From Cape Town to Christchurch, Movember Raises Funds and Awareness

The last few years have seen the penultimate month of the year take on a new significance. What is now being called `Movember' is a month-long awareness- and fundraising event, targeting men's health in general, and prostate cancer and depression in specific.

The campaign is intended to bring these topics out into the open, to get men to talk about health issues, and by extension, to encourage screening and early detection.

Participation in the event requires growing out facial hair, and of course explaining appropriately when asked about the new moustache. Originating in Australia, Movember has spread all over the world.

In recognition of Movember, men and women-`Mo Sistas'-everywhere are participating in a variety of events. The UK is no exception. One GP at Ilkley Moor Medical Practice is oragnising a 10 kilometre run to raise money for the event. The funds will go to The Prostate Cancer Charity. A separate event in Leeds-the Abbey Dash 19 kilometre run-is also raising funds for the charity.

Meanwhile, in South Africa, more than 8,000 men have joined the `grow a mo' challenge. The Movember movement in South Africa has already raised R84,850 for the men's health programme run by the Cancer Association of South Africa. Indeed, South Africa's participation rates have grown so exponentially as to overtake New Zealand, which has been participating in the campaign for much longer.

The campaign is already at its halfway point, but still has between 300 and 500 registrants every day. For those interested, log on to movember com