Achieving SDGs Requires Addressing Health Inequalities Facing Men, Says Editorial

The Lancet Global Health: No man left behind
Editorial Board

“…International Men’s Day, celebrated on Nov. 19, encourages us to consider all we still need to do to improve men’s health and wellbeing. The event seems especially pertinent this year, given findings that about 1.5 times more men than women die from COVID-19, despite an apparently equal infection risk. And, beyond COVID-19, there is a lot left to do. … What can be done? First, reporting sex-disaggregated data is key in assessing the situation and tracking change. Analyzing the contributions of gender, race, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status to outcomes is also crucial. Second, we must translate these data to evidence-based, gender-responsive solutions that are specifically adapted to the lives and circumstances of susceptible men. One important step will be in normalizing use of primary health care. … Finally, we must actively undermine gender norms (such as concepts of male self-reliance) during childhood, before they take hold. Many health risks mostly affecting men are modifiable and relate to normalization or promotion of unhealthy behaviors as masculine, with profound long-term impacts on individuals and society. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development signatories pledged that ‘no one will be left behind.’ As progress on issues mostly affecting women speeds ahead, we must ensure that men are also on board” (12/1).

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