The first ever exciting, provocative and informative Men’s health Conference was held by the Health Promotion and Advocacy Unit within the Ministry of Health, Agriculture and Human Services. The conference was held on the 15th and 16th of June islands represented at the conference held on Grand Turk on the 15th were Grand Turk and South Caicos, on Providenciales, men from Providenciales and North Caicos.
Men from other islands were engaged but were unable to attend. The conference delivered a holistic experience which provided education and connections to community resources aimed at improving the overall health of men in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Men were met with services that were at their fingertips. This conference encouraged positive health habits among men and even women who were in attendance.
Men were able to access service by visiting the various booths. Screening conducted at the conference were blood pressure checks, cholesterol checks, blood sugar checks, HIV checks, Syphilis checks, BMI checks and depression screening checks. Men benefited from a nutritionist being on site to speak generally and one on one about healthy eating and demonstrations of how to prepare healthy nutritious drinks and sampling of a variety of drinks was a huge hit.
Other services offered at the conference were massages this was also a popular service along with the Red Light District were a very romantic scene was set up to encourage men to use condoms correctly. According to Mrs. Robinson Director of Health Promotion and Advocacy Unit even though the number of men anticipated was not reached the conference was a huge success and saw men engaging and showing a willingness to adapt healthier lifestyles. She further stated; “It was for some men a real defining moment where commitments were made.”
Dr. Connell keynote speaker from the University of the West Indies Cave Campus and Hypertension Specialist stated; “I would like to congratulate Turks and Caicos for hosting what appears to be the first Men’s Health Conference in this region. I did some research on Men’s Health Conferences and up to this point I have not seen one, Turks and Caicos you are doing a great work.”
There was one screening that was to be offered at the conference and due to unforeseen challenges was not offered was the PSA test for prostate cancer. But, men were referred to the Public Health laboratory to have the test done. Due to the test being a blood test and not a rectal examination men opted to have the screening done.
Engaging topics generated much discussion, topics presented were:-
“Most common Cancers in Men” - Dr. Yohamna Marante
“The Importance of the Physical Man Being Healthy to House the Spiritual Man” - Bishop Cox, Rock of Jesus Ministries
"High Blood Pressure, Diabetes & Early Morning Stiffness - Man Up, Stand Up & Know Your Numbers!"- Dr. Kenneth Connell, Key Note Speaker
“Men and Depression” - Dr. Patrick Prince
“Kidney Failure Who Cares” - Dr. Ravindra Kidney
“Man enough to Make the Right Choices”- Hon. Dr. Rufus Ewing
“Cancer and Kidney Failure”- Dr. Henry Blythe
For more information on Men’s Health contact the Health Promotion and Advocacy Unit on 3382772.