Guardian encourages men to test for prostate cancer
It was a rainy morning in New Kingston on Friday, September 27, but inside the Guardian Life Limited head office at 12 Trafalgar Road, in Kingston, was warm and cozy, with President Eric Hosin serving cupcakes with a smile to male employees and passers-by who had accepted the company’s invitation to get tested for prostate cancer.
The Ministry of Health and Wellness ‘Boss Man’ volunteers stood at the entrance to the building holding hashtag cut outs with messages such as ‘Boss Up’ and ‘Get Screened’ to encourage male passersby to participate.
‘Boss Man: Blue Day’ was introduced by Guardian Life Limited two years ago, in partnership with the Jamaica Cancer Society, as a staff initiative to encourage male employees to get screened for prostate cancer. However, with the introduction this year of the Ministry of Health and Wellness’ Boss Man programme, Guardian decided to partner with the ministry to expand the reach of its message.
Making a surprise visit at the Guardian offices was Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Christopher Tufton, who met staff members on each floor to endorse the activity.
Tufton said that his ministry was giving support to the Jamaica Cancer Society’s Prostate Cancer Month through the promotion of screenings at the various public health centres and hospitals across the island. He announced that there were plans to set up men’s clinics as part of the island’s primary healthcare, and promised to give details on this project soon.
“The clinics will focus on several male issues, with prostate cancer being among them,” Tufton said.
In his message of encouragement, Hosin said: “The fact that we are in the health business means that we are aware of the negative impact of prostate cancer. It is such an easy test to do and it doesn’t have to be a physical; a blood test will give the same results.”
Hosin explained that the programme had been introduced to all the company’s branches around the island.
“Too many grandfathers, fathers, brothers, uncles, and sons are dying from prostate cancer and they don’t have to, if they get tested early,” said Hosin.
As part of the ‘Boss Man: Blue Day activity, Guardian Life hosted a series of lectures on prostate health, with presentations by Yulit Gordon, executive director, Jamaica Cancer Society, and consultant urologist, Dr William Aiken.
“If we want to go far, we go together,” said Ms. Gordon.