Men's Clinic Zimbabwe Gains Popularity

The establishment of the Men's Clinic Zimbabwe, a clinic that specialises in men's sexual health problems, has, to a greater extent, helped in the demystification of issues to do with men's sexual health challenges.

The clinic, which opened its doors to the public several months ago, has also brought smiles to thousands of men who were previously distraught after failing to find answers to their sexual health challenges.

In interviews with The Sunday Mail In-Depth, traditional healers, church leaders and social commentators concurred that the Men's Clinic had changed perceptions towards sexual health issues.

"As African men, I think we are going in the right direction. Gone are the days when men would consult both traditional and faith healers secretly under the cover of darkness. Men nowadays visit our surgeries in broad daylight, seeking solutions to their sexual health challenges," said Sekuru Friday Chisanyu, a traditional healer and president of the Zimbabwe National Practitioners' Association (ZINPA)

Traditionally, issues to do with infertility, impotence, low sex drive and other sex-related issues were never discussed in public.

Instead, such issues were either discussed behind closed doors or were talked about by elders at drinking places and at the traditional dares (meeting places).

In traditional African culture, it is widely believed that a woman can use juju (charms) on a man to "fix him". Once "fixed," a man can fail to sustain intimacy.

As a result of this belief, some men resorted to taking unproven aphrodisiacs.

Pastor Emmerson Fundira of the Christian Aflame Ministries said that there has been an increase in the number of couples that are approaching church elders seeking advice on how to tackle issues that are associated with sexual health challenges.

"We help a number of couples that will be facing sexual health challenges. What I observed is that unlike in the past, men are now open and can freely discuss sexual health issues.

"They come to us, we counsel them, pray with them and refer some of them to specialist clinics if there is the need to do so," Pastor Fundira said.

The Sunday Mail In-Depth visited the Men's Clinic and witnessed formerly distressed men walking out of the clinic with smiles on their faces.

Scores of men, some of whom were being accompanied by their partners, could be seen driving in and out of the clinic premises.

Studies have often shown that premature ejaculation affects a high percentage of men.

According to medical sources, erectile dysfunction affects 40 percent of men in the 40-65 age groups.
Men's Clinic Zimbabwe Gains Popularity
Other possible symptoms of erectile dysfunction include weak erections, loss of desire for sex and anxieties.

Although a high percentage of men in the 70 to 85 age-group are afflicted by erectile dysfunction, experts say the successful treatment is possible.

According to medical records, there are two types of erectile dysfunction: physical and psychological.

Physical erectile dysfunction can be caused by damage or deterioration to nerves or blood vessels of the male sex organ.

Many drugs and alcohol, uncontrolled diabetes and smoking, to name a few, can damage arteries.

Spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, or surgery can also give rise to erection difficulties. Psychological or emotional erectile dysfunction arises from fear, stress, worry, anger or frustration. It may also develop from "performance anxiety".

This, according to medical sources, happens when a man fears that he will not perform well. "You cannot run away from certain health conditions. It is a known factor that when age catches up with a man, his sexual prowess diminishes. There is absolutely no reason for one to be ashamed of being old," said an elderly man who had gone to the clinic for a consultation.

Although men's clinics are found in many Western cities, this is the first time such a health facility has been established in this country.

The clinic maintains the highest levels of privacy and, despite the use of communal waiting rooms, sessions are conducted in private booths.

Zimbabwe becomes the second African country after South Africa to have an indigenous men's clinic.
"I had a sexual problem. I used to shy away from consulting doctors, but the setting up of this clinic has changed my life for the better. I am more than a man now," said a man who appeared to be in his late 50s. Staff members at the clinic declined to be interviewed, for professional grounds.

However, from merely observing the goings-on at the clinic, it is clearly evident that men have fully embraced the ideals of the clinic.

Following the publication of the setting up of the clinic in this paper last year, The Sunday Mail switchboard was inundated by calls from men who were inquiring about the location of the clinic.

Men in the 40-85 age-group often face sexual health challenges. Aging affects intimacy. A first port of call for men with sexual health problems, the clinic refers patients with a chronic problem to a urologist.

A urologist is a physician trained to evaluate the genitourinary tract, which includes the kidneys, urinary bladder and genital structure.

The New England Journal of Medicine states that vascular diseases contribute to most cases of erectile dysfunction, many of which result from physical and not sexual problems.

The journal also states that more than 50 percent of men between the ages of 40 and 70 suffer from erectile dysfunction while over 50 percent of those aged between 65 and 74 are sexually active.

Only 25 percent of men in the 75-85 age groups are still sexually active. The establishment of the men's clinic has signalled a new era for men's sexual health.

Gone are the days when sexual health problems would have to rely on unproven aphrodisiacs.
Men's Clinic Zimbabwe Gains Popularity
Men's Clinic Zimbabwe Gains Popularity

Source: Sunday Mail

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