Although Enki was a most benign and peaceable soul, his clan was a tumultuous lot. They scarcely came to terms and feuded and warred more often than not. Occasionally, some of them even allied with the Enlilites to wage war against a fellow Enkite.
When his brood scuffled or fought, the equable and gentle-natured Enki was largely a spectator. They were so intractable Enki simply locked himself in a closet to invoke the “Creator of All”, as the Anunnaki referred to the true God.
Enki, who had an Achilles prick, had children galore, some with fellow Anunnaki and others with Earthlings, but by far the overwhelming majority were female. This, arguably, was on account of the fact that like all the SSS males (the people of Orion, where Enki hailed from), he was born from an unfertilised egg and so his genetic proclivity was predominantly toward female offspring.
Sumerian records list the following as Enki’s pure Anunnaki sons: Marduk, Nergal, Gibil, Ninagal, Ningishzidda, and Dumuzi in that order. Of these, the most chronicled are Marduk, by virtual of his being Enki’s heir, and Ningishzidda, by virtue of his surpassing exploits and milestones across a spectrum of disciplines.
MARDUK THE GOD OF BABYLON
The name MARDUK is OME-ORI-DA-EKE in full, meaning “Supreme Divine Spirit/Master” (from ome [divine], ori [spirit or master], da [supreme], and eke [holy]). It was informed by the deity of the Orion Queen, Marduk’s paternal grandmother who was the most revered, venerated, and deified being in the Milky Way Galaxy at a time when Orion was the most powerful empire in our section of the cosmos. EKE was the title both of the Orion Queen and Enki himself. As Enki’s heir, it was fitting that Marduk bear the same title too.
Besides being Enki’s firstborn son, Marduk’s fame stemmed from two other attributes in the main.
First, he ruled Egypt, the capital state of Africa, for 1000 years (from 9670 to 8670 BC) under the title RA, meaning “The Bright One”. As Ra, Marduk was the Sun God, that is, one who like the Sun was there at the very beginning. He was also known as AMEN-RA. Amen meant “The Hidden One” or “The Unseen One”. This was the title of the real God who brought the Sun about. Amen-Ra thus merged First Source and the Sun into one entity personified in Marduk.
Second, at some stage during the astrological Age of Aries (2160-0 BC), Marduk assumed the title of Enlil. In other words, he became Earth’s Commander in Chief, though for a very brief spell only as the Enlilites soon spurned him and installed Enlil’s second-born son Nanna-Sin to rival him. Exactly how Marduk became the Enlil we will relate at a later stage. As the Enlil, Marduk renamed planet Nibiru after himself and introduced the decimal mathematical system (Base 10) we use today.
Marduk had from birth been tipped to inherit the Sirian-Orion throne after Enlil as per the terms of the merger of the Sirian and Orion empires. But he was disinherited when he went against the Anunnaki matrimonial code and became the first Anunnaki to marry an Earthling known as Sarpanit, which set a precedent for rank-and-file Anunnaki to follow. The Anunnaki were permitted to copulate with Earthlings all right and even procreate with them but marriage was strictly prohibited. For marrying Sarpanit, Marduk was also banned from ever returning to Nibiru or the throne planet of Sirius.
In earlier times, Marduk was based on Mars where he presided over the Igigi, the Anunnaki astronauts who manned the space stations and satellites in the orbits of both Earth and Mars. After the defeat of Kumarbi, however, he was recalled for a while but was reinstated in due course.
Marduk was a go-getter, by means foul or fair, even if it meant slugging it out with his brothers. For example, he precipitated what has become known as the Second Pyramid War when he had his youngest brother Dumuzi accidentally killed. He was sentenced to a slow death by entombment in the Giza Pyramid but the pleadings of Sarpanit saved him and his sentence was ultimately commuted to exile. At around 3113 BC, Marduk ejected his other brother Ningishzidda from the Egyptian throne, forcing his departure to South America.
During the zodiacal Age of Taurus, Marduk decided to build a spaceport in Babylon, where he was based, to rival the one in the Sinai Peninsula which was controlled by the Enlilites. A pro-Earthling dude like his father, Marduk wanted to train humans as astronauts too so that they could explore space and visit other heavenly bodies such as Mars and the Moon, but Enlil was having none of that. He had Marduk’s spaceport destroyed and Marduk’s people scattered all over the world where they were taught new languages and scripts that alienated them from each other. In the Bible, this incident is referred to as the Tower of Babel.
Marduk had three sons with Sarpanit. They were Shu, Tefnut, and Nabu. Of these, Nabu was the closest and the most ambitious on behalf of his father. It was through the instrumentality of Nabu that Marduk decided to capture the Sinai spaceport in 2024 BC with disastrous results: his armies were intercepted by the Enlilite forces commanded by the now famous General Abraham, and the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah which according to Abraham’s spies were sheltering Nabu were struck with nuclear weapons, causing Enki, who had brought mankind into existence, to go into a period of mourning that lasted seven years.
Marduk never quite got along with his father Enki, who he panned as too meek and too docile compared to Enlil.
Initially, Marduk’s numerical rank was 10. It rose to 50 when he became the Enlil in 2023 BC. He is historically associated with the planet Mars as the god Ares. His emblem was the mus-hus, described as a “a scaly dragon with hind legs resembling the talons of an eagle, feline (lion-like) forelegs, a long neck and tail, a horned head, a snake-like tongue, and a crest” (see accompanying sketch).
Marduk’s cult centre was Babylon, of which his name is largely invoked. In the Bible, Marduk is referred to as BEL (BA-AL in Akkadian, which simply meant “Lord”, in this case the Lord of the enemy – the Babylonians who were at odds with Enlil’s Hebrews) or MERODACH. The Old Testament scriptures ISAIAH 46:1 (“Bel bows down, Nebo [Nabu, his son] stoops low; their idols are borne by beasts of burden. The images that are carried about are burdensome, a burden for the weary) and JEREMIAH 50:2 ("Announce and proclaim among the nations, lift up a banner and proclaim it; keep nothing back, but say, 'Babylon will be captured; Bel will be put to shame, Merodach filled with terror. Her images will be put to shame and her idols filled with terror) both are talking about Marduk.
NINGISHZIDDA THE GOD OF KNOWLEDGE
If Enki was the Anunnaki’s foremost genius, Ningishzidda was not far behind. Although he was best known as the God of Knowledge, Ningishzidda actually mirrored Enki in a whole host of respects, the only difference being that unlike his skirt-chasing dad, he had very strong moral scruples. The Greeks invoked him as HERMES TRISMAGISTUS (“Thrice Greatest”: greatest of kings, greatest of magicians [magic here referring to ancient technology], greatest of priests).
Ningishzidda is the builder of the iconic Giza Pyramids. The Anunnaki’s Sinai spaceport and the famed Stonehenge were also built by him. It was Ningishzidda who carved the Sphinx, and the face it initially carried was his. When Enki genetically engineered mankind into existence in a laboratory in today’s East Africa, he was partnered by Ningishzidda. Ningishzidda was also capable of raising people from the dead if they had been dead for only a few days and this was just one of the many wonders he was capable of.
Like Nanna-Sin, the second-born son of Enlil, Ningishzidda was born on Earth. His mother was not Sarpanit though but Ereshkigal, the granddaughter of Enlil. That, coupled with his innate good-naturedness, made him a bridge-builder between the Enlilites and the Enkites and therefore a rallying point. Indeed, the name Ningishzidda means “Great Soul”, something he lived up to as he was the most spiritual and soulful of the Anunnaki.
When Marduk was banished to Babylon in 8670 BC, Enki and Enlil by a compromise compact installed Ningishzidda as ruler of Egypt. Ningishzidda ruled Egypt for 1560 years. During the Second Pyramid War, it was Ningishzidda who rescued Marduk from deathly confinement in the Giza Pyramid on the pleadings of his wife Sarpanit. This was in spite of the fact that the two brothers had long been estranged. The Egyptians called him THOTH, meaning “Teacher” as he was a seamless repository of knowledge.
At the height of his rivalry with Marduk over the Egyptian throne circa 3113 BC, Enki advised Ningishzidda to simply throw in the sponge and head far afield in Mesoamerica, where a new Anunnaki colony was to be founded. He took with him a band of faithful African followers now known as the Olmecs, with whom he brought about the Mayan civilisation. There, the Incas called him VIRACOCHA (“Creator of all there is”) whereas the Mayas and Aztecs called him QUETZALCOATL (“The Flying Serpent” because he was of serpentine evolutional ancestry through his father Enki and flew in a plane). His other title was KUKULCAN (which can be paraphrased as “Wise Being Who Flew in a Bird-like Craft”).
Ningishzidda contended for hegemony in Mesoamerica with Enlil’s combustive son Ishkur-Adad. As a result, the trouble–averse Ningishziddadeparted the place and settled in Asia, where he sparked a new age of enlightenment as the first Buddha. The countries Nepal (“Nepa-El”, meaning “Righteous God”) and Japan (whose name is actually Nippon, “NEPA-EN”, meaning “Righteous Lord”) are named after him. So too is the Himalayan Mountains (“Herma-Laya”, meaning “Great Teacher”). The principal tenets of Tibetan Buddhism (to me the most truthful religion on Earth) are based on the teachings of Ningishzidda, who was a vegetarian through and through.
After his Mesoamerican exploits, Ningishzidda came to be associated with the number 52 after he promised the Mayans that he was going to return after 5200 years. According to the Mayan prophecy, the return fell due in 2012, but Ningishzidda was nowhere to be seen. Their calculations apparently were out by a very long shot.
Ningishzidda’s consort wasGeshtinanna, his half-sister, who was born to Enki and Ninmah.
MARDUK’S BLOOD BROTHERS
To us Africans, it seems the most influential of Enki’s sons was Nergal. It was from Nergal we get the term “negro”, the black race. Nergal, Enki’s second son with his official wife Damkina, initially ruled southern Africa but it seems he later moved to West Africa as the river Niger is obviously named after him. Because he ruled southern Africa, the Abzu, which over time was miscomprehended as abyss, and was in charge of underground mines, he is in mythology referred to as the god of the underworld, also characterised as Hell.
His African warriors, the Kutheans, a formidable fighting force, at one time conquered swathes of Mesopotamia for a while during his short-lived alliance with Inanna-Ishtar, Enlil’s granddaughter. Circa 2024 BC, Nergal, who was also known as Erra, turned against his elder brother Marduk, resulting in the nuking of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by Utu-Shamash, Enlil’s grandson, and he (Nergal). Nergal was married to Ereshkigal, who in turn was Ningishizidda’s mother. Enki had Ningishzidda with Ereshkigal before she married Nergal thanks to the Anunnaki’s labyrinthine incestuous relationships.
Gibil, Enki’s third son with Damkina, was a metallurgist who worked very closely with his father in the Abzu mines of modern-day Zimbabwe and South Africa.
Ninagal was Enki’s fourth son with Damkina. Known as “Lord of the Great Waters”, that is, the seas, he was the Anunnaki’s greatest navigator and superintended over the shipping of ores from the Abzu to the Edin in Sumeria. It was Ninagal who assisted in the construction of Noah’s ark (actually a submarine) and it was he who piloted it throughout the duration of the floods, the only Anunnaki who remained on the Earth surface at that tempestuous time.
The ill-fated Dumuzi was Enki’s last born son with Damkina. Dumuzi, one of Enki’s most beloved sons, was an expert in animal husbandry. When he fell in love with Inanna-Ishtar and was in the process of tying the knot with her, Marduk took very strong exception and whilst Dumuzi was being pursued by Marduk’s men, he fell off a cliff and passed away, a death which precipitated the Second Pyramid War in which Inanna sought vengeance against Marduk. Most of the love poems in the Bible’s Song of Solomon are based on the Romeo- and-Juliet-like romance of Dumuzi and Inanna. When Adam was taken to Nibiru to be shown off to King Anu, he was accompanied by Dumuzi and Ningishzidda.
OSIRIS, SET AND HORUS
Osiris (Ashur), the most famous Egyptian “god” alongside Horus, was Enki’s most beloved grandchild. He was one of four children of Geb and his wife Nut. Geb and Nut had married as half-siblings, being the children of Marduk. Their four kids were sons Set and Osiris, and daughters Isis and Nephtys. But the state of affairs was not as straightforward as that.
Although Osiris was legally the son of Geb, his real father was Marduk, again thanks to the incestuous proclivities for which the Anunnaki were famed. Isis too was only legally the daughter of Geb: her real father was Ningishzidda. The only true children of Geb were Set and Nephtys. This had implications for the politics of succession for what it entailed was that Osiris, though younger than Set, ranked higher in the line of succession senior since Marduk was of senior pedigree. Moreover, Osiris was married to Isis, his half-sister, which further cemented his eligibility to the throne as according to the Anunnaki succession code, a half-sister took precedence over a full sister.
But in 8970 BC, Geb divided Egypt into north and south. The north he bequeathed to Osiris and the south to Set. Set, however, wanted all of Egypt to himself and therefore had Osiris murdered. To ensure the likes of Ningishzidda did not do a resuscitation job on him, Set had Osiris’s corpse cut into 14 pieces which he scattered all over the Egyptian wilds, then a lush jungle. Isis launched a dogged search, assisted by her father/uncle Ningishzidda, and at long last managed to retrieve all the parts except the genitalia, which were crucial as she wished to extract semen from the scrotal sac and impregnate herself with a view to raise a heir.
It was the inimitable Ningishzidda who did his “magic”. Using a process known as artificial meiosis (which still resides in the realm of theory in our day), Ningishzidda was able to create sperm cells from Osiris’s retrieved non-sexual parts. These were inseminated into Isis when she was ovulating and that’s how the legendary Horus was born.
When Horus came of age, after being raised secretly by her mother, he waged war against Seth, the First Pyramid War, and drove him out of Egypt. Seth’s wicked act against Osiris would over time see his name, SET-EN in full, meaning “Prince Set”, become a synonym of SATAN.
NEXT WEEK: THE GODDESSES
LIKE MESSIAH LIKE JESUS: The mus-hus as depicted on the Great Gate of Ishtar which stood at the entrance to Babylon. The mus-hus, from which Messiah, the title of Jesus, derives, was the emblem of Marduk, Enki’s firstborn son who was the god of Babylon in modern-day Iraq. It has been described as “a scaly dragon with hind legs resembling the talons of an eagle, feline (lion-like) forelegs, a long neck and tail, a horned head, a snake-like tongue, and a crest”. In addition to Marduk, Enki had five other sons, of whom Ningishzidda, a genius only second to Enki, is the most renowned. Enki’s most famous grandson and great grandson are Osiris and Horus, both of whom were prominent Egyptian gods. The Enkites were in the habit of fighting each other, far much more so than the rival Enlilites.
Many a times I get clients casually walking into my room and requesting to be checked for “appendix”.Few questions down the line, it is clear they are unaware of where the appendix is or what to expect when one does have it (appendicitis). Jokingly (or maybe not) I would tell them they would possibly not be having appendicitis and laughing as hard as they are doing. On the other hand, I would be impressed that at least they know and acknowledge that appendicitis is a serious thing that they should be worried about.
So, what is Appendicitis?
Appendicitis is aninflammation of the appendix; a thin, finger-like pouch attached to the large intestine on the lower right side of the abdomen. Often the inflammation can be as a result of blockage either by the faecal matter, a foreign body, infection, trauma or a tumour. Appendicitis is generally acute, with symptoms coming on over the course of a day and becoming severe rapidly. Chronic appendicitis can also occur, though rarely. In chronic cases, symptoms are less severe and can last for days, weeks, or even months.
Acute appendicitis is a medical emergency that almost always ends up in the operating theatre. Though the appendix is locally referred to as “lela la sukiri”, no one knows its exact role and it definitely does not have anything to do with sugar metabolism. Appendicitis can strike at any age, but it is mostly common from the teen years to the 30s.
Signs to look out for
If you have any of the following symptoms, go and see a Doctor immediately! Timely diagnosis and treatment are vital in acute appendicitis;
Sudden pain that starts around the navel and shifts to the lower right abdomen within hours
The pain becomes constant and increases in severity (or comes back despite painkillers)
The pain worsens on coughing, sneezing, laughing, walking or deep breaths
Loss of appetite
Nausea and vomiting
Constipation or diarrhoea
The doctor often asks questions regarding the symptoms and the patient’s medical history. This will be followed up by a physical examination in which the Doctor presses on the abdomen to check for any tenderness, and the location of the pain. With acute appendicitis, pressing on and letting go of the right lower abdomen usually elicits an excruciatingly unbearable pain. Several tests may be ordered to determine especially the severity of the illness and to rule out other causes of abdominal pain. The tests may conditions include: blood tests, a pregnancy test, urinalysis, abdominal“How do ultrasound scans work?” ultrasound (scan), CT scan or MRI Scan.
The gold standard treatment of acute appendicitis is surgical removal of the appendix known as appendectomy. Luckily,a person can live just fine without an appendix! Surgical options include laparoscopy or open surgery and the type will be decided on by the Surgeon after assessing the patient’s condition. Painkillers and antibiotics are also given intravenously usually before, during and after the surgery.
Appendicitis can cause serious complications such as;
Appendicular mass/abscess– If the appendix is inflamed or bursts, one may develop a pocket of pus around it known as an abscess. In most cases, the abscess will be treated with antibiotics and drained first by placing a tube through one’s abdominal wall into the abscess. The tube may be left in place for a few hours or days while the infection is clearing up but ultimately one would still have surgery to remove the appendix.
Peritonitis – without treatment, the appendix can rupture/burst. The risk of this rises48–72 hours after symptoms start. A ruptured appendix spreads the infection throughout the abdomen (peritonitis). This is life threatening and requires immediate surgery to remove the appendix and clean the abdominal cavity.
Death – The complications of appendicitis (and appendectomy) can be life threatening, only if the diagnosis has been missed and no proper treatment has been given on time. This is rare though with the evolved medical care.
If you need further advice or treatment please call 4924730, email HYPERLINK “mailto:email@example.com” firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.themedisccentre.co.bw
Antoinette Boima, MBBS, BMedSci, PgDip HIV/AIDS, Cert Aesth Med is the Managing Director of The Medics Centre in Palapye.
Here’s a news item from last month you may have missed. In December 2021 the University of Staffordshire announced it would be offered a degree course in pantomime! Yes, that’s right, a degree in popular festive entertainment, the Christmas panto.
We used to have one here, put on by the Capitol Players, though it seems to have fallen away in recent times, but the spectacle is still alive and well in the UK, both in local ad-dram (amateur dramatic ) societies and on the London stage and most of the major cities, these latter productions usually featuring at least one big-draw name from the world of show business with ticket prices commensurate with the star’s salary.
In case you’re unfamiliar with the pantomime format, it consists of a raucous mixture of songs and comedy all based around a well-known fairy or folk tale. Aladdin and His Magic Lamp, Cinderella, Jack & The Beanstalk & Dick Whittington are perennial favourites but any well-known tall tale goes. There is no set script, unlike a play, and storyline is just a peg to hang a coat of contemporary, often bawdy, gags on, in what should be a rollicking production of cross dressing – there has to be at least one pantomime dame, played by a man and always a figure of fun, and a Principal Boy, ostensibly the male lead, yet played by an attractive young woman.
As an art form it can trace its roots back to 16th century Italy and the Commedia Del’Arte which used a mélange of music, dance, acrobatics along with a cast of comic stock characters so it has a long and proud theatrical tradition but you have to wonder, does that really qualify it as a suitable subject for a university? Further, what use might any degree be that can be acquired in a single year? And last but not least, how much standing does any degree have which comes from a jumped-up polytechnic, granted university status along with many of its ilk back in 1992, for reasons best known to the government of the time? Even more worrying are the stated aims of the course.
Staffordshire University claims it is a world first and the masters course is aimed at people working inside as well as outside the industry. Students on the course, due to start in September 2022, will get practical training in the art form as well as research the discipline.
“We want to see how far we can take this,” Associate Professor of Acting and Directing Robert Marsden said. The role of pantomime in the 21st Century was also going to be examined, he said, “particularly post Me Too and Black Lives Matter”. Questions including “how do we address the gender issues, how do we tell the story of Aladdin in 2021, how do we get that balance of male/female roles?” will be asked, Prof Marsden added.
Eek! Sounds like Prof. Marsden wants to rob it of both its history and its comedic aspects – well, good luck with that! Of course that isn’t the only bizarre, obscure and frankly time and money-wasting degree course available. Staying with the performing arts there’s Contemporary Circus and Physical Performance at Bath Spa University. Sounds like fun but why on earth would a circus performer need a university degree?
Or how about a Surf Science and Technology degree at Cornwall College (part of the University of Plymouth). Where the one thing you don’t learn is….how to surf!
Then there is a degree in Floral Design at University Centre Myerscough. No, I hadn’t heard of it either – turns out it’s a college of further education in Preston, a town that in my experience fits the old joke of ‘I went there once…..It was closed’ to a ‘T’!
Another handy (pun intended) art is that of Hand Embroidery BA (Hons), offered at the University for the Creative Arts. Or you could waste away sorry, while away, your time on a course in Animal Behaviour and Psychology. This degree at the University of Chester teaches you about the way animals think and feel. Cockroaches have personalities according to the subject specs– you couldn’t make it up.
Happily all these educational institutes may have to look to their laurels and try to justify their very existence in the near future. In plans announced this week, universities could face fines of up to £500,000 (P750m), be stripped of their right to take student loans or effectively shut down if they cannot get 60 per cent of students into a professional job under a crackdown on ‘Mickey Mouse’ courses. Further, at least 80 per cent of students should not drop out after the first year, and 75 per cent should graduate.
The rules, published by the Office for Students (OfS), aim to eliminate ‘low-quality’ courses by setting new standards & requiring courses to improve their rating in the TEF, the official universities ratings system. Universities not meeting the new standards will not be able to charge full annual fees of £9,250. Unconventional courses that could fall victim to the new rules could include the University of Sunderland’s BA in Fashion Journalism, where students learn essential’ skills such as catwalk reporting and the history of Chanel. They have only a 40 per cent chance of entering highly skilled work 15 months after leaving.
At University College Birmingham, BSC Bakery and Patisserie Technology students – who learn how to ‘make artisan bread’ – have a 15 per cent chance of a professional job within 15 months. Universities minister Michelle Donelan welcomed the move, saying ‘When students go to university, they do so in the pursuit of a life-changing education, one which helps pave their path towards a highly skilled career. Any university that fails to match this ambition must be held to account.’
OfS found that at 25 universities, fewer than half of students find professional work within 15 months. Business and management courses at the University of Bedfordshire (14.8 per cent) were among the least likely to lead to graduate-level jobs. Asked to comment, the University of Sunderland said it always looked ‘to find ways to improve outcomes’; University College Birmingham said data on graduates and definition of ‘professional work’ was limited. I’ll bet it is! As the saying goes, ’what the eye doesn’t see, the heart doesn’t grieve over’. What a pantomime!
With the world still reeling from the negative impact of the Coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19), and the latest Omicron variant (which is responsible for the ongoing global forth wave) on everyone’s lips, we should not forget and neglect other aspects of our health.
While anyone can get infected with corona virus and become seriously ill or die at any age, studies continue to show that people aged 60 years and above, and those with underlying medical conditions like hypertension, heart and lung problems, diabetes, obesity, cancers, or mental illness are at a higher risk of developing serious illness or dying from covid-19.
It is a good habit to visit a doctor regularly, even if you feel healthy. Regular health checks can help identify any early signs of health issues or assess your risk of future illness hence prompting one to take charge and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Heart disease, diabetes, some cancers and other non-communicable diseases (even communicable) can often be picked up in their early stages, when chances for effective treatment are high.
During a health check, your doctor will take a thorough history from you regarding your medical history, your family’s history of disease, your social life and habits, including your diet, physical activity, alcohol use, smoking and drug intake. S/he will examine you including measuring your weight, blood pressure, feeling your body organs and listening to your heart and lungs amongst the rest. Depending on the assessment, your doctor will notify you how often you need to have a health check. If you have a high risk of a particular health condition, your doctor may recommend more frequent health checks from an early age.
Diet – a healthy diet improves one’s general health and wellbeing. It is recommended that we have at least two serves of fruit and five serves of vegetables daily. Physical activity – regular physical activity has significant health benefits on one’s body, mind & soul. It contributes to preventing and managing non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancers and diabetes, reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, enhances thinking, learning, and judgment skills and improves overall well-being. According to the world health organisation (WHO), people who are insufficiently active have a 20% to 30% increased risk of death compared to people who are sufficiently active. Aim for 30 minutes to an hour of moderate physical activity at least four days in a week. Examples of moderate physical activity include brisk walking, gentle swimming and social tennis.
Weight – maintaining a healthy weight range helps in preventing long-term complications like cardiovascular disease, diabetes and arthritis. It is also vital for one’s mental wellbeing and keeping up with normal activities of daily living. Ask your doctor to check your body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference annually. If you are at a higher risk, you should have your weight checked more frequently and a stern management plan in place.
Alcohol – as per WHO reports, alcohol consumption contributes to 3 million deaths each year globally as well as to the disabilities and poor health of millions of people. Healthy drinking entails taking no more than two standard drinks per drinking day with at least two alcohol-free days in a week.
Smoking –Nicotine contained in tobacco is highly addictive and tobacco use is a major risk factor for cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, many different types of cancer, and many other debilitating health conditions. Every year, at least a whopping 8 million people succumb from tobacco use worldwide. Tobacco can also be deadly for non-smokers through second-hand smoke exposure. It is not ‘fashionable’ if it is going to cost you and your loved ones lives! If you are currently smoking, talk to your doctor and get help in quitting as soon as possible to reduce the harm.
Blood pressure: Hypertension is a serious medical condition and can increase the risk of heart, brain, kidney and other diseases. It is a major cause of premature death worldwide, with upwards of 1 in 4 men and 1 in 5 women – over a billion people – having the condition. Have your blood pressure checked annually if it is normal, you are aged under 40 and there is no family history of hypertension. You might need to have it checked more frequently if you are over 40, your blood pressure is on the high side, or you have a personal or family history of high blood pressure, stroke or heart attack. Your doctor will be there to guide you.
Dental care – eating a low-sugar diet and cleaning and flossing the teeth regularly can reduce one’s risk of tooth decay, gum disease and tooth loss. Visit a dentist every six months for a dental examination and professional cleaning, or more frequently as per your dentist’s advice. Blood tests – annual to five-yearly blood tests may be done to further assess or confirm risk of disease. These may include blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels, kidney function, liver function, tumour markers, among other things. They may be done frequently if there is already an existing medical condition.
Cancer screening – various screening techniques can be done to detect different cancers in their early or pre-cancer stages. These include; skin inspections for any suspicious moles/spots, two-yearly mammograms for those at risk of developing breast cancer, Pap smear or the new Cervical Screening Test (CST) every five years, stool tests and colonoscopy (every five years) for those at most risk of bowel cancer, prostate cancer screening for those at risk (over 45 years of age, family history of cancers etc.). Discuss appropriate tests with your doctor.
Vaccinations – You should discuss with your doctor about the necessary routine immunisation, in particular; the Covid-19 vaccines, an annual flu shot, a five-yearly pneumococcal vaccine if you have never had one or you are immunocompromised and any other boosters that you might need.
If you need further advice or treatment please call 4924730, email HYPERLINK “mailto:email@example.com” firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.themedisccentre.co.bw
Antoinette Boima, MBBS, BMedSci, PgDip HIV/AIDS, Cert Aesth Med is the Managing Director of The Medics Centre in Palapye.