Mafraq Hospital recently held a men’s health awareness campaign for governmental authority employees. Mafraq Hospital shows its commitment to the region by regularly running community outreach programmes and this campaign was brought directly to the relevant population of men who are over 45 years old and focused on male health problems.
Led by Dr. Mohsen El Mekresh, Chief of Urology and Chair of Surgery at Mafraq Hospital, the campaign began with a lecture on prostate diseases, erectile dysfunction and andropause. The educational talk was followed with free clinical examinations for employees that included vital signs, uroflow and ultrasound, as well as blood screening for prostate-specific antigen (PSA), a diagnostic marker of prostate cancer. Nearly seventy men attended and all received a free clinical examination. Approximately twenty men require clinical follow-up and depending on pending PSA test results, more may require treatment. The prevalence of prostate cancer is generally lower in the UAE than western countries, however, it is still an important health concern with approximately 4.5/100,000 men being affected. Many men avoid screening, perhaps believing it to be a weakness, which is why education on the importance of regular screening is needed.
The prostate gland is a small walnut-sized structure that wraps the urethra in men. Conditions related to the prostate include uncomfortable benign diseases such as infection and enlargement, but also life-threatening diseases such as cancer. Prostate cancer is very common, according to Dr. Mohsen El Mekresh, “Approximately one in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime and it is recommended that all men above 45 years of age have their prostate checked by digital rectal examination and a PSA test.”
Erectile dysfunction or impotence is very common, with some studies suggesting a prevalence of 50% in men over 40 years of age. Dr. Mohsen El Mekresh states that the clinical importance of impotence is that, “It can be the first sign of cardiovascular disease or other serious conditions. There have been significant improvements in the treatment of impotence, including a new generation of oral medications.”
The third health issue covered by the campaign was andropause, a commonly overlooked condition caused by a reduction in androgen, or male sex hormone levels. The equivalent of menopause can occur in men and causes hot flashes, sweats, fatigue, obesity, weakness, aches, mood swings, irritability and depression. Diagnosis follows measuring testosterone in blood and treatment involves hormone replacement therapy.
Dr. Mohsen El Mekresh concluded that, “Overall the men’s health campaign was a great success and the ADIA employees benefited greatly from the education and screening. Mafraq Hospital is proud to be the first in the UAE to bring attention to the critical importance of prostate cancer screening and men’s health conditions through lectures and on site medical examinations.”