News

Rotary van a lifesaver

By Jamie Lowe

The Rotary Men’s Health Education Rural Van (MHERV) is out and about in rural New South Wales to save lives, and is visiting Mathoura and Deniliquin this weekend.

A custom built caravan with a dedicated registered nurse will offer free health screenings to regional and rural men, who are notorious for being completely in the dark about the state of their health.

‘Saving lives’ sounds a bit dramatic perhaps, but plenty of rural men just drop dead in the paddock, because ‘nobody saw it coming’, Rotary says.

Rotary Deniliquin president Wayne Sheean said many men have not been into a doctor’s surgery for years.

‘‘MHERV was set up to look at rural men’s health because it’s common that farmers and other rural men are not good at checking up on it,’’ he said.

‘‘There is no appointment needed and it won’t take more than 10 to 15 minutes.

‘‘The check-up is completely free so we hope everyone takes full advantage of it.

‘‘With the current state of the drought and water allocation, some farmers may see going to the doctor as too much of a financial burden, so this is a great opportunity to help them out.

‘‘The last thing we want to see is someone become significantly ill because they felt they couldn’t be helped.’’

Rev Sheean added the MHERV program was not exclusive to men.

‘‘The van is not restricted to just men, it was just started as there was more of a stigma around men’s health,’’ he said.

‘‘Women are free to visit the van and get a check-up as well.

‘‘I feel that sometimes it is a rural wide issue for both men and women to get a health check, but it’s such an important thing to keep on top of.’’

The MHERV will be at Mathoura Men’s Shed on Friday, and near the Multi Arts Centre in Cressy St, Deniliquin on Saturday and Sunday, from 10am to 4pm.