follow-up and prevention can reduce cases of Chronic Noncommunicable Diseases — English (Brazil)

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Among the main causes of death among men are Chronic Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs). This Wednesday (30), the last day of Blue November, the Ministry of Health brings an interview with Fernando Pessoa, Technical Consultant for Men’s Health (SAPS/MS), who explains the factors that lead to this.

What are the CNCDs that most affect the male population?

When we talk about Noncommunicable Chronic Diseases, men die more than women from diseases of the respiratory system (50% more), cardiovascular diseases (40% more) and cancer (30% more).

Why do men develop more CNCDs?

One of the reasons why we have more complications from chronic diseases is precisely because men rarely seek primary care (Basic Health Units) for the prevention or monitoring of some clinical condition and, thus, access specialized care services such as UPAs or hospitals presenting disease in a more aggravated state. For example, heart problems, such as acute myocardial infarction or stroke, caused by uncontrolled blood pressure, which can lead to sudden death. In these cases, then, mortality increases, overloading hospitals and burdening the system, since the treatment in these cases is less effective, unlike the care provided in Primary Health Care, which works with prevention and health promotion.

Why do men take longer to seek health services?

It is a sociocultural problem. Men are less likely to seek Primary Care services because these services are aimed at preventive actions that encourage self-care. Thus, when we think of self-care and caring for others, culturally, these are elements that are associated with women. For society, those who care for others are women, as most health professionals are women.

How to change this reality?

Associating care practices with the production of masculinities, bringing the meaning of being a man closer to this dimension of care. It is a strategy that the National Policy for Integral Attention to Men’s Health (PNAISH) is dedicated to, precisely so that men can feel good taking care of others and taking care of themselves, being able to develop preventive actions and not waiting to get sick to seek a service of health. Developing self-care practices rather than expecting someone else to take care of them. In addition to the need to get rid of the idea that being a man means being more involved in risky situations and not needing help.

What does Primary Health Care (PHC) need to expand men’s access to health services?

The first action is to expand the registration of this male population through Previne Brasil, as it is precisely this population of men between 20 and 59 years of age who have the least access to Primary Care.
The second is the extension of the opening hours of the Basic Health Units (UBS) through the Saúde na Hora program. The strategy allows men who work late to be able to perform care at alternative times in the PHC.
The third is related to the Father/Partner’s Prenatal Strategy, as from it we observe that prenatal care is a window of opportunity for men to access PHC. This year, we increased the number of Father/Partner Prenatal appointments by 62%.

In addition, another strategy that can be developed to bring the male population closer to health services is for the health team to go to the territory and develop actions such as those aimed at responsible sexuality, STI prevention, etc. This can all be done on soccer fields, close to bars and other spaces where the male population frequents. In addition, it is also interesting to talk to companies, industries, workplaces where there are more men to teach contractors that expanding men’s access to PHC services, for routine exams and follow-up, is also advantageous for the entrepreneur, since this employee will be less absent from work and will produce much more when he has a healthy life.

Ivan Lima de Carvalho, user of the Unified Health System (SUS), shared his experience and the importance of monitoring. “I came from a family of many brothers and I always had my older brother as an example, who always used the SUS. Through his example, accompanying him and being taken to the PHC care units since he was a child and doing all the monitoring in Primary Care, reinforcing care and prevention, I created this habit too”.

The National Policy for Integral Attention to Men’s Health (PNAISH) has as its guideline the promotion of health actions that contribute to the understanding of the individual reality of each man in his various socio-cultural, political-economic contexts. In this sense, the Ministry of Health has been strongly developing joint actions with states and municipalities, approaching health managers and workers who, together, provide the male population of Brazil with these transformations.

Fran Martins
Ministry of Health



Official content – Fact Check – Verified