Maintaining good health among the Federation’s men was the focus of an outreach campaign conducted By the Ministry of Health, in conjunction with the Basic Needs Trust Fund, on Tuesday, April 13. The four-hour clinic, which began at 9:00 am, took place under a red and white tent at Bakers Corner in Basseterre. The targeted group included all bus and taxi drivers in the area, as well as any men in the surrounding neighborhood. A press release announcing the event noted that health statistics indicate non-communicable diseases that can result in illness and eventual death disproportionately affect men. The stated aim of the Ministry’s health campaign is to improve the health habits of the Federation’s male citizens By assisting them to incorporate regular check-ups into their lifestyles. Ms. Petronella Edwards, Coordinator — Non-Communicable Diseases for the Ministry of Health, said that she expected to reach at least 75 men during the outreach clinic. “This is one of the activities of a men’s health project that we launched in December,” she said. “We have monthly clinics at two health centers in St. Kitts, at St. Pauls and Cayon, that focus on men’s health. Additional to that, we are going out into the community to reach men, going into work places and various areas. “Today we are targeting bus drivers and men in general who are patrons of the bus drivers. We are trying to encourage them to participate in annual health screenings, because we know that men generally do not go to the physician. … We are reaching out to them to give them a start. We will advise them of the results and what they need to do if anything is abnormal, and then encourage them to go in to follow up.” The tests conducted during the outreach clinic included blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, as well as weight and height measurements. Ms. Edwards touted the overall results of the outreach clinics. “It has been very, very successful,” she said. “We have been at bus terminal, we have been at Circus Street and have seen close to 100 mean on those occasions.” Constable Herbert and Officer Bell of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force were in attendance at the outreach, and promoted its value. “Officers have to make sure that they are in good health so that they can be more equipped to deal with fighting crime. More equipped,” informed Herbert. Other visitors to the red and white tent were also concerned about their health. According to Jimmy Giraudel, he and his two friends were participating in the clinic because of a desire to be in good health, both mentally and physically. “Good health means a whole lot to anybody,” said William J. Morton. “I’m coming here today to do a check, which should be good for me. I encourage people to give serious consideration to their health, and doing things like exercising a little. Good health means being happier and maybe living longer.” Health statistics collected from around the globe indicate that men of African descent suffer disproportionately from maladies associated with health neglect. A 2003 study published in the Journal of Cultural Diversity found that African-Caribbean men, particularly Jamaican men, have the highest rate of prostate cancer in the world. They are also three times more likely to develop prostate cancer than white men, according to research performed in the United Kingdom in March of this year. In America, studies show that black men suffer far worse health than any other racial group for a number of reasons, including racial discrimination, a lack of affordable health services, poor health education, cultural barriers, poverty, employment that does not carry health insurance, and insufficient medical and social services that cater to them.