times if we took the time to go to the health centre or to the doctor and have them examine us when we feel strong, we would have been able to see signs of sickness and be able to correct it before it is too late.”
He added: “You are a man when you man up and go and get your prostate exam. You are not a wimp, you are not a coward, you are a man. You are saying if I have a responsibility for my family, for myself in my community, I must make the responsible decision to get my prostate checked. Nothing is wrong with getting your prostate checked.”
In addition to the prostate examination, the men’s clinic afforded male residents from community and adjoining areas the opportunity to have their HIV, blood sugar and blood pressure checks, dental services and COVID vaccination done.
Public Health Nurse in charge of facility, Arlene Ellis-Bennett, said these special clinics are hosted at least twice per year, with similar arrangements made for the women to have their Pap smear tests and general exams are done to assess and prevent non-communicable diseases.