Big boys don’t simply fall sick - A traditional belief that men have always lived for ages has gotten to my nerves.
Just a few days ago, a certain male friend of mine confessed to me that he narrowly escaped death after he suffered from cerebral malaria.
It was his mother who literally dragged him to the hospital, a place he had repeatedly refused to go.
Unlike women, who say that every illness is dangerous, including headache, stomachache, and influenza, some men consider HIV/Aids and cancer the only killer diseases.
Perhaps, that is why it is scientifically proven that women outlive men by an average of five years because they tend to be so conscious about their health.
It appears that men feel they must wait until they are on their death bed, to admit that they are actually seriously sick and need medical treatment. Otherwise, they will battle through pain with pride. It takes an aggressive wife to force her husband to the hospital.
While Rwandans are certainly more interested in healthy living now, the health prevention message is only really starting to trickle through.
Men will try and walk off a chest pain rather than seek medical services. And when he takes the courtesy to visit the doctor, it is usually only to secure a sick leave from work. They fear that illness could damage their job prospects and promotional opportunities.
Traditionally, women encounter treatment often because they take more interest in their health. And, for the mothers, they’ll as well take the responsibility of their children’s health, if their husbands are too stiff to be dragged into the system.
Also, it’s apparent that women seem to have a better relationship with doctors than men, and they are generally open about their physical condition. Pregnancies and births, also brings them into closer contact with doctors and health services.
Doctors should ensure that their offices are friendly places for men too. For a couple of reasons, some men associate health centres to places for children, women and elderly people.
Health affects everyone. Men too need the full support and encouragement from health experts.
By ignoring illness, men put themselves at a serious risk of death.