Mena’s Health Week targets Maori Men’s Health, 14-20 June 2010

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A new campaign set to launch on the 14th June 2010 for Mens Health Week is placing a heavy emphasis on the health of Maori men. Mens Health Week 2010 aims to highlight the area of mens health with a particular focus on preventative health for Maori men, including physical and mental well-being.

Dr Rhys Jones, committee member of Mana Tane Ora o Aotearoa, is hopeful that support of Mens Health Week will increase general awareness of Maori mens health: We see Mens Health Week as a great vehicle for promoting the health of Maori men, which is a lot worse than that of non-Maori. For all types of organisations in the health sector we need to think about what we are doing for mens health, says Dr Jones.

Statistics reveal that Maori men have the lowest life expectancy of any of the major population groups in New Zealand, with twice the rate of Maori men dying of preventable illness than non-Maori men. Maori men are also twice as likely to die prematurely as non-Maori men, with heart disease, cancer and diabetes being the main causes.

It is no secret that smoking and diet are also significant contributing factors to the status of Maori mens health. Maori and Pacific men are twice as likely to be obese as non-Maori and 1.5 times as likely to be current smokers than men in the total population.

Brendon Pongia, one of the Mens Health Week ambassadors, is involved in the campaign because he wants to see Maori mens health being addressed and supported.

Being Maori and being an athlete for the last twenty years, I realise health is a big issue for Maori men in New Zealand. I see this campaign as an opportunity for me to hopefully inspire other Maori men to take control of their health. The harden up and deal with it, dont go to the doctors attitude is wrong I think we should go for a checkup twice a year, says Brendon.

Mens Health Week 2010 is a campaign designed to coincide with International Mens Health Week, 14th 20th June.

Mens Health Week 2010 is supported by the Mens Health Trust New Zealand, Mana Tane Ora o Aotearoa (National Maori Mens Health Coalition), Carters, Registered Master Builders and Caltex.

More information about the key events of Mens Health Week 2010 can be found on the website: www.menshealthweek.co.nz.

Many thanks to Vicki Hamilton for this choice panui. Come on Tane ma, let’s get serious with our health ey!!

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