There are still too many men shying away from critical consultations and medical tests, which could mean the difference between life and death, according to top officials at the Barbados Family Planning Association.
And, in this the month dedicated to men’s health, the association has continued executing its mandate to remove psychological barriers that deter men from seeking professional help for various cancers and reproductive issues that commonly affect them.
“In Barbados, we have equal access to healthcare. We don’t have any financial or physical barriers, but as you can see in men there is a significant psychosocial barrier meaning that the digital rectal exam seems to be very daunting for men and they are not very willing to come to the doctor,” said Dr Rashida Daisley, Clinical Director of Barbados Family Planning Association.
She was speaking to Barbados TODAY during the third annual conference on reproductive health at the UWI Cave Hill 3W’s Oval, which, this year focuses specifically on men’s health.
The issues addressed during Sunday’s well-attended programme ranged from the troubling threat of prostate cancer to issues affecting the country’s transgender community.
During his opening remarks, BFPA President, Anderson Langdon reaffirmed the association’s dedication to a society in which people have full access to the highest quality of sexual and reproductive healthcare, along with information and education services.
For men, he stressed this often meant exploring an area that is hardly discussed.
“The benefits of maintaining good sexual and reproductive health for men is hardly spoken of. We only speak of men’s sexual and reproductive health when there is an inhibition on men to perform sexually or when they’re close to death. This is just a fact,” said Langdon.
“The impact on a man of negative manifestations of sexual and reproductive issues in our society is equally as impactful as it is on our women… Men in Barbadian society are still seen as the main bread winners in their households and there is no doubt that the loss of a male is severely impactful on the economics of the household.”
Meanwhile, well-known Urologist, Jerry Emtage, moments after delivering a presentation about prostate cancer, revealed the costs related to the deadly disease is sometimes extremely high especially when detected late.
For this reason, he expressed hope that a recent breakthrough in prostate cancer testing and treatment, which is to be tested on the island shortly would improve the worrying situation.
“With this new liquid biopsy test that they are doing, all of what we discuss today runs the risk of being just moot and obsolete in the next couple of years. The diagnosis will not warrant invasion and treatment will not warrant invasion either, so that is where we are going to be,” said Emptage. (KS)