More health education for men can encourage them to go for health screenings, says expert

10 Jul 2023 09:56pm
Picture for illustrative purposes - FILE PIX
Picture for illustrative purposes - FILE PIX

SHAH ALAM - There should be more health education for men to encourage them to do health screening, says experts on health screening for non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

Consultant Public Health Specialist Professor Dr Hematram Yadav said this was because the numbers of men going for health screenings for NCD are less compared to women in the nation.

"There should be more active health education for men to encourage them to do health screenings.

"Women often visit hospitals for mammograms because it is an organised programme.

"In this case, men probably are not reluctant to get health screenings, done but they may be working and may not be able to get time off," he said to Sinar Daily.

Therefore, Hematram suggested that time off or special days for health screenings needed to be given for men to examine their health.

"There should be special days for screening programmes for men. Time off should be given for those working in the government sector and those working in private companies as well," he said.

Recent numbers gave shown that a total of 755,689 women voluntarily undergo NCD screening at health facilities, while only 533,772 men went for health screenings between the time period of July 2022 and June 2023.

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Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa said Selangor had the highest health screening rates while Penang had the lowest.

When asked on morbidity and mortality rate among two genders, Professor Sharifa Ezat from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia said it depends on the age. For example, Sharifah said females can be exposed to higher risk after menopause or when they are pregnant.

"Males are generally more healthy because they are physically strong so they are seen as less vulnerable compared to females.

"In this case, females have more chances of going to health centres, for example during pregnancy, they come for check-ups.

"In a way we catch the risk in females related to health reproductive diseases faster compared to males who only come to seek healthcare when they have symptoms," she said.

However, Sharifah streseed that different genders can be exposed to different diseasez, namely cardiovascular disease which occurs more in males as compared to women.

Commenting further, Sharifah said the government has taken the intiative for Malaysians to conduct early health screenings.

The government has introduced the National Health Screening Initiative (NHSI) for Malaysians to undergo health screenings at government facilities.

This initiative was implemented since July last year to aid the public to gain treatments relating to NCD, which had a high death rate among women more than men.