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“Movember” is Here!

As you probably know, “Movember” is a global movement each November aimed at raising awareness of men’s health risks, especially prostate and testicular cancer and mental health challenges. Using the mustache as a catalyst, Movember encourages men to invest in their own health by more openly talking about their health concerns and more proactively seeking necessary medical care.

This is important stuff!  Did you know that the WHO (World Health Organization) expects the number of prostate cancer cases to double to 1.7 million in less than 20 years?  

IVUmed experts provide education for treatment of common urological cancers such as bladder and prostate cancer all around the world.  

Go get checked, and if you need to, get treated.  In countries that IVUmed serves, these treatable conditions go undiagnosed and can cause untold suffering and death.  

You can help! 

Encourage your man to grow a mustache…unless you don’t like them.  If that’s the case, just encourage them to make an appointment and get a physical.  Women get mammograms – let’s get guys to take their health seriously too!

You can also make a donation to the life-saving work of IVUmed in honor of the man in your life.  Instead of new mustache wax for the holidays, make a gift to IVUmed in your guy’s name. 

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Go here for more information regarding the Movember movement.

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June 9-15 is Men’s Health Week!

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June is Men’s Health Week, and the month of June is Men’s Health Month, a time to “heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys.” 

 

Men’s Health Month is anchored by a Congressional health education program and celebrated across the country and internationally with screenings, health fairs, media appearances, and other health education and outreach activities.

 

IVUmed’s workshops provide quality care and build surgical capacity to serve men and their families  in low-resource regions all over the world. Our medical volunteers provide surgical training for both common and neglected urological conditions affecting men, women, and children. Click here to learn more about IVUmed’s workshops, serving men, women, and children on a local and global scale.

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Check out this link from www.menshealthmonth.org if you’d like to participate in Men’s Health Week events in your area!

 

Follow us online for more updates on IVUmed workshops and events around the world:

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Separate Worlds Brought Together: A Nurse’s Perspective

The continued account of IVUmed volunteer recovery nurse, Michael Felber, regarding his recent IVUmed humanitarian service in Zambia, shared from his travel journal:
“We  are on the third day of surgeries. We wake up at 6, have breakfast, and drive to the hospital. Each day begins with a lecture or presentation for the Zambian residents and staff. Surgical cases so far have taken 1 to 6 hours. The rooms are run very efficiently, but time is spent teaching local surgeons and anesthesiologists with each surgical procedure.  The focus of IVUmed missions is on education, with the goal of each site having enough trained personnel to be self sufficient. Usually the first 10 minutes are the busiest, when the children are still asleep and needing close monitoring. If there are respiratory problems they tend to happen in time. Usually giving a little supplemental oxygen or repositioning their head is all that is needed to help them. When they are breathing on their own without extra oxygen we take out their IVs, using a little of the blood to screen for malaria. We make sure catheters and stents are in place and well secured, and they rejoin their parents.  At the end of the day we check on the patients on the floor.
The children here are very quiet and usually shy when  they  first meet us, but  when they are ready they have beautiful smiles.  We have toys and coloring books and Beanie Babies, which are given in pre-op and recovery.  They often seem bewildered by the toys at first. They seem pleased to have them but don’t get overly excited. What seems to matter to kids here are their parents and siblings and playmates.  Yesterday Sandra, a beautiful 4 year old girl, waited in recovery for us for her cystoscopy. She was quiet and a little withdrawn at first, but watched everything and everyone intently. I gave her a small stuffed animal. She nodded at me and took it, but remained quiet.  Pam, my partner in recovery, gave her a coloring book and some crayons. She looked at the crayons quizzically. We put them in her hand and showed her how to color. It took her a little while to get the hang of it, but soon she was filling up the page on her coloring book. She didn’t actually smile until we brought out the bubbles, though. She reached out to them and laughed when they broke on her hand, and loved blowing through the wand and watching them form. Gift, the porter and OR tech, arrived to bring her into the operating room. He spent a minute admiring her coloring, and then as he wheeled her out whispered to her “Say goodbye to them”.  Sandra smiled and waved.
The field of pediatric urology is very limited in the developing world, even though the need is enormous. This is my fourth experience working with IVUmed. In addition to urology, I often volunteer on missions that treat cleft lips and palates. Between the two, urological defects are usually more hidden, but the shame and debilitation are equally or more significant. Children with conditions that cause chronic urinary incontinence are often unable to go to school. When they mature into adulthood they face problems getting married, which in poor countries is often crucial to economic and social stability. Many urological problems ultimately result in cancer of the bladder or kidney failure, and people’s identity and sense of autonomy are closely tied to their gender, their sexuality, and their mastery of their own bodily functions.
There is a very basic need for human dignity. I think one thing parents all over the world have  in common is wanting a better life for their children. People all over the world seek acceptance in their families and societies, but the opportunities are not the  same for everyone.  How likely you are to have a long and healthy life is not just affected by your lifestyle choices. Where you are born and live matters greatly, especially for people who are not fortunate enough to begin life without the burden of a birth defect. There have been incredible advances in medical science in the last 100 years, and even in my lifetime, but the problem of ensuring access to the benefits of those advances  has proven to be much more perplexing.

In many ways the patients and staff here are a worlds apart from my own life experience. I sense that gulf every time I meet a new child, and see the shyness in their eyes. There is so much about their lives that I don’t know, but we all have the same need for acceptance, the same connections to our loved ones, and the same anatomy and physiology. We are in the end more alike and connected than different and separate.

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Father’s Day 2012

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IVUmed is committed to making quality urological care available to people worldwide.