Movember is more than just a fun buzzword that gets thrown around during the month of November, when men across the globe let their facial hair grow – it is literally changing the face of men’s health.

Movember began in 2003 in Australia, and since then the Movember Foundation has invested funds raised in developing more than 1 200 survivorship and research programmes to improve the lives of men. These initiatives focus primarily on prostate and testicular cancer, male depression and suicide prevention – the leading causes of men’s mortality the world over. 

In some countries Movember partners with local beneficiaries, supported by health departments, to host the annual campaign, which raises awareness and funds for investment into these projects, with the vision of helping men live happier, healthier and longer lives. In South Africa, the official Movember Trademark – and, therefore, the annual fundraising and awareness campaign is licensed to The Men’s Foundation, an NPO which ‘aims to positively influence the average life expectancy of South African men’ through a variety of programmes.

Movember offers the opportunity for men of all ages, shapes and sizes to experiment with growing their facial hair. Some keep it simple, others go full throttle with a classic handlebar.

Movember was launched in South Africa in 2010. Movember Country Manager Garron Gsell explains that through the knowledge gained from establishing and managing the annual Movember campaign since its inception in South Africa, The Men’s Foundation was established in 2015 under the auspices of the Global Movember Foundation, to continue with these efforts, ‘applying global best practice in a developing world environment.’ Gsell expands on the importance of the Movember movement in the South African context, saying that ‘the moustache has become the catalyst for the conversation surrounding men’s health. 

Prostate cancer is the leading cancer affecting South African men, with one in 19 at risk of being diagnosed with the disease, while testicular cancer cases have doubled over the past 10 years and male suicide is accounting for approximately 18 deaths per day.’ ‘While we have managed to break down the barriers in having men discuss their health issues and to take action when they recognise the symptoms, the campaign also encourages men to be aware of when something feels out of the ordinary,’ he says. The pink ribbon has become the symbol of breast cancer awareness, while the moustache is the hairy equivalent for the men’s ‘ribbon’.

“Prostate cancer is the leading cancer affecting South African men, with one in 19 at risk of being diagnosed with the disease.”


1. Join the cause

If you want to be part of the movement, sign up on movember.com at no cost, and join the global community of more than five million Mo Bros and Mo Sistas, as they are affectionately known. Commit to growing a moustache, MOVEing for 30 days, hosting or attending a Movember event to help raise awareness, or else simply donate to show your support. There is a common misconception that Movember is just for Mo Bros, but Mo Sistas have proven instrumental in helping men change their attitude towards their health. They are often the ones who drive their partners, brothers and fathers to take action.

2. Move
If you are not already doing some form of exercise, start small and work up to 20 to 30 minutes of moderate physical activity, two to three days a week. Also, try to stay on the move throughout the day, as every little bit counts. Whenever possible, take the stairs instead of a lift or escalator and try to squeeze in a walk or run during your lunch break. If you don’t live too far from work, try walking to and/or from work rather than taking transport.

3. Take action early
If you experience a health issue, take action, as early diagnosis is often key to living a healthy life. Research conducted by the Movember Foundation shows that over 93% of cases of prostate cancer can be curable if detected early. Find some time and make an appointment with your doctor and don’t be embarrassed to discuss your concerns.

The Movember movement has united Mo Bros from all around the world and all walks of life in a concerted campaign aimed at helping men to live healthily and happily.

4. Knowledge is power, prevention is everything
By taking a few simple steps such as maintaining a good diet and keeping track of your health consistently, every Mo Bro can improve their chances of living a happy and healthy life. Doctors recommend that men go for an annual prostate exam from the age of 40. No matter what your age, however, to stay healthy you need to know and track your key health numbers. 

These include body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and blood glucose levels. It is also vitally important to know your family history. This is one of the most important tools in understanding your health and it starts with a simple conversation. Talk to family members and take note of the illnesses that any direct relative has experienced. Your genes can influence your risk of developing some forms of cancer as well as other serious health issues.

Jet Club members get discounted rates on clinic services at Dis-chem and Clicks pharmacies. For more information call:

Pharmacy and clinic services helpline
SA & Namibia
0800 00 45 45
Botswana, Lesotho & Swaziland
+2711 991 825

Movember South Africa
For more info visit:
www. mensfoundation.co.za

Powered by Blogger.