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MOH launches male friendly clinics

by Sunday Express
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Mr Thabiso Lekhotsa, Focal Person for Men friendly health services, EGPAF

Mimi Machakaire

THE Ministry of Health recently launched male-friendly clinics in Maseru and Berea aimed at providing men with the full range of health.

The launch ceremony, which was held at the Ministry of Health auditorium in Maseru, was attended by key personnel from the health ministry and the Maseru District Medical Health Team.

Speaking at the event, Non-Communicable Disease Officer and Cancer advocate, Sejojo Phaaroe said the initiative was meant to address the poor health outcomes that currently existed among Basotho men.

Mr Phaaroe said most men dreaded going to clinics and yet they were dying due to long term illnesses.

“Most men do not go to clinics and therefore one of the main missions of these clinics is to prevent long term illness caused by HIV,” Mr Phaaroe said.

Speaking at the same event, Disease Control Department psychologist, Moelo Sehlabaka-Ramahlele also highlighted that men often succumbed to lung cancer and other illnesses brought on by smoking.

According to UNAIDS HIV prevalence is highest among women at ages 35-39 at 45.5 percent and among men at ages 40-44 at 43.5 percent.

On average, nationally, about 70 percent of women and only 50 percent of men know their HIV status. Significant differences also exist in antiretroviral treatment coverage among women and men.

More women (42 percent) seek treatment than men (35 percent).

According to the mission statement of the men’s clinics, the clinics are aimed at addressing health challenges brought on by the fact that men are more likely to present late to health facilities, putting themselves at higher risk of death.

It was also felt that most health facilities in the country are not friendly towards men but are more welcoming to women and younger children.

In addition, men might not have time during normal working hours to visit health facilities. Waiting times at health facilities also tend to be long.

Health Educator in the Ministry of Health, Baroane Daniel Pheneth said that the health workers at the clinics were specially trained to provide male friendly services.

The services on offer will include screening and treatment for male type cancers, screening and treatment sexual transmitted diseases and TB and HIV, treatment of mental health problems and other non- communicable diseases.

The facilities will provide extended hours of service to cater for working men as well as provide services targeted at men in same-sex relationships, who continue to be a highly vulnerable population in the country.

The clinics will be opened with support from PEPFAR through the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatrics AIDS Foundation (EGPAF).

 

 

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