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Alexandra Mens clinic

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Phillemon Sikhosana

Alexandra men can now visit a men’s clinic at Riverpark clinic, following a launch of men’s health services at the clinic by the City of Johannesburg (COJ) in partnership with Anova Health Institute. Charlotte Modibedi Technical Advisor for Health 4 Men said the department of health in Johannesburg approached them for assistance in bringing men to clinics “We do a needs analysis and check where we should assist, this time around  we noted a low number of men visiting the clinic and COJ asked for assistance to bring men’s clinic in the provided facilities. In all the sub districts of Johannesburg we’re going to have at least 1 men’s clinic in all the facilities, Riverpark is the second we have, the first one is 8th avenue clinic. When men come to the facility they will go to a certain area where they will be assisted by a male professional nurse and counselor.” Said Modibedi.

The clinic which was re-opened early 2017, last year established substance abuse treatment center where those suffering from drugs could be assisted for free. And currently the health department in Jo’burg is busy turning River park clinic into a center of excellence for primary health care.

Government clinics are assessed in terms of Ideal clinic standards and river park clinic Is one of the few in the country that got platinum status (the highest a clinic could achieve).

The city of Johannesburg MMC for health and social development Dr Mpho Phalatse delivered the key note address, starting by highlighting the programs offered by the Riverpark clinic (READ know about River Park clinic article page).

“We have a challenge of men becoming a hard to read population A lot of research has been done in the HIV space which helps understand some diseases too. In the HIV space men have been categorized as the hard to read population which means you’ll never find men in the clinic as a result they fail to test for these diseases and take treatment” explained Dr Phalatse.

The other reasons why it’s hard for men to attend clinics is having female specialist attending them and that’s a problem for men but when it’s a male specialist men are comfortable taking off their pants and get examined reason “As a department we had to create custom made services for men, make them friendly and a comfortable space for men. Men’s forum that was created with the help of social development where men meet and talk about issues affecting them has led to men clinic being established, it’s for men and you should use it, let is serve you how you want. Also come back to us and give us tips on how to improve it and make it better for you.” Explained the MMC.

The MMC urged men to step up and test for HIV, Prostate cancer and other diseases as a male child need love, guidance and help from a male figure in order to curb men stopping domestic abuse against women.

Prostate cancer survivor Mr William Tshakaza from Dobsonville detailed how he was diagnosed in 2011 and he took his treatment(radiation) in 2012 at Charlotte Maxeke. Tshakaza advised men to test for prostate cancer to avoid being diagnosed as it also causes erectile dysfunction.

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