WASHINGTON, June 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Leading men's health organizations and experts from around the world are coming together to bring awareness to the health and well-being of men and boys during International Men's Health Week. Celebrated each June, organizations, healthcare professionals, media, policy makers and individuals host activities and promote physical, social, and psychological health in men, boys, and their families during this week. This year men's health leaders will be meeting on Thursday, June 14 and Friday, June 15 for "Gender and Health through Life," a two-day conference in Copenhagen, Denmark to mark the Danish Presidency's EU agenda of gender, equality and healthy aging.
Dr. Svend Aage Madsen, President of the Men's Health Society, Denmark said, "Awareness periods like this help end the silence surrounding men's health and encourage men and boys to participate in dialogue and take action concerning their health."
Experts and organizations from Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Ireland, Netherlands, United Kingdom, United States, and elsewhere are working collaboratively this year to call attention to the impact of the global economic recession on the health and well-being of men and their families. This awareness period also calls into focus recent developments and efforts around men's health in countries like India, Thailand, and others.
"Women continue to live on average 5 years longer than men, there is no doubt that gender is an important indicator of health differences, International Men's Health Week is the perfect time to highlight these differences and take steps to improve the health of all males," stated Alan White, PhD, Professor of Men's Health, LEEDS Metropolitan University.
Dr. Ian Banks, President, European Men's Health Forum explained, "Many men die prematurely, and in higher numbers for nearly all causes of deaths. Male life expectancy can be much shorter in some countries, but recent examples of the gap slowly closing in some countries tend to indicate that contrary to popular belief, biological factors may only be but one factor influencing male relatively poorer health. It is morally repugnant that we are allowing men to die."
Recently, policy makers and researchers have been paying more attention to health disparities including race, sex, and ethnicity. However, men are still noticeably absent from these discussions despite being significantly harmed by disparities in preventive care, quality of life, and overall health outcomes. Ignoring these disparities is costly in terms of lost productivity, lives lost, and financial costs incurred by governments, employers, and families each year. Premature death and morbidity in men costs public and private entities billions annually. It also costs society as a whole in direct medical payments and lost productivity and decreased quality of life. As governments and the private sector struggle with increasing health burdens--including escalating health care costs--eliminating male health inequities emerges as an important source of savings.
Therefore, we call on the World Health Organization (WHO) to develop an international men's health strategy in collaboration with key men's health organizations, experts, and key thought leaders. This is critical because men's health impacts the health and well-being of women, children, families, and societies across the globe.
"It's important to recognize the role that women, partners, and families play in the health and well-being of the men in their lives," said Anne-Meike de Wiljes of the Netherlands.
"It is also critical to remember that men's health issues affect entire families, a healthy man can help lead to a healthy family, society, and community. We need to combat the view that men "already have everything". Yes, men do have everything including early mortality, heart disease, cancer, and many other health problems and challenges," shared Dr. John Macdonald, Director of The Men's Health Information & Resource Centre (MHIRC) at the University of Western Sydney.
International Men's Health Week also provides nations, policy makers, and leaders across the world an opportunity to work together to address the social, economic, and cultural contexts of men's lives across the lifespan. Adopting a social determinant of health framework and perspective would lead to an evidence-based approach to improve the health and well-being of men, boys, and their families. Addressing social determinants including issues around education, poverty, the environment, socioeconomic status, access to care and healthy food options are critical to improving the health and well-being of men, boys, and their families moving forward.
"International Men's Health Week is an ideal time to encourage men to seek preventive care, and encourage their loved ones to do the same," said Noel Richardson, PhD, Director of Men's Health Research and Training, Centre for Men's Health, Institute of Technology Carlow in Ireland.
"Individuals can encourage male friends, co-workers and families to make that annual appointment to see their healthcare provider for a check-up," said Peter Baker, Chief Executive of the Men's Health Forum (England and Wales).
"Men notice when their car doesn't perform properly, but don't listen when their body tells them it's time to see a doctor," stated Scott Williams, Vice President of Men's Health Network of the US. "International Men's Health Week is a call to action for all men and their families to take ownership of their health and well-being."
To learn more about International Men's Health Week, please visit:
For media inquiries by country please contact:
USA - Scott Williams - 202-997-8065
UK - Colin Penning - 020 7922 7908
Ireland - Noel Richardson - +353872860152.
Belgium - Ian Banks - 0044 7771 557 509
Denmark - Svend Aage Madsen - +45 26 21 28 51
Australia - David Thompson - +61 2 4570 1220
Netherlands - Anne-Meike de Wiljes - +01131648488839
To learn more about International Men's Health Week, please visit: www.internationalmenshealthweek.org.
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