Organisation for Public Health Interventions and Development (OPHID) will Wednesday hold a Men’s Health Day in Matobo district as part of efforts to increase uptake of health services by men and to educate them on the availability and accessibility of HIV treatment.
OPHIS’s policy, advocacy and communications manager Loveness Mlambo-Chimombe, in a statement said the Mabonyeni Business Centre event is a social mobilisation strategy to increase uptake of health services by men and to educate them on the availability and accessibility of HIV treatment for everyone who is HIV positive.
“Through the “Treat All” initiative, men do not have to wait until they get sick to access HIV treatment services.
“Early diagnosis and treatment of HIV will enable them and their families to live healthy, productive lives,” said Mlambo-Chimombe.
She said the aim of the programme is to engage men as agents of change.
“Through dialogue and discussion sessions, OPHID and Ministrty of Health and Child Care (MOHCC) are encouraging men to use the knowledge and information they have acquired through social mobilization.
“Men should take a leading role to question, challenge and work towards changing the negative gender norms that affect their health, as well as the health of women and children,” she said.
OPHID in partnership with MOHCC and other partners were concerned about the low uptake of HIV testing, counselling and treatment services by men hence the Men’s Health Day.
Mlambo-Chimombe said services to be provided during the men’s wellness day include HIV testing, counselling and treatment, Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC), Diabetes Mellitus screening and education, Prostate cancer screening, Hypertension and Mental health.
“Other services include Impotence/Infertility, Family planning, dealing with substance abuse, general hygiene (including Infection control), Fitness and Nutrition and addressing obesity,” said Mlambo-Chimombe.
She said they would also be targeting adolescent boys and men.
“Getting tested is the only way of beginning a new life. Maintaining a negative status for those who are negative and getting treatment for those who are positive.
“The key message is early access to HIV treatment, if they test HIV positive – Get treatment before you get sick. Getting treatment early reduces chances of getting opportunistic infections, avoids costs of treating recurrent illnesses, and reduces chances of infecting sexual partner,” said Mlambo-Chimombe.
She said men are equal partners in their families’ health and need to be responsible for their own health as well as the health of their families.
“This calls for men to change attitude and develop a health seeking behaviour for themselves and their families,” said Mlambo-Chimombe.