Cancer Focus Man Van pulls up in Armagh
14/03/2014Cancer Focus Northern Ireland’s Man Van has been visiting the Southern Trust to bring life-saving messages and health checks to men in and around Armagh.
The Cancer Focus Man Van is a mobile unit which delivers one-to-one health awareness sessions and health checks to men at various venues across counties Down and Armagh.
Sandra Gordon, Cancer Focus ManAlive coordinator, said, “Traditionally men are reluctant to talk about health issues or seek professional help. As a result, if cancer is diagnosed it may be at a later and perhaps more advanced stage. Increasing awareness of the signs and symptoms of various cancers and offering advice on how to adopt a healthier lifestyle will help empower men to take control of their own health, lower their risk of cancer and encourage earlier detection.
“By offering health promotion services onboard a mobile unit that can travel to a community’s doorstep, we are able to reach out to even more men in the Southern Trust area – an area where research has shown significant inequalities between male and female life expectancy.”
Staffed by a Cancer Focus Health Promotion Nurse and Senior Cancer Prevention staff, men have been able to access free health checks including blood pressure, blood glucose and body composition measurements, and receive weight management advice and information on smoking cessation. Advice on early detection, on-the-spot cancer prevention information and referral and sign posting opportunities to reduce men’s risk of cancer and to improve their overall health will also be available.
Kevin Murray found it useful to attend and said: “I got my weight measured and I am going to continue to stay healthy with my swimming. I tried on the ‘beer goggles’ and learnt about the health impact of drinking alcohol.”
Aaron Donnelly adds: “The Cancer Focus health promotion nurse explained why it is good to go to the doctor, and that the doctor might look in my ears or my mouth. I know about eating healthy food and not having too many sweets and chocolates.”
Jimmy Green also attended the Man Van during its visit to Armagh and said: “I learned a lot of useful information on my health.”
The Cancer Focus Man Van is part of the ManAlive project funded by the Big Lottery Fund Reaching Communities Programme. To find out more information about the Cancer Focus Man Van, or if you are a business or community group interested in bringing the service to your area, contact Sandra Gordon, ManAlive Project Co-ordinator, email: email@example.com or telephone 028 9066 3281 or visit www.manalive.co
Notes to Editor
It’s a man’s world - or is it? Southern Men: A study of the life expectancy of men living in the Southern area of Northern Ireland. PHA May 2010.
In Northern Ireland:
- Men with a learning disability die 13 years earlier than men in general
- Women with a learning disability die 20 years earlier than women without a learning disability
- Men die about five years younger than women
- Men have higher death rates than women for all the leading causes of death
- Poor lifestyles in men are responsible for a high proportion of chronic diseases
- Men delay going to see their GP or health care worker. This can lead to diseases being detected at a more advanced stage, leaving less effective treatment options and poorer outcomes.
(Source: Men’s Health in Northern Ireland: Tackling the root causes of men’s (ill) health, March 2011. Man Matters Policy Briefing Paper No 1)
Eileen Canavan, Community Access Officer at the Southern Health and Social Care Trust; Aaron Donnelly; Kieran Wadforth, Day Opportunities Worker, Southern Trust; Marie Loughran, Health Facilitator, Southern Trust; Paul McClatchey; Sandra Gordon, Cancer Focus ManAlive coordinator; (kneeling) Martin McClatchey, Kevin Murray and Jimmy Greene