The checkup saved my life because anything would have happened to me.
– Christone Simbaye
On a recent day, Christone Simbaye and his friends walked by a school hosting a men’s wellness day in the Chinsali District of Eastern Zambia. A community volunteer invited them to join.
Christone, 26, was reluctant to join, but the volunteer was persistent so they eventually agreed.
The monthly event, sponsored by CCP’s Breakthrough ACTION Zambia project, provides access to a range of health information and services, including HIV testing and counseling, malaria screening, family planning, nutrition and fitness. The goal is to reposition health clinics as wellness centers instead of places where only sick people go.
Christone says he felt “physically fit” and didn’t really think he needed health services. But after an initial round of check-ups, he was sent to a clinician who discovered that Christone’s blood pressure was unusually high. He was referred to the hospital for immediate attention.
“The checkup saved my life because anything would have happened to me,” Christone said. “The clinician at the men’s wellness day told me that I can just collapse at any time because the [blood pressure] is high and it can also cause death if not managed quickly.”
Christone spent two days in the hospital where staff helped to get his blood pressure under control.
“I will be following the advice that I was given at the hospital including taking the medication I was given,” he says. “I will [also] be ensuring that I do monthly health checkups at the clinic.”