Saturday, June 17, 2006

Accidents, drugs killing young men

NST: KUALA LUMPUR: Road accidents and dadah are the bane of young men nationwide.
They rank second and fourth respectively on the list of factors leading to mortality in younger men with disease being the primary contributor.
Many of the 6,118 road fatalities nationwide last year involved young men while the 5,000 Malaysians who die every year of dadah dependency are also young men.
These facts emerged yesterday after the opening of the Second National Men’s Health and Aging conference at the KL Hilton yesterday.
Health Minister Datuk Dr Chua Soi Lek told reporters that premature deaths among young men was robbing the nation of their potential.
"This also indicates that we are giving very low importance to the health of young men and their problems," he said.
The conference is being held in conjunction with the First Japan-Asean Men’s Health and Aging conference.
Expressing concern with the findings by the Public Health Institute, he said there was an urgent need to address problems affecting men.
"There is a need to develop gender-sensitive and gender-specific health intervention," he added.
He attributed the lack of interest among men in taking care of their health to health policies which traditionally focused on target groups considered vulnerable and disadvantaged in terms of risk to mortality.
Dr Chua also blamed it on the attitude of men who were usually less likely to see a doctor than women.
Generally, men’s health was often focused on the urology aspect, he said, adding that protection and promotion of men’s health should be throughout their life-span.
He said the effect of accidents and dadah dependency on men was also reflected in terms of "healthy" years lost to disability.
The ministry will be addressing these issues under the Ninth Malaysia Plan following the setting up of the Men’s Health Unit.

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