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Health aid for men

Amidst a background of public debate over the introduction of user fees to combat rising health care costs, one private institution is doing its part to ease the strain at the community level.

Imaging and Ultrasound Inc. brought the spotlight on health issues specifically related to men, by dedicating its annual financial donation to the Men’s Health Group at the Brandford Taitt Polyclinic. The initiative which is in its fourth year, specifically seeks to give assistance to cancer related organizations and raise awareness on the importance of early diagnosis.

During the presentation, radiographer Sheila Legall reinforced the point that globally, prostate cancer is second only to heart disease when examining fatality rates of men and the pattern of incidence reveals a continuously younger demographic.

“The importance of these community groups cannot be overstated and it is at this level that you see real change. In the past we have focused primarily on breast cancer with donations made to the Barbados Cancer Society, and other cancer support organizations. However there are debilitating diseases that affect men specifically but do not get the attention they deserve”.

She added that although it is well known that early detection is always the best option, cultural norms can sometimes hinder proactive behaviour.

“There are several simple diagnostic tests that can be done to determine if a prostate is enlarged such as (KUB) ultrasounds and Digital Rectal Exams (DRE), however because of prevailing homophobic views in the Caribbean, many still believe that these tests cast some measure of doubt on their sexuality”.

Medical Officer of Health at the polyclinic Dr. Leslie Rollock was also on hand to welcome the initiative and lauded both groups for their continued support.

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