Four guest speakers, including two local doctors, were a highlight at a recent men’s health wānanga. Men often delay in seeking medical attention for their ailments, adopting a “she’ll be right” attitude, until their symptoms become too severe to ignore. In recognition of this Arowhenua Whānau Services scheduled a men’s health wānanga aimed at males aged between 45 and 70 to raise men’s health awareness. The timing of the night was scheduled to coincide with international men’s health week.

Kathy Patrick, CNS Cardiology spoke about the importance of recognising signs and symptoms of chest pain/discomfort and during her 30-minute presentation she provided information concerning the effects of high cholesterol on arteries. Kathy’s key message focused on the importance of treating all chest pain as “heart pain” until it is proven otherwise.

Alan Hendry AWS, discussed prostate health and engaged well with the audience. He provided several opportunities for the audience to interact and his presentation was very informative.

Pip Harrison, spoke to the audience about ear health and the importance of not putting objects in the ears. Wax is a natural product of the ear and she advised that ear health provided a service to remove ear wax should it become a problem.

Heather Talbot spoke about ear health and the importance of protecting your hearing in work and leisure environments. Her topic included the cost of hearing aids, and information on criteria that qualified for hearing aid subsidy. Heather explained her involvement with fire alarms for the deaf and hard-of-hearing and encouraged questions from the audience. She was an interactive and engaging speaker.

Sally Feely from AWS discussed depression and anxiety, and engaged audience participation in relaxation strategies for anxiety. She presented her topic well and welcomed questions at the end of her presentation.

A beautiful hot meal was provided halfway through the evening. It was lovingly prepared by Rita Heke and Koriana Waller kindly volunteered her services in the kitchen.

The men’s wānanga attracted over 50 participants and the target group was well represented. Positive feedback was received,with 15 participants requesting a professional development certificate.

Whānau at the men’s hui.

Whānau at the men’s hui.