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Male miners urged to value their health

LINDIWE MOZOLA
Miners
Serowe: The mining industry, which is male dominated, have been identified as the right place to encourage men to seek medical help before it is too late.

Orapa Letlhakane Damtshaa Mines (OLDM) chief medical officer, Dr Hans van Zyl said this during the 5th commemoration of international Men’s Day held at Serowe Sports Complex on Friday.

Van Zyl said that health and good values need to come before wealth, something that is rare with men in general who will rather concentrate on being rich and neglect their health.

He added that as it stands, the mining industry alone is a risky business in both human life and human safety terms as it is prone to accidents.

He said that they are also trying by all means to encourage men to prioritise their health through the health workshop they hold time and again where miners do voluntarily test on various diseases including HIV/ AIDS.

“This is some of the efforts we partake in order to encourage the miners to know their health status however, we do not force anyone to do the tests but hope that they do take part in knowing their health status,” he said.

The guest speaker, Minister of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs Edwin Batshu, shared similar sentiments with van Zyl that men‘s reluctance to seek medical attention continues to claim their lives in large numbers when compared to their female conterparts.

Batshu said: “According to the country’s funeral registry by my ministry, in five years out of 335,432 departed persons 151,671 were women while male deceased persons were 183, 752.

“This is however attributed to lack of health seeking behaviour amongst men. This is, therefore opportune for me to urge all men as we

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celebrate them today to introspect and change their old behaviour in order to save more lives”.

He said that the objective of celebrating the international Men’s Day include among others; focusing on men and boys’ health, improving gender relations, promoting gender and positive male role models.

Batshu added that it also creates a platform for addressing issues such as parenting, equal sharing of family responsibilities and healthy life choices for men.

He further said that the theme of this year, ‘Celebrating Men and Boys in all their diversity’ is a call to action for individuals, institutions and organisations to innovate the manner in which they design and deliver support and resources, which speaks to the unique needs and issues of men and boys.

Batshu also revealed that men and boys are at the forefront of criminal activities, which involves women and children abuse, drug abuse, stealing and many others.

He said as this day is celebrated men and boys should take a mirror and see where they fall so as to correct their ways.

United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS representative, Tjothi Kotilakm shared similar sentiments as Batshu, noting that men exercise poor health seeking behaviour, more especially with the AIDS related deaths. He said men have the tendency to undertake HIV tests late, which automatically initiate late treatment leading to death.

 She said as such, there is a need of transition and peer education is paramount since sometimes is better when males are taught by their peers who are more likely to influence them positively for positive results.



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