Mens health in numbersihtacontrol
Spring, an- tEarrach, has arrived, to the Celts the Spring Equinox was a time for self-reflection and rebirth, the Celtic spring was a time of new balance in nature after the long Irish winter. It was the season when seeds were sewn and new life hatched. May spring 2021 provide much needed renewed hope, may it nourish our resolve and ardour to be healthy and to stay healthy.
We all appreciate that the unexpected and unwelcome arrival of COVID-19 last year raised our communal interest in maintaining and caretaking our health. Building up our immune systems, daily intake of old favourites primarily Vitamin D & C were back on the agenda to endeavour to keep the virus away. It was very pleasing to see both consumers and policy makers acknowledge and provide the much overdue regard and respect befitting the natural health product manufacturers, suppliers and retailers. Our specific industry sector rightfully held their valuable position in assisting the general public to safeguard their health during very frightening and challenging times. BRAVO to everyone concerned.
Furthermore it would be remiss not to also acknowledge the years of tireless research and development, hefty investment in innovation, GDP and GMP by our sector to ensure that in addition to servicing the general health maintenance market, consumers can rely on our industry’s focused efforts to also service specific sectoral needs, one example being men’s health needs.
Readers may be interested to learn that Ireland was the first country in the world to adopt a National Men’s Health Policy, (NMHP 2009) followed-up by the National Men’s Health Action Plan (NMHAP 2016) both representing significant steps by our government to enshrine men’s health at a national health policy level.
Moreover, following the interest in this subject, the Men’s Health Forum in Ireland (MHFI) recently launched two new publications titled ‘Men’s Health in Numbers’. MHFI works on an all-Ireland basis to enhance the health and well-being of men and boys through research, awareness raising, training, networking and practical demonstration projects. The two publications offer interesting reading and cover all topics relating to the facts and figures on men’s health on the island of Ireland. For example, it tells us that the life expectancy of men living in Ireland is on the increase, rising by almost 10% between 1997 to 2018 to 80.5 years, however this statistic varies according to socio-economic circumstances.
The comprehensive data describes changes in significant markers of Irish men’s health between 2004 and 2019. A welcome change, male smoking is declining, however not unexpectedly obesity is increasing and the common trend of the three main causes of death, namely invasive cancers, diseases of the circulatory system and diseases of the respiratory system, sorry to report,no significent changes here as these exposures continue to prevail. Mental health issues are also a developing national concern especially among males.
Not relying exclusively on our governmental policy makers, it is assuring to see more local initiatives gaining strength. As established at home and abroad, Mens’s Sheds have provided much needed support, resources and information relating to male health issues. The Irish Men’s Sheds Association (IMSA) oversees the running of our nationwide MS’s with a primary objective to enhance the wellbeing of men in our communities. Indeed the IMSA can be applauded for its resources signposting on specific men’s health issues through their MaleHealth.ie website.
Recognising that daily exposures to ever changing media coverage relating to health issues can lead to confusion, their resource “Spanner in the Works” identifies and highlights easily understandable health messages beneficial to prompting health and wellness to foster living longer and happy lives.
As a responsible stakeholder in the health sector, we can be proud that our natural health product manufacturers and distributors strive to supply to the market safe and effective products while working within the framework of food law which at times is disproportionately restrictive.
Our retailers provide informative and knowledge based gold star service to their customers on
general health maintenance as well as specific sectoral needs, so now that spring is upon us let’s look forward to assisting our citizens, male and female with their ardour to be healthy and to stay healthy.