In celebration of National Men’s Health Awareness Week, NBA basketball player, Gary Forbes spoke to an audience of patients and visitors at New York City’s Bellevue Hospital Center.
He discussed the importance of disease prevention measures like screenings and annual check ups. He also touched upon the various health issues that affect men, especially black males, and how important it is for them to take care of themselves and their health.
Free screenings were conducted for blood pressure, cholesterol, depression, diabetes, and prostate cancer. Heart assessment, medication counseling and free nicotine patches were distributed. In honor of this nationally recognized week, many people wore blue ribbons to show support.
Forbes understands the importance of health care and disease prevention. He suffers from diabetes. If not controlled, this chronic illness can predisposed its victims to heart disease, kidney disease and blindness amongst other serious complications.
When asked by F2FA why health education and disease prevention are important for African-American men, Forbes stated that they are “important in order to, obviously, stay alive, but to also be around to help and support family members and friends.”
Being diagnosed with diabetes has forced Forbes to understand how crucial it is to monitor his health. Forbes has had to learn to control his blood sugar and monitors his blood pressure and cholesterol regularly.
In a number of African cultures, disease prevention is not emphasized. This is unfortunate because preventative medicine can save lives. Studies show that black men are more likely to die prematurely from preventable diseases like, stroke, heart disease, HIV/AIDS and diabetes.
It is important to practice preventive care by exercising regularly, eating healthy, visiting the doctor frequently and taking care of your overall health.