MANDEVILLE, Manchester — More than 100 men came out this month to access free prostate cancer screenings here.

The event was a partnership of the Lion’s Club of Mandeville, Jamaica Cancer Society, Guardian Group, Villa Medical Centre, and Impact Trading.

Shullian Brown, fund-raising and public relations officer at the Jamaica Cancer Society, said that September is recognised as Prostate Cancer Awareness Month by her organisation and the target was for 100 men to be screened in Manchester.

She told the Jamaica Observer that they exceeded that number by about 20.

“[The turnout is] very encouraging,” said Brown.

The men who benefited included a mix of those who knew about the event beforehand and others who were just passing by and got curious.

Paul Fraser, supporting chairman for health projects in the Lions Club and operator of Impact Trading, said he spread the word among his clients and colleagues.

He said that doing the check was “serious business” and so he does not have to be coerced to get it done.

Fraser said that he had also asked people to tell others about the free screening.

Jackelyn Sergeant, who is a secretary for one of the political representatives in the Manchester North Western constituency, was one such person. She said that she was successful in getting eight men to attend.

Sergeant said that she was largely motivated by having seen her mother, who is today a survivor, go through stage three breast cancer.

Fifty-four-year-old Patrick McLeod said he was on his way to work when he saw the crowd and took the time to be screened after hearing it was free.

“It not that pretty, but I am glad I did it. I want to live to be 125 so I always try to take care of my health. My wife always encourage me to take care of my health, too, because she has a heart problem and I am the breadwinner,” he said.

McLeod, a resident of Plowden, said that he has strong faith in God and as such was not nervous about doing the test.

He told the Observer that he will be encouraging other men to do their screening.

Oswald Clarke, 74, of Lorimers in Trelawny, said that he was early for an appointment to test his eyes and took time out to get the prostate screening done.

Clarke said that it was his second time getting screened for prostate cancer.

Ian Blackwood, an insurance advisor at Guardian Life in Mandeville, was on hand with members of his team promoting the company’s products and services.

He said that they wanted to be a part of the event because of how critical illnesses affect people financially.

In addition to Mandeville, the Jamaica Cancer Society also did free prostate screenings in Kingston, Montego Bay, and St Ann.

— Alicia Sutherland

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