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Getting physical at Men’s Health Fair

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Health fair: men took advantage of free health screenings organised by the Bermuda Cancer and Health Centre. Haley Douglas gets his blood pressure checked by Atlantic Care Giving Nurses Tanasha Holder, left, and Mary Kilau (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Scores of men took advantage of the free health screenings at yesterday’s Men’s Health Fair.

The event, hosted by Bermuda Cancer and Health Centre and the Department of Health, offered kidney function, lung function, blood pressure and blood glucose tests, along with information stalls and brief consultations with nutritionists and physicians.

“I think it’s good,” Vernon C. Trott, of Hamilton Parish, told The Royal Gazette. “I’ve done everything.

“I think more people should take advantage of it because there’s a lot of men who don’t have health insurance and don’t go to the doctors.”

Mr Trott also attended last year and said some of the information provided helped him “change a lot of things I was doing”.

Junior Ming, of St George’s, also thought the health fair was a “great thing”.

“Sometimes you find out something that you didn’t know of,” said the 86-year-old, who has been working at the airport for the past 16 years. Although Mr Ming goes for a yearly physical, he still participated and made the most of the screenings.

“I thought you never know. I did all of them.”

The Department of Health offered free blood glucose and blood pressure screenings, along with nutritional and dental health advice and information.

Other helping agencies offering tests and information included the Bermuda Diabetes Association, Age Concern, Open Airways and the Bermuda Heart Foundation. Jeanne Atherden, the Minister of Health and Seniors, said the fair tied in with the health department, paying special attention to men’s and boys’ health this year.

“Men face different health and wellbeing concerns than women,” she said.

“Here in Bermuda, compared to women, men show higher rates of death from cancer, strokes, renal failure and external causes like assaults and accidents on our roads.

“I commend Bermuda Cancer and Health Centre’s efforts to enhance men’s access to health information and diagnostic testing and, if necessary, radiation treatment here on the island in 2017.”

The centre’s executive director, Tara Curtis, also thanked the agencies, the department of health and the volunteers for their assistance, saying: “This is a great opportunity supported by all of you to provide access to the men of our community who may not have health insurance or may not have the opportunity to get in to see their doctor.”

And Chris Fosker, the medical director of Bermuda’s first radiation therapy facility and a clinical oncologist, reiterated the need for men to talk about health problems “because early diagnosis for anything but particularly cancer can make a difference between an easy treatment and doable treatment, and the difference between cure and not being able to cure”.

Standing tall: Paul Cano-Rowland takes part in a screening by the Department of Health’s Sharon Symonds to test his height, weight, body mass, fat and blood pressure
Alfred Roberts receives nutrition tips from Cymone Hollis, left, and Mellonie Furbert from Nutrition Services (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
Good to get checked: left, Junior Ming receives help from Bermuda College nursing student Raenette Butterfield with paperwork (Photograph by Akil Simmons)