Blokes Health Checks do matter! That’s the message from travelling blokes health checks operation MHERV, also known as the Men’s Health Education Rural Van.
MHERV has been on the road since 2017 in a custom built caravan, offering free health screenings to rural and regional men in New South Wales, although severely hampered by the COVID restrictions.
Their target is men who don’t visit GPS, who don’t know if they have high blood pressure, high cholesterol or high blood sugar levels, or the risks that could be steering them into a life of long-term incapacity or unexpected death.
Ten minutes in the MHERV van has saved many lives. Some are given a thumbs up, others told to see their GP, but there are others who are urged to seek immediate medical attention.
MHERV says 41,000 men die each year from preventable diseases. Most of those diseases, like high blood pressure and diabetes, have no apparent symptoms until it is too late. Since 2017, 10,237 men have been tested by the MHERV project. 436 men were in immediate danger of a serious health event. They had no idea of the danger they were in.
“It would not be too long a bow to draw, to say many of these lives were saved,” says MHERV
“We support and applaud other projects that are raising the issues of men’s health with literature and discussion.
“But as far as we know there is no other project that is actually doing something positive to save lives in this way.”
The MHERV initiative is sponsored by the Royal Freemasons’ Benevolent Institution (RFBI), who fund the cost of the van and the registered nurse running health checks.
They are inviting local communities to get involved in their ‘Donate to help a mate’ campaign, to ensure valuable health initiatives like MHERV can stay on the road.
The 2022 MHERV tour kicks off on Friday 28 January at RFBI Hawkins Masonic Village in Edgeworth with a Men’s Health Expo.
Along with getting a health check – what festival is complete without one? – the Expo will feature a classic car show, kids face painting, live music, health and wellness talks, a Men’s Shed Workshop and a BBQ.
The Australian Men’s Health Forum is a supporting partner of the MHERV initiative.