International Men's Health Week last month was a great success across Europe with a dozen countries or more participating.
'I think this year's theme really struck a chord,' said EMHF director Erick Savoye. 'Many participants focused on access to services which is, of course, the sharp end of men's health. If services are poor, all the health promotion work in the world will have no significant impact.'
For example, a record number of runners took part in the annual 10K run organised by the Men's Health Forum Scotland (MHFS). Among the 3,1000 participants was former Rangers footballer Christian Dailly. Mark Ward of the MHFS was delighted to see men drawn from across the country. 'We are determined to help raise awareness about the need for men throughout Scotland to consider the importance of looking after their mental and physical health,' he said.
The trans-European nature was highlighted by a the presence of a travelling clinic providing information and brief health checks at the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller heritage event in the centre of Bradford in north east England, a city these communities have been visiting and settling in for centuries.
Chris Bradley, right, the men's health clinical lead for the Bradford & Airedale Community Health Service who staffed the clinic said: 'We are told so often that men have no interest in health, but once again we proved that to be far from the truth. We had queues at our stand all day and didn't stop until after the event officially closed. We often offer what we call health MOTs but on this occasion we gave briefer checks because of time constraints.
'I personally sent one man straight to his GP because he reported symptoms he had been experiencing for over a week, doing the macho thing and waiting for them to resolve spontaneously. He had a racing pulse, high BP and felt hot.
'That's one advantage of being out on the street, men like this seem to need permission to bother the doctor, I told him to go straight there and insist on being seen before he left. I sent another man because his BP was so dangerously high.'