The first International Men’s Health Week will take place from June 9-15th 2003 representatives from six leading men’s health organisations around the world agreed at the 2nd World Congress on Men’s Health in Vienna in October.
The week will aim to increase awareness of male health issues on a global level and to encourage inter- and intra-national institutions to develop health policies and services that meet men’s specific needs. The need for an international initiative to promote men’s health is clear:
- Male life expectancy is unnecessarily low and too many men die too young from preventable causes. In many countries, notably sub-Saharan Africa and Russia, male life expectancy is actually falling.
- Male-specific diseases (especially prostate and testicular cancers) are rapidly increasing in incidence. There is growing evidence of a decline in male sperm counts.
- Men are particularly at risk of suicide yet male depression remains under-diagnosed and under-treated.
- Health services have been slow to respond to men’s health needs; little has been done to encourage and enable men to access services more quickly and effectively.
As well as the European Men’s Health Forum, the following organisations have agreed to collaborate to promote International Men’s Health Week:
International Society for Men’s Health
Men’s Health Forum (England and Wales)
Men’s Health Forum Scotland
Men’s Health Information and Resource Centre (Australia)
Men’s Health Network (USA)
Prof. Siegfried Meryn, President of the International Society for Men’s Health and President of the World Congress on Men’s Health, said: 'I am delighted that men’s health organisations in so many countries have decided to work together on International Men’s Health Week. Together, we will highlight the appalling state of male health throughout the world and promote effective solutions. Men’s health is a global problem that requires global solutions. I hope that other men’s health organisations in other countries will also take part in IMHW.’
The idea of an annual national Men's Health Week began in the USA through the advocacy efforts of the Men's Health Network (USA). It was passed by the U. Congress and was signed into law by President Clinton in 1994. The USA’s Week is now well-established and linked to a wide range of local and national initiatives. It is held each year during the week that ends with Fathers’ Day (in mid-June). In the last few years, Men’s Health Weeks have been launched in Australia, England and Wales, and Scotland. The Australian and Scottish Weeks have taken place in different months but, in 2003 for the first time, all the national Men’s Health Weeks will take place at the same time - 9-15th June.
During IMHW, there will be a range of local, national and international events. Further information will be announced in 2003. To register for more information email email@example.com