The South African National Integrated Men’s Health Strategy 2020-2025 is a framework for action to work towards the goal that will ensure that South African men and boys are supported to live a long and healthy life. This strategy aims to deliver a comprehensive and integrated package of care for South African men and boys.

It is for this reason that from 21 – 23 May 2024, the University’s Campus Health Clinic conducted a Men’s Health Awareness Campaign at the School of Law Parking. The purpose of the campaign was to further ensure that men and boys receive treatment, care, and support services for chronic conditions as needed, to build the evidence base for improving men’s health and promote healthy lifestyle to the University Community.

During the campaign, screening and testing for different conditions such as blood pressure and blood sugar, cholesterol, TB, STIs, Cancer, HIV, BMI were conducted by Campus Health Clinic staff and Centre for Biokinetics team. Dentists from Tshilidzini Dental Department also rendered their services. The total number of 650, 155 male students, 95 male staff members and 400 female students accessed these services. On the last day of the Campaign, 24 May 2024, the first Men’s Health Conference was held at the University Auditorium, promoting a healthy lifestyle. The conference aims to empower and support men and boys to improve their own and each other’s health and wellbeing under the theme: ‘Build your Tray the Healthy Way and be The Hero Again’. The event was attended by both male university staff and students and was supported by officials from the Department of Health.

In his welcome address, the Acting Head of Campus Health Services, Mr Edward Dongola (on the left photo) expressed that every man and boy child should be supported to live a healthy lifestyle. He encouraged men to seek advice when they have challenges and to consult at the nearest health facilities near them when they don’t feel well. “With this conference, we wanted to show that the health care facilities are not for females only, they are there for everyone,” he said. In his message of support, the University Registrar, Dr Joel Baloyi (on the right photo) said there is a need to remove the societal stereotype and norms of men suffering in silence. He expressed his support for this

Various stakeholders delivered their presentations, advising men on how to live a healthy lifestyle. These stakeholders include Pharmacists – Ms Rhandzu Ndleve, and Mr Johannes Tsati from Tshilidzini Hospital who spoke about drug-to-drug interaction; the Local General Practitioner, Dr Ernest Nangammbi who spoke about Prostate cancer; Prof Pascal Bessong spoke about the causes of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) while the Dietician from Tshilidzini Hospital, Mr Justice Mugeri spoke under the topic of the only capsule men need. More than 500 male staff and students attended this conference.

The Pharmacists from Tshilidzini Hospital Ms Glory Ndleve and Mr Johannes Tsita (on the left Photo), delivered a comprehensive presentation on Drug-to-Drug Interaction, covering what drug interaction is, effects of drugs on the liver and who and where to report adverse reaction symptoms (ADRs). During presentation Ms G Ndleve said: “Drug to drug interaction occurs when two or more drugs interact with each other in a way that affects their effectiveness, safety or both.She further said: Modern drugs are being replaced by herbal medicines especially for severe and chronic disease for their fewer side effects, better patient adherence and vast accessibility”. In Conclusion they said the following as an alert to the attendees: “Never assume that because herbs or complementary medicines are natural, they are safe. Some herbs may be inappropriate for people with certain medical conditions. Always tell healthcare workers about over-the-counter medications or any herbal medication you are using. Consult/ report immediately if you start to develop some reaction while you are using your medications, herbal, synthetic or both for your safety. Live responsibly for your health for you to have a long-life span”.Dr Ernest Nangammbi (on the right photo above) gave presentation on Prostate Cancer. In his presentation he delved deep into crucial topics like definition of prostate cancer, sign and symptoms (Waking up
frequently at night to urinate, sudden or urgent need to urinate, difficulty starting or stopping urination, weak or interrupted urine flow, unexplained weight loss and lower backache) and risks factors which include old age, race, family history and obesity. He further gave detailed information about Prostate Cancer that, “the second most common disease diagnosed in me, it increases with age; asymptomatic at early age, blacks have the most incidents and have the most aggressive cancer compared to whites. Nearly 1 in 5 men
will be diagnosed with the cancer and 5% of those will die of the disease”. He concluded his presentation emphasising the importance of annual prostate check-ups since early detection saves life, regular exercises to maintain body weight and healthy lifestyle.

In his presentation Professor and Director SAMRC-UNIVEN Research Unit, Pascal Bessong (on the left Photo) , addressed various aspects on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR). He also outlined Implications of AMR. He further outlined the Antimicrobial Stewardship (Approaches and procedures for judicious use of antimicrobials; and to mitigate AMR) that includes Commitment, Prevention, Detection, Optimising Use, and Surveillance.
Mr MJ Mugeri, Dietician from Tshilidzini Hospital (on the right photo) gave presentation under the topic: “The Only Capsule you want”. In his presentation he said that “Health plays an important role in a human being and need to be taken care of daily”. He indicated that health is determined by one’s daily lifestyle and that alone can also tell if a person will live longer or not.

In his word of acknowledgement, the SRC Minister of Health and Safety, Mr Tsireledzo Munzhedzi (on the left photo) thanked UNIVEN for organising this conference. He said this conference has empowered many male staff and students.
The Legal Officer, Mr Emmanuel Masindi (on the right photo) gave a vote of thanks.

Peer Educators (on the left photo) and Staff members and some of the stakeholders who were lined up on the
programme (on the right photo)

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