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Land of Firsts

Benson C Saili
THIS EARTH, MY BROTHER    

Sumer, the world’s best-known civilisation of old, blossoms as knowledge is lowered from “Heaven”

The 17th day of Anu’s visit to Earth was his departure day. On the morning of that day, Anu attended a prayer and thanksgiving service in the Unug-ki chapel, where blessings were requested of him. “Anu is leaving,” the priests chanted. “Anu King of Heaven and Earth, we ask for your blessings.” The Anunnaki then one by one ascended to the pulpit for Anu to lay hands on them and pronounce blessings.

The very last, by deliberate design, was Inanna. Inanna was in for the treat of her life. Anu not only made her his official mistress on Earth for as long as she was single but presented her his personal plane and gave her the keys to Unug-ki. “Anu to his great-granddaughter Inanna took a liking,” the Sumerian records say. “He drew her closely, he hugged and kissed her. ‘Let all my words heed!’ to the congregated he announced. ‘This place, after we leave, to Inanna as a dowry is given. Let the skyship in which we the Earth surveyed to Inanna my present be!’”

Inanna was over the moon. “To dance and sing began, her praises of Anu as hymns in times to come were chanted.” It was at this stage that she was renamed Inanna, “Beloved of Anu”: prior to that, she had been known as Irnini. The farewell service having been concluded, Anu was escorted down the “Street of the Gods” to the “Place of the Barque of Anu”. There, in another chapel called “Build Life on Earth”, the Anunnaki chanted blessings for him. The King  was then flown to the spaceport at Tilmun. On the steps of his rocket, he had one final appeal to Enlil and Enki. “Whatever Destiny  for the Earth and the Earthlings intended, let it be so,” he underlined. “If Man, not Anunnaki to Earth inherit is destined, let us destiny help.” The King then hugged, embraced, and kissed his two sons, got aboard the spaceship, and was off to “Heaven” as Nibiru was then known.  

A SUDDEN, REVIVALIST BURST OF KNOWLEDGE

GENESIS 10:10:  And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel and Erech and Accad and Calneh in the land of Shinar … GENESIS 11:2:  And it came to pass as they journeyed from the east that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there …

Shinar (Sinar in Hebrew) is the Old Testament term for Sumer. Sumer is the English corruption of “Shumer”. Shumer is an Akkadian term, Akkadian being the parent language of Hebrew, the language of the Jewish people. Shumer (from Shem-Ur) means “Land of the Bright Ones”; “Land of the Shining Ones”; “Land of the Guardians”;  “Land of the Watchers”; or
“Land of the Rocket People”. In other words, Sumer was the land of the Anunnaki – the “Lords of Brightness” – who travelled in “celestial chariots” (rockets) and who watched and lorded over mankind, the species they had created by way of genetic engineering about 300,000 years ago.    

However, the Sumerians did not call their land Shumer. They called it Kiengir, which means “Land of the Lords of the Blazing Rockets” – the name King Anu had conferred.  The Sumerians referred to themselves as Ugsaggigga, meaning   "The Black-Headed People". That way, they distinguished themselves from people they called the Dingir, or the “Righteous Ones Of The Rockets” – the Anunnaki.  The Dingir were multi-racial but the majority as well as the ruling class were very light-skinned, almost albino-like; blue-eyed in the main; and predominantly blonde-haired.

Sumer was the first place the Anunnaki settled in when they came to Earth about 450,000 years ago. At the time, they called it Edin, the biblical Eden. The Edin was destroyed in the Deluge of Noah’s day and was reconstructed 6000 Years ago, when it became known as Sumer/Kiengir. Sumer was designated as the crucible for mankind’s civilisation at the suggestion of Enki and at the decree of Nibiru King Anu, “Our Father Who Art In Heaven” when he visited Earth in 3800 BC. It is the world’s best-documented civilisation of antiquity, which arose in southern Mesopotamia in ancient Iraq astride the iconic rivers Euphrates and Tigris.  

The Sumerian civilisation was not gradual but abrupt: in terms of the normal, gradualistic   pace of history, it took place in the twinkling of an eye. Historians and scholars have called it “astonishing”; “extraordinary”; “a flame which blazed up so suddenly”. Leo Oppenheimer, author of Ancient Mesopotamia, stressed “the astonishing short period within which this civilisation arose”. 

Joseph Campbell, in his book The Masks of God, summed it up thus: “With stunning abruptness … there appears in this little Sumerian mud garden … the whole cultural syndrome that has since constituted the germinal unit of all the high civilisation of the world.” Well, the sudden dawn of the Sumerian civilisation was such because it was effected expeditiously by a people who were capable of doing so – the already surpassingly civilised Anunnaki. They handed civilisation to mankind as an already complete package: we didn’t have to evolve with this knowledge over millions of years as per the normal evolutionary process.

THE INFRASTRUCTURE TAKES SHAPE

Sumer was built by mankind with the supervision of either the Anunnaki themselves, who did the schematic and architectural planning, or the so-called demigods – Earthlings who had between half to two-thirds of royal Anunnaki blood in them.  The demigods, from whom Earthling kings were chosen (that’s how bogosi began – with people who had substantial Anunnaki blood [the so-called Bluebloods] coursing in their veins, were the first to receive enlightenment. They in turn passed on this knowledge to the wider mass of Earthlings through the academic and vocational training system, initially using Sumerian and subsequently Akkadian, the forerunner to the Hebrew language, as the lingua franca.

The entire infrastructural erection – palaces, temples, houses, stables, warehouses, walls, gates, columns, decorations, statues, artworks, towers, ramparts, terraces, gardens – was done in the space of only five years. All the streets and promenades were paved. For instance, Uruk, Ninurta’s cult city, was paved with “limestone blocks brought from mountains fifty miles to the East.” All the bricks were made of clay, which was also the fundamental raw material in the manufacture of utensils for daily use and things we today make using steel – containers for storage and transportation of goods.  

Sumerian Earthling cities are said to have been splendidly organised. They had a central government, a municipal bureaucracy, and a social stratification, sadly, akin to what we have today – the haves and the have-nots, the nobility and the commoners, the bourgeois and the proletariat, the blue collar and white collar. But the cities were much smaller than modern ones: each was populated by between 10,000 to 50,000 people.  The bulk of mankind, who now were mistrusting of the Anunnaki in light of what transpired during the Deluge, preferred to live in rural settings far removed from the metropolises and where they would be masters of their own destiny.  

The principal occupation of the Sumerians was agriculture. Sumer, also known as Mesopotamia – the Land Between The Two Rivers (Tigris and Euphrates) – was the global food basket of the day. Most of the Sumerians worked in the agricultural field: only few were in business or the professions. Others served the Anunnaki in their temple-houses. Not only did they cook, clean, launder and maintain surroundings for the Anunnaki royalty but they also worshipped them as gods. Observes one chronicler: “The Anunnaki turned Earthlings’ palace-servant duties into religious rituals that persist to this day. Serving meats on the Anunnaki table became burnt offerings. The table became an altar. The transportation of the local Anunnaki ruler on a dais became a procession of statues. The Anunnaki palaces became temples.”

Sumer was also known for the transportation,  ship-building, and the metals trade, the latter of which gave rise to banking and the world’s first currency –the silver shekel. The shipping industry was in full bloom, with special-purpose ships for passengers, cargo, or goods which required exclusive transportation. As regards overland transport, the newly invented wheel facilitated the emergence of carts and chariots which used the so-called ox-power or horse power for locomotion.

But one of Sumer’s earliest outstanding feat was the development of the textile and clothing industry. Long before   James Hargreaves invented the "spinning jenny”, a device which allowed one person to spin many threads at once, to kick-start the Industrial Revolution in 1764, Sumer was famed for its woolen fabrics and its apparel. The basic garment was known as the Tugtushe,  meaning “garment which is worn wrapped around”, like a toga. The garments of Sumer were so highly prized that once during the Israelites storming  of the city of Jericho, a soldier risked a death penalty when he appropriated to himself “one good coat of Shinar” as per the book of JOSHUA 7:21.

LEARNING AND RECORD KEEPING

What were some of the Sumerian “firsts”? They include the wheel and wheeled transportation; the brick and high-rise buildings; the furnaces and kilns essential to industries from baking to metallurgy; astronomy, astrology, and mathematics; medicine; cities and urban societies; kingship and systems of law; the bicameral parliament; temples and priesthoods; timekeeping; the calendar; music and music instruments; the first money in the form of the silver shekel; and above all writing and record keeping.

Much of the saga of the Anunnaki we have been writing about in this column series was first recorded 6,000 years ago by the scribes of Sumer.  They used monuments, artifacts, foundation stones, bricks, utensils, etc, as inviting slates on which to write down and record events. Above all,   they used clay tablets and cylinder seals. The clay tablets number in tens of thousands (over 30,000 were unearthed at the site of the ancient city of Nippur alone) and have been found in ancient centres of commerce or of administration, temple palaces, and libraries dug up by archaeologists over the years.

It was the Sumerians who were the first to record and describe events and tell the tales of the “gods” – the Anunnaki. We are only just beginning to know about the planet Nibiru, and we began to get acquainted with the geophysical and geographical features of other planets of the Solar System only in the last third of the 20th century, but the Sumerians knew precious much about all of this, including how the Earth came to be – a subject about which astrophycists are still scratching their “terrifically” learned heads. 

“The true treasures of these (Sumerian) kingdoms were their written records,” writes Zechariah Sitchin. “ (There were) thousands upon thousands of inscriptions in the cuneiform script, including cosmologic tales, epic poems, histories of kings, temple records, commercial contracts, marriage and divorce records, astronomical tables, astrological forecasts, mathematical formulas, geographic lists, grammar and vocabulary school texts, and, not least of all, texts dealing with the names, genealogies, epithets, deeds, powers, and duties of the gods.”

The school curriculum was thorough and meticulous. It taught “not only language and writing but also the sciences of the day – botany, zoology, geography, mathematics, and theology. Literary works of the past were studied and copied, and new ones were composed. Discipline was scrupulously and rigorously enforced. There is a record of one school alumnus who was severely flogged for “missing school, for insufficient neatness, for loitering, for not keeping silent, for misbehaving, and even for not having neat handwriting”.

Modern day mathematics is based on the decimal system, the ratio 10:1, also called Base 10. The Base 10 cue was provided by the number of our bodily digits – 10 toes, 10 fingers. On the other hand, Sumerian mathematics was based on the number 60 and so was called the sexagesimal system. Why and how? According to Sumerian knowledge passed to us, mathematics on the planet Nibiru was based on the number 6 because the Nibiruians were born with 6 toes and fingers on each hand and foot respectively (Nibiruian males were also born with a penis that did not have a foreskin – already circumcised by nature! Now we can understand why Enlil – the Bible’s Jehovah – wanted his chosen people, the Hebrews, to be circumcised, that is, to be like their god!)

To reconcile Nibiruian mathematics with Earthly mathematics, the Anunnaki came up with a ratio of 3,600, which was the number of years it took for their planet to revolve around the Sun, and 2,160, which was the number of years it took for people on Earth to experience one age of a uniform star pattern in the night skies, also called a zodiac (Leo, Taurus, Pisces, etc). Thus, 3600:2160 came down to 10:6, or simply Base 60. The 360 degree cycle, the foot and its twelve inches, and the dozen are all aspects of mathematics that hark back to Sumerian sexagesimal mathematics, which was instituted by the phenomenally advanced Anunnaki. There was also a time when a year was 360 days long as opposed to today’s 365 days.
“We were taught all that we know by the Anunnaki,” the Sumerians keep reminding us in their cuneiform clay tablets.   

SUMERIAN MEDICINE

If Sumer wasn’t that endowed with mineral ores, it had fuels galore. It was the ancient world’s primary source of petroleum products, a status it maintained all the way to the Roman era (1st to 5th century AD).  The oil simply oozed out of the ground naturally, as in today’s Kuwait, which incidentally was part of Sumer. Petroleum products were an integral part of Sumerian medicine too, as was water, plants and vegetables (herbal products), and mineral compounds.  Intriguingly, Sumerian medicine was not simply about therapy and surgery: it also involved simple vocalisation – healing by the utterance of commands (probably similar to what the “prophets” of our day do?) and incantations.   Unfortunately, the latter method is not used at all in modern hospitals when it is astonishingly effective when practiced as an art form, particularly in ailments that are inflicted “supernaturally” by dark forces.

Some medicinal powders were taken orally not only with water but in mixtures with honey, wine, and even beer. In our day, doctors who prescribe medication that includes alcohol are non-existent but in Sumerian times, they were the norm rather than the exception (I’m sure my friend Mashele Ishos would love such a doctor!).  And medicine was not administered only through the mouth: there was also rectal medicine, which was poured through the rectum  in the form of plant or vegetable oils. Again this is unheard of in these times of ours which are dominated by  Western medicine but in African medicine it is still in vogue: as kids, my own late maternal grandmother Malia used to administer rectal oils to us when we were afflicted with chronic diarrhea and with speedy results.

In the Sumerian records, we read of “water physicians (doctors who specialised in healing with water only, an echo of the “Holy Water” that is so fashionable today in evangelical circles)”, “oil physicians (doctors who specialised in healing with oils only [anointed oil as in evangelical churches?])”, “veterinarians”, etc.  All sorts of surgeries were performed, including brain surgery. One medical text talks of a surgery involving the “removal of a shadow covering somebody’s eye,” which sounds like a cataract operation. There are numerous depictions of patients lying on what appear to be a surgical table with a team of masked Anunnaki and human doctors all around. On one cylinder seal is a drawing of a pair of surgical tongs against a backdrop of a serpent coiled around a tree, suggesting that the serpent has been the symbol of medicine since days immemorial.

JUSTICE AND THE LEGISLATURE

The first system of laws and the first parliament arose in Sumer. The laws were remarkably just and equitable and profoundly pro-poor. There were laws, for instance, that put a cap on the prices of essential commodities and on the rental of wagons and boats so that the poor were not unduly exploited. There were laws that formed the framework of master-servant relationships. All forms of oppression, exploitation, and extortion were spelt out as “evil” in the statutes.

The laws aimed at  stopping and punishing "the grabbers-of the citizens' oxen, sheep, and donkeys" so that "the orphan shall not fall prey to the wealthy, the widow shall not fall prey to the powerful, the man of one shekel shall not fall prey to a man of 60 shekels." Early law codes included sections dealing with fees payable to surgeons for successful operations, and Shariah-like penalties to be imposed on them in case of botched operations. For instance, a surgeon using a lancet to open a patient's temple was to lose his hand if he accidentally destroyed the patient's eye!

The courts were presided over by a professional judge from the royal establishment; three lay judges; and thirty-three members of a jury. The Sumerian parliament was two-tier, like that of Britain and the US, where you have the House of Lords and the House of Commons, and the Senate and the House of Representatives respectively. A story is told of how Gilgamesh, the King of Uruk,  wished to go to war with Kish. As powerful as he was, he needed parliament to sanction the war. He first brought up the matter before the Assembly of the Elders, who voted against war. But when he tabled the same matter in the Assembly of the Fighting Men, it was a foregone conclusion: they overwhelmingly voted for war.    

 
NEXT WEEK: MARDUK FOUNDS BABYLON

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Appendicitis: Recognising the Signs

29th March 2022

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 an inflammation 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

Fever

Constipation or diarrhoea

Abdominal bloating/fullness

Diagnosis

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.

Treatment

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.

Complications

Appendicitis can cause serious complications such as;

Appendicular mass/abscessIf 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 rises 48–72 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:info@themedicscentre.co.bw” info@themedicscentre.co.bw 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.

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A degree of common sense

7th February 2022

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!

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Why regular health checks are important!

7th February 2022

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:info@themedicscentre.co.bw” info@themedicscentre.co.bw 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.

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