Men's health organisations across four continents have joined forces to call on the World Health Organisation (WHO) to address the "long-established and widely-overlooked problems in men’s health" that the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed.
Published at the beginning of Men's Health Week 2021, the letter to WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus highlights the fact that at least two million men around the world have so far died as a direct result of COVID-19.
According to Global Action for Men's Health (GAMH), the organisation behind the letter, men have borne an excess burden of serious disease and mortality caused by the pandemic and account for 58% of COVID-19 deaths worldwide.
Reasons for this include the fact that men are more likely to have one of the underlying conditions that make serious illness and death more likely, such as hypertension and diabetes. Prevention guidelines on hand-washing, mask-wearing and social distancing have not been effective at reaching men and there is emerging evidence of lower vaccination rates in men.
GAMH says that COVID-19 has exposed deep, long-established and widely-overlooked problems in men’s health, which need to be tackled strategically and systematically by gender-responsive research, policies and practices.
Healthcare systems need to develop better strategies to reach and engage men in healthcare by consistently adopting a gendered approach to research, analysis and presentation of data, development of policy, and the organisation and deployment of services, says GAMH.
The letter calls for a meeting between WHO's Director-General and Global Action for Men's Health.
As a founding member of Global Action for Men's Health, the Australian Men's Health Forum has joined forces with its international colleagues by co-signing the letter which you can read here: