Markos Kyprianou, the EU’s Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection, has added his all important signature, right, to the Forum’s Vienna Declaration on the health of men and boys.
He told the EMHF that the Commission shared its concerns. ‘One of my priorities is to identify and reduce existing health inequalities in Europe and bridging gender-related gaps is an important challenge, he said. 'The Community is legally required to ensure that equality between women and men is an objective in all policy areas.’
The Commission’s modified proposal for the Public Health Programme adopted in May was explicit that all objectives and actions should ‘contribute to promoting a better understanding and recognition of men’s and women’s respective needs and approaches to health.’
This month, Scotland’s health minister Andy Kerr, right, also signed up to the the declaration. This was one of several highlights in a successful national conference held by the Men’s Health Forum Scotland (MHFS) in Glasgow.
The timely conference came on the heels of the publication of figures showing that Scotland’s suicide rate is the highest in the UK with men particularly affected. According to the UK’s Office for National Statistics, from 1991 to 2004 the suicide rate among men was 50% higher in Scotland than other UK countries.
Among this month's other signatories to the Declaration were the Men's Health Forum Ireland and the Men's Project (Northern Ireland).
Thanks to everyone for continuing to sign. It’s not too late.