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“The Eagle Has Landed”

Benson C Saili
THIS EARTH, MY BROTHER    

Why did Neil Armstrong utter such words in the groundbreaking Apollo 11 Mission?
 
Standing at the perimeters of the Cedar Forest, Gilgamesh, not to mention Enkidu who albeit was coming here for the second time, was transfixed by the breathtaking scenery.  “Their words were silenced; they themselves stood still,” says The Epic of Gilgamesh.  “They stood still and gazed at the forest. They looked at the height of the cedars; they beheld the Cedar Mountain, the dwelling place of the gods, shrine-place of Inanna. The cedars held up their luxuriance all upon the mountain, their shade was pleasant. It filled one with happiness.”

The Lebanon cedar is a lush-leaved, majestic tree that can grow up to 150 feet, or 46 metres, high and can live for more than 2000 years. In the Bible, the Lebanon cedar is the most extolled tree, with more than 75 references altogether. It was the main input in the construction of Solomon’s Temple, the reason Yahweh would say, “Why have you not built Me a house of cedar?” (2 SAMUEL 7:7). Throughout the Near East, the Cedar was to be found only in the Syrian mountain range that encompassed the Lebanon Mountain. 

Only gods were capable of cultivating the cedar: mankind, the Bible tells us, had no idea how to grow cedars. For instance, the King of Tyre obtained a shoot of a cedar branch from Lebanon so that it could give rise to a swathe of cedar forest in his own domain. What arose was not a robust cedar but an inferior one – “a spreading vine of low nature”.

Since the cedar tree grew about the Abode of the Gods, the Cedar Mountain was also referred to as the “Orchard of the Gods”. The cedar was “the envy of all the trees that were in Eden,” Eden being the generic name for any place the Anunnaki were concentrated in. Zechariah Sitchin puts this in context thus: “The Hebrew term Gan (orchard, garden), stemming as it does from the root gnn (protect, guard), conveys the sense of a guarded and restricted area – the same sense as is imparted to the reader of the Gilgamesh narrative:

a forest that extends ‘for many leagues’, watched over by a Fiery Warrior (a ‘terror to mortals’).” Because the cedar tree was associated with Paradise, great rulers and mighty nations were compared to cedars. The grandeur of the cedar trees far from making his hair stand on end calmed the nerves of Gilgamesh. They inspirited him even as he poised to breach Huwawa’s lair.

TRIAD OF LEBANON

Let us at this point in time pose to contemplate the politics, religiosity, sentimentality, and overall import of Baalbek before we continue with the saga of Gilgamesh. Baalbek was set up atop the Cedar Mountain, today known as Lebanon Mountain. It encompassed a rocket-launching silo and a landing platform spanning 9 hectares and raised to about 30 feet, or 9 metres, above ground.  It was constructed using huge, wide-girth stone blocks that weighed between 1000 to 1200 tonnes.

Underneath the vast horizontal platform which stood at about 4000 feet, or 1220 metres, above sea level, was a network of chambers, tunnels, caverns, and a host of other subterranean structures which curiously no researcher has been permitted to penetrate and explore. Clearly, the Illuminati do not want the world to know exactly what is contained in there, just as they do not want us to know what lies beneath the Temple Mount, the “holy” site in Jerusalem where the Jewish Temple used to be.   

Baalbek means “Lord of Beqaa”.  Beqaa was/is the valley that lay/lies at the base of the Cedar Mountain. Baal (shortened form of Aba-El) means “(He) Whose Father is El”. This was the Canaanite title of Utu-Shamash, whose father indeed was El – the name by which Nannar-Sin was known in Canaan. The Jewish name for Baalbek was Beth-Shemesh, meaning “House of Shamesh”.  The Greeks called it Heliopolis, or Sun City. Again this was in deference to Shamash, who was the Enlilites’ “Sun God”, that is, the god whose celestial counterpart was the Sun. As the Anunnaki’s principal astronaut and aeronaut, Shamash is frequently referred to as the “Rider of the Clouds” (e.g. PSALM 68:5).    

The alternative names for Baalbek were the Crest of Zaphon; the Airport of the Gods; the Landing Place; and the Crossroads of Ishtar. Zarerath Zaphon meant, “The Rocky Crest in the North” (the Baalbek platform, which was to the north of Canaan) but that was a secondary meaning: its original meaning was “the hidden away/observation place”. This denoted Baalbek’s remoteness from the vicinities of human settlements as well as its being ringed with observation posts  in case it was infiltrated and therefore (by virtue of its being a “holy place”) desecrated by “filthy” mankind. As such, Shamash was also known as the Lord of Zaphon.

Humans who were captive to the cult of Inanna referred to Baalbek as the Crossroads of Ishtar. Now, Inanna, just like Shamash, did have her own holiday precincts in Lebanon, which was located not very far from Baalbek. It was called Beth-Anath, meaning “House of Anath”, Anath (or Athena when reversed) being another of Inanna’s multiple names. Since Inanna too had access to Baalbek, where she could liberally take off and land to and from other places as she plied the skies (her favourite hobby which was only second to copulating), it is easy to understand why Baalbek was designated as the Crossroads of Ishtar.

Yet the real boss of Lebanon/Syria, the superintending god, was neither Shamash nor Inanna. It was Ishkur-Adad, Enlil-Jehovah’s third born son. The prophet Amos talks of “the palaces of Adad” in northern Beth-Shemesh.  In general though, the whole area was associated with the Triad of Adad, Shamash, and Inanna. But because Shamash controlled the all-important shems, he enjoyed a disproportionately higher regard than Adad among Earthlings.

GODS WHO WERE CALLED “ROCKET MEN”

If Baalbek was described as the “Airport of the Gods”, that was because it basically functioned as a terrestrial aviation facility. The fact of the matter was that though it was not a spaceport proper, like Tilmun was, it did harbour and launch shuttlecraft – second-tier spaceships which could only go as far as Low Earth Orbit, in modern times a maximum altitude of 2000 km and an orbital period of between 84 to 127 minutes. A shuttlecraft therefore went only as far as the International Space Station and not beyond that to other celestial bodies such as Mars and the Moon.

Both the shuttlecraft and the spacecraft proper, collectively known as rockets, were referred to as shems. When Gilgamesh set course for Baalbek, he was not aware of this difference: he thought he was going to ride in a spaceship all the way to Nibiru when the only shems there were at Baalbek constituted the limited-scope shuttlecraft.

Now, to Earthlings, a shem was a symbol of Anunnaki divinity.  In daily parlance, the Anunnaki were referred to as the Ilu, an abbreviation of/singular for Elohim.  Like most other words, Ilu spawned several derivative meanings (which we have already itemised in previous articles)) but its underlying deferential meaning was “Exalted Ones”, as gods typically are. In formal language, however, the Anunnaki were known as the Din.Gir. This title had nothing to do with intrinsic Anunnaki traits: it derived, solely, from the shem.  The Din.Gir was a shem and this is very evident from Sumerian pictograms and ideograms of a shem.

A shem, a multistage rocket, was made up, basically, of two parts. The lower part was known as Din. This was the rocket booster, meant to loft the shem into the skies. The noisier part, which clearly gives us the English term “din”, meaning “confused noise”, stems from the Sumerian Din. The top part, the powering engine, was the Gir, in all probability the ancestor word for “gear”. Thus the primary meaning of Din.Gir was simply “Noise-Creating Celestial Ship”.  

Observes Zechariah Sitchin: “The (Din.Gir) pictographic sign can easily bring to mind a powerful jet engine spewing flames from the end part, and a front part that is puzzlingly open. But the puzzle turns to amazement if we ‘spell’ Din.Gir by combining the two pictographs. The tail of the fin-like Gir fits perfectly into the opening in the front of Din! The astounding result is a picture of a rocket-propelled spaceship, with a landing craft docked into it perfectly – just as the lunar module was docked with the Apollo 11 spaceship! It is indeed a three-stage vehicle, with each part fitting neatly into the other: the thrust portion containing the engines, the midsection containing supplies and equipment, and the cylindrical ‘sky chamber’ housing the people named Din.Gir – the gods of antiquity, the astronauts of millennia ago.”

Given that the Anunnaki were the ones who rode in these noisy space vehicles, they too became a byword for their own machines. In the process, Din.Gir came to mean “Holy/Righteous/Pure/Good Ones of the Blazing/Noisy Rockets”. Put differently, Din.Gir (or just Din itself) evolved into “Great God” or simply “gods” (it is instructive that Endubasar, Enki’s official scribe, addressed him as “Great God”, which did not denote transcendence as such but simply stood for Din.Gir).  It follows, crystal-clearly, that the notion of Din.Gir meaning “Holy/Righteous/Divine Beings” was a later development.    
     

OF GIR’s AND MU’s

Now, the Gir itself (which the Egyptians called the Ben-Ben, benya benya in Setswana, meaning “that which pulsates”, referring to the aircraft’s rotating and flashing beacon) had two sub-components. The top-most, the command module, was called a Mu. The Mu could be detached when the shem was packed in a silo and used by the gods as a flying saucer, a UFO, which when  stationary on the ground stood on three legs that spread out from underneath it. The Mu that resembled a flying saucer was also referred to as a “Sky Chamber”.

Says Zechariah Sitchin: “The Flying Wheel described by the prophet Ezekiel was akin to the Assyrian depictions of their Flying God (Ishkur-Adad) roaming the skies, at cloud level, within a spherical Sky Chamber. Depictions found at an ancient site across the Jordan from Jericho suggest that for landing these spherical vehicles extended three legs.”

There were also other types of Mu’s that looked like either a jet or a chopper. These were never a part of a shem. They were called Esh, meaning “Throne” or “God’s Chamber”.  Their alternative description in the Sumerian records was “Boat of Heaven”. Inanna in particular is often styled as riding in a Boat of Heaven. In the Bible, a chopper-like Mu, in which Ishkur-Adad used to ride when he led the Israelites into the wilderness, and a UFO-like Mu are referred to as “whirlwinds” (EZEKIEL 1:4) or Chariots/Horses of Fire (2 KINGS 2:11) because mankind assumed that all airborne vehicles were powered by fire having seen rockets blast off into space in a blaze of fire.

When the prophet Isaiah says, “In the year King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne (special seat in a cabin), high and lifted up, and his train (billowing smoke) filled the temple (ISAIAH 6:1), what he was saying was that he saw Enlil or Ishkur-Adad in the cabin (throne) of a chopper or flying saucer.   The prophet Ezekiel also furnishes a very vivid description of a jet-like Mu (whole of EZEKIEL Chapter 1). “The “whirlwind” in which Elijah was carried to “Heaven” was a Mu: it ferried him to the spaceport in the Sinai Peninsula en route to Nibiru (EZEKIEL 2 KINGS 2:1-11).

Since the Sumerians and the people of Old Testament times were more familiar with the Mu than the  shem as they frequently saw it  around them or parked in the backyard of a god’s mansion (called temples), it was the Mu they depicted the most in their cave wall paintings.  When the shems are depicted, they are shown with tails of billowing fire, missile-like vehicles, and celestial cabins. The ancients knew what they were portraying for posterity folks. It’s a pity that religion has blindfolded us from identifying their depictions and descriptions for exactly what they were. This Earth My Brother …  

APOLLO 11 DEDICATED TO SHAMASH

As the lunar module of the Apollo 11 spacecraft touched down on the moon in July 1969, Neil Armstrong reported to NASA’s Mission Control Centre at Houston, Texas, thus: “Houston! Tranquillity Base here. The Eagle has landed!”  Tranquillity Base was the exact location on the moon where the lunar module had landed. But what was the  Eagle that had landed? It was of course the code name for the lunar module itself. By the same token, eagle was also the codename for the astronauts themselves. The entire three-man team of Neil Armstrong, Ed Aldrin, and Michael Collins wore space suits that bore the emblem of an eagle.  

How about the mission itself? Why was it codenamed Apollo? Just like the eagle nomenclature, the Apollo nomenclature derived from Anunnaki times. Apollo is the shortened form of Apollyon, another name for Utu-Shamash. It means “Before (the age of) the Lion”. It was a name given to Shamash retrospectively for having been the most geopolitically influential Enlilite during the astrological age of Virgo, which preceded the age of Leo (that is, Lion). It  was in Virgo that the Deluge occurred, right on the  cusp of Leo. The Deluge was a major turning point in the affairs of Earth and so was a very significant frame of reference. Anunnaki history on Earth is basically two-phased: prediluvial (before the Flood) and post-diluvial (after the Flood).

Unbeknownst to much of the world today, the Anunnaki ruler/prince  of the present age, Pisces, is Utu-Shamash. We know this from  REVELATION  9:11, where he is referred  to as Abaddon, meaning “(He) whose father is Addon”. Adon (variously Aten, Adonai, Adonis) means “Prolific (in the sense of producing offspring) Lord”. Adon as we already know was another name for Nannar-Sin, Shamash’s father, who was reputed to be so fecund he had more than 70 children. 

When Jesus said, “Now shall the Prince of this world be cast out” (JOHN 12:31) and when the apostle Paul talks about “the Prince of the Power of the Air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience” (EPHESIANS 2:2), both are direct references to Shamash in his capacity as the god of the age of Pisces (mathematically from 60 BC to 2220 AD) and as the Anunnaki’s chief aerial navigator. So the Illuminati dedicated the mission to the moon to their Anunnaki god Apollo/Shamash.

LIKE THE EAGLE, LIKE THE PHOENIX

Why was the lunar module called the Eagle? In Anunnaki times, a shem was metaphorically referred to as the Eagle. But this was not the familiar eagle we see daily in our skies: it was the mythical version of the Eagle – the phoenix. The phoenix is a legendary bird that is constantly rejuvenating itself by burning to ash and then reanimating as a fresh and vigorous creature. In other words, the phoenix never died: it was immortal. It kept starting life anew every time it verged on old age. 

To Earthlings, the shem had connotations of the phoenix. It was the symbol of eternal life in that if one rode in it to Nibiru, not only did they return the same age as they were years or decades when they left but henceforth lived forever, like the Anunnaki. Since the shem was associated with divinity, it was in itself an object of veneration or worship. Says Zechariah Sitchin: “We are told that witnesses at Sumeria’s supreme court were required to take the oath in an inner courtyard, standing by a gateway through which they could see and face three ‘divine objects’.

These were named the Golden Sphere (the crew's cabin?), the Gir, and the Aalikmahrati – a term that literally meant ‘advancer that makes vessel go’, or what we would call a motor, an engine. What emerges here is a reference to a three-part rocket ship, with the cabin or command module at the top end, the engines at the bottom end, and the Gir in the centre … In the temple of Ninurta, the sacred or most guarded inner area was called the Girsu (‘where the Gir is sprung up’).”

The Igigi, the Anunnaki astronauts, were known as Eagles too.  Zechariah Sitchin: “An Assyrian seal engraving from circa 1500 BC shows two ‘Eaglemen’ saluting a shem! Numerous depictions of such ‘Eagles’ – the scholars call them ‘Bird-Men’ –  have been found. Most depictions show them flanking the Tree of Life, as if to stress that they, in their shems, provided the link with the Heavenly Abode where the Bread of Life and Water of Life were to be found. Indeed, the usual depiction of the Eagles showed them holding in one hand the Fruit of Life and in the other the Water of Life, in full conformity with the tales of Adapa, Etana, and Gilgamesh.”

Since Shamash was the god in charge of the Eagles (shems) and Eaglemen (Igigis), it is not surprising that the Illuminati-controlled NASA dedicated the Apollo Programme (comprising 12 missions altogether between February 1967 and December 1972) to him. It is also noteworthy that the moon was the celestial counterpart of Nannar-Sin, who was dubbed the “Moon God”. Thus, by dedicating the Apollo Programme to Shamash, what NASA was effectively saying to Sin was that “we come to thee Father in the name of thy Son Shamash”.   

In both Sumerian and modern-day pictography, the so-called angels (An-Gal in Sumerian, meaning “Great People of Heaven” – another term for the Anunnaki in general) are shown with wings. What the Sumerians sought to portray in this regard was that these people, the Anunnaki, were like winged beings in that they  flew (in sky vehicles) like eagles.  Zechariah Sitchin again: “How would an ancient artist have depicted the pilots of the skyships of the gods? Would he have depicted them, by some chance, as eagles?”

NEXT WEEK:  THE CONTENDING OF SHAMASH AND HIS BROTHERS

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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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