Men to be focus of month, Health fair Featured

 Recently, the Bolivar County Board of Supervisors declared June, Men's Health Month. Despite the fact that June is National Men's Health Month, there has not been an event held in the county to focus on men's health. Chiquita Fountain with the Bolivar County Community Action Network wanted to change that. "We will be holding a health fair and basketball tournament on June 16. The event will begin at 10 a.m. and end at noon. After the health fair we will have a 3-Point Contest, Dunk Contest, 3 on 3 Tournament and a 5 on 5 Tournament. The fair is free to attend but the cost to compete in any of the basketball event will be five dollars for each participant," said Fountain. Anyone interested in participating in the basketball events will need to be registered by the June 13. "We have held a lot of events for mothers and women but we haven't done as much for men in the past. That was really the driving force. It is sometimes more difficult to get men to come out to events about health and we wanted to be strategic. Talking with some of the men in the community we realized we would have to find a way to draw them in. We thought a basketball tournament would be the perfect way to do that," explained Fountain. A major focus of the event will be cardio vascular disease, which is the number one cause of death among men in the United States. Men account for approximately 75 percent of bypass surgeries and approximately 70 percent of heart transplants, according to the American Heart Association. The American Heart Association also reports that nearly half of men in the United States currently suffer from high blood pressure as well. This is especially problematic since high blood pressure or hypertension is often called the silent killer due to the fact that it rarely exhibits any symptoms. "We will be offering blood pressure and glucose screenings. We will also have a cardiologist, a masseuse and a foot specialist there to talk to the men about their various health concerns. We will also have healthy snacks," said Fountain. "I know not everyone will be able to make it to Cleveland for the event, but for those who cannot attend, we are making ribbons for churches across the county to pass out on Fathers Day. We really just want to raise awareness about some of these health concerns," Fountain explained. Fountain hopes that the heath fair will become an annual event. "We have gotten the proclamation for June to be Men's Health Month in Bolivar County, and we want to build on that. I'm not sure how it will look in the future. We want to obviously do another health fair, but we may do a different type of tournament. It will really just depend on how things go this year," Fountain continued. For more information on the heath fair or the basketball tournaments contact Fountain at (662) 721-0613.

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