EMHF president Dr Ian Banks reports on a busy summer.
Our Your Prostate project is going from strength to strength. The site, which enables men to ask questions online about their prostates and get an answer within 48 hours, is currently available in English, Spanish and German. Its beauty is its simple interface and the fact that you can be totally anonymous if you wish.
The evidence is that once men know about the site, they like it but we need to get the word out. We need the help of all EMHF stakeholders to do this - put it in your newsletters, add weblinks. We’re also interviewing for a project manager - we’ve some great candidates and hope to make an announcement soon. We’ll then be adding more langauges in due course. Meanwhile, have a look at the site yourprostate.eu and let me know what you think of it.
Needless male deaths
Looking ahead, the Forum will be teaming up with the Centre for Men's Health at Leeds Metropolitan University in England on 3 November 2011 for a symposium built around the as yet unpublished State of Men’s Health in Europe report commissioned by the European Union. The report was coordinated by Leeds Met professor and EMHF board member Alan White.
It’s an incredibly important report. It shows that every year twice as many men of working age (16-64) die as women with some 630,000 male and 300,000 female deaths across the EU27 countries in this age group.
The report exposes the myth of longer lives. We’ve seen great improvements in life expectancy because older people – if they make it to retirement age – are living longer. The great black hole is men of working age where we’ve seen very little improvement in the death rates in recent years. These men have been neglected for too long. We need a wide-ranging and fundamental change in policy. This is the group we need to be targeting.
We will shortly be publishing its own more detailed recommendations for men’s health based on the report’s findings.
Getting our hands dirty
The Forum will once again be prominent at the European Health Forum Gastein on 5th - 8th October 2011. This year’s innovative and thought-provoking meeting will be on will be on Thursday 6th October built around the motor maintenance metaphor and entitled ‘Grease – Get Your Hands Dirty'.
At Gastein, the Forum will also launch its Male Health Heroes initiative - a pan-European awards scheme designed to find those who are making a difference in men’s health Nominations will be invited from any individual working on European men’s health in any capacity.
The Forum also hope to be running a conference in Brussels during Men’s Health Week 2012.
I’ll be reporting on all these things in future letters and, of course, there will be full details on the website.