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David The Last Pharaoh

Benson C Saili
THIS EARTH, MY BROTHER

    

Israel’s most famous king ruled in both  Egypt and Palestine

Circa 1413 BC, Jacob, aged 550 years, lay on his death bed in Egypt, which was now administered by his youngest son Iu-Sif, Joseph in English, Yuya in Arabic. Although this was about 115 years since the Hykso-Hebrews were driven out of northern Egypt (I-Sira-El) to Canaan, the memory of the event was still vivid in Jacob’s waning but far from senile mind, particularly the abominable deed that led to this outcome.  This was the murder of southern Egypt’s black Pharaoh, Seqenenre Tao II,  by Jacob’s own kids,  Simeon and Levi.

The ejection of the Hyksos from Egypt after a protracted see-saw war had greatly incensed Enlil-Jehovah as it resulted from a unnecessary provocation of southern Egypt by Simeon and Levi. The regrettable aftermath was that there no longer was an I-Sira-El (“El’s Shield”) in Egypt. Remember, I-Sira-El was vital because it denied the indigenous Egyptians,  Marduk’s people, direct access to the spaceport in the Sinai Peninsula and to Canaan as a whole.

It was a kind of Iron Curtain between southern Egypt and Canaan. At the time of Jacob’s death, the spaceport was of course no longer in existence. But Jacob was still wroth about Simeon’s  and Levi’s macabre  deed, and so was Enlil, who simply never let bygones be bygones.  More than 115 years after the event, it was now payback  time on the part of Simeon and Levi..

First, Jacob blessed his other sons. When it finally was the turn of Simeon and Levi, he refrained totally; instead, he pronounced a curse upon them.  Jacob was in fact so disdainful of his two sons that he did not even address them directly. This is what the dying patriarch said to the duo as captured in GENESIS 49:5-6:  “Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations.  O my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honour, be not thou united: for in their anger they slew a man, and in their self-will they digged down a wall.”

Jacob withheld blessings in respect of Simeon and Levi because they were “instruments of cruelty” who in the pursuit of self-serving interests had murdered  a man and “dug down a wall”. This man was not an ordinary man: he was Pharaoh Seqenenre Tao II of southern Egypt. “Digging down a wall’ is a metaphor  for the Iron Curtain Simeon and Levi caused to be brought down when  Tao’s sons Kamose and Ahmose  ejected the Hyksos from northern Egypt and united the country into one pro-Marduk domain.  

Have you  ever wondered why the Jewish royal line is traced through Judah, the fourth-born, and not any of his three older brothers?   Why was the first principal  Jewish domain in Canaan named after Judah and why is Jesus sometimes referred to as the Lion of Judah?  Now you know the answer: Judah leapfrogged Simeon and Levi in the Jacobite succession because his two immediate older brothers were cursed. Of course Genesis tells some rather unflattering story about Reuben,  but it is pure hogwash: Reuben was nearly 300 years dead when Simon and Levi provoked that comeuppance from Kamose and Ahmose. There is as much legend in the Bible as there is truth.     

In the course of time, however, the Levites for one did redeem themselves. They were  entrusted the  temple priesthood by their god Enlil and took it  upon themselves to document the history of  the  Jews, which they did embellish here and there anyway.  The Torah, the first five books of the Bible, were not written by Moses: they were written by the Levites.      

HYKSO-HEBREWS USE JOSEPH AS TROJAN HORSE TO REGAIN RULE OF EGYPT!

Having lost northern Egypt in the time of southern Egypt pharaohs Kamose and Ahmose, the Hykso-Hebrews did not take the matter lying down. They once again regrouped and came up with a strategy to win it back by sleight of hand. This strategy took the form of Joseph, Jacob’s older son with his most beloved wife Rachel (the other son was Benjamin). Since we will talk about Joseph in detail at the appropriate time, here we will simply dwell on him superficially.

Firstly, be informed that Joseph was not sold into slavery by his brothers because they were jealous of him. True, Joseph was Jacob’s most beloved son but this was for one reason only – he was the son of Rachel, his most adored wife among his four spouses. To Jacob, Rachel was the effective senior wife, the Mohumagadi, in that although he married her older sister Leah first, he was tricked into doing so (another made-up story): the woman he wanted from the word go was Rachel. Thus it was his most beloved son that Jacob chose to infiltrate Egypt and ultimately regain rulership of the country. Joseph wasn’t sold into slavery to  Egyptians: he was tactfully planted as part of the Enlilites’ long-term strategy to blindside  the Egyptian pharaoh and ultimately prise the country from Enkite rule.

Exactly how did the Enlilites re-take Egypt?  They had Joseph, a genius, impress Pharaoh Tuthmosis IV through his uncanny ability to interpret dreams and a unique gift of far-sightedness. But the person Joseph impressed the most was Tuthmosis IV’s  heir, Amenhotep III. It was Amenhotep III who made Joseph Prime Minister of the whole of Egypt. But Amenhotep III went a step further: he married Joseph’s daughter Tiye.  Amenhotep III and Tiye had a child they named Tuthmosis V. In the Bible, he’s best known as Moses.

Moses, however, never ruled Egypt: it was his paternal  half-brother, Amenhotep  IV who did. Amenhotep IV’s other names were Akhenaten and Smenkhkare. In the Bible, he is best  known as Aaron. In due course, however, there were intermarriages between the children of Aaron and Moses. It was the resulting dynasty that ruled Egypt  all the way to the time of  David.   

DAVID WAS EGYPT’S PHARAOH PSUSENNES II

What further evidence do we have that the biblical patriarchs were actually Egyptian pharaohs? It is the Bible itself. In  RUTH 4:18-22, the ancestry of David, Israel’s most famous king, is outlined as follows: “These are the genealogical records of Perez.  Perez begot Hezron, Hezron begot Aram (Ram in Hebrew), Aram begot Aminadab, Aminadab begot Nahshon, Nahshon begot Salmon, Salmon begot Boaz, Boaz begot Obed, Obed begot Jesse, and Jesse begot David.”

These names, folks, appear  in Egyptian pharaonic records but in the  equivalent Egyptian language. Perez in Egyptian annals turns out to be Pharaoh Rameses IX.  Hezron is Rameses IX; Ram is Rameses XI; Aminadab is Amen-Nesban-ebjed; Nahshon is Amen-em-nishu; Salmon is Siamun; Boaz is Bas-Osorkon; and Obed is Amen-em-opet.

What about Jesse and David?  In Egyptian archives, Jesse was known as Harsiese, or Psusennes I in Greek, and David was known as Psusennes II. But Psusennes was not David’s Egyptian name: his Egyptian name was Pasebakhaenuit (which can also be rendered as Pa-sheba-ka-en-at), which translates to “The Star of the City” or “Bright Star of the Lord”. Why star? In Egyptian lore, the “underworld”, where people were deemed to have gone after their death, was known as the Duat (actually Dyhwt, which in English is David).

In hieroglyphic imagery, the Duat was represented by a star in a circle. As for the city, this was Avaris, the Hykso capital in northern Egypt. Avaris was also known as Zoan, which is Zion in the Bible. Thus the Star of the City of Zion, the Duat, was King David. Indeed, when Pharaoh Psusennes II was buried, the cartouche inscription on his grave showed glyphs representing a star and a city to underscore the fact that he was the Star of the Hyksos’capital city.  

Similarities between Pharaoh Psusennes II and King David in fact abound. Pharaoh Psusennes’s daughter was called Maakhare MuTamhat, while David’s daughter was known as Maakhah Tamar. The Pharaoh’s army general was called Tchoeb, while David’s was called Joab. The pharaoh’s architect was called Herum Atif, while David’s was called Hiram Abif, the masonic hero. The fact that the Hebrew patriarchs were Egyptian pharaohs explains why there isn’t the slightest archeological evidence of their presence in today’s Israel.

DAVID IS KING OF ISRAEL AND JUDAH

Of the Hebrew patriarchs (that is, the leading Jewish figures from Abraham to David), only David ruled in both Egypt and Canaan. David was King for 33 years. He ruled Egypt for 7 years and Canaan (the United Kingdom of Israel and Judah) for 24 years. This was from 995 to 988 BC. The Hykso-Israelites had two bases. The major base was in northern Egypt, which they called I-Sira-El. Their secondary base was in Canaan.

Since the patriarchs operated from Egypt, they needed somebody to oversee Canaan in their stead. They thus appointed the so-called judges. Among these judges was the famous Samson, a man of reportedly superhuman strength and astonishing feats. The judges were appointed after the conquest of Canaan by the great Israelite general Joshua. The judges were unelected, non-hereditary leaders who served as military leaders in times of crisis. The era of judges came to an end when the Israelites installed the first king of Canaan. This was Soul.  Soul, of the tribe of Benjamin, was the first king of the United Kingdom of Israel (Samaria) and Judah.

It seems when Saul was appointed king, it was only in a caretaker capacity. He was more of a viceroy than king, meaning he still was subordinate to King David, who at the time was ruling in Egypt.  In 988 BC, David travelled to Canaan, perhaps to check on how Saul was faring as his viceroy. During his absence, the Libyans descended on Egypt, seized power, and crowned their own man,   Shesong, as Pharaoh of Egypt.

Having lost Egypt, David decided to take the reins, substantively, of Canaan, but Saul gave him the middle finger, whereupon a ebbing and flowing civil war arose between David and he. It was David who triumphed to become the second Israelite King of Canaan.
Although David is the most revered of Israelite kings, he had a whole host of shortcomings.  One of these was a tendency to promiscuity, having married at least 8 wives and sired at least 19 children.

One upshot of his lecherous ways was that he had Uriah, one of his generals, deliberately abandoned at the battlefront and therefore killed all because there was one secret which he didn’t want the nation to get to know about. This was that he had committed adultery with Uriah’s wife and made her pregnant. Worse still, Uriah’s wife was not an ordinary woman: she was a princess. This was Princess Bathsheba, King David’s own daughter. King David, folks, not only had an incestuous relationship with his married daughter but he also tied the knot with her after the tactical elimination of her husband.

HOW DAVID MARRIED HIS OWN DAUGHTER  BATHSHEBA

The story of David having schemed the death of Uriah over the matter of a pregnant Bathsheba, Uriah’s wife, is a well-known one. It is related in 2 SAMUEL 11:1-26, 12:15-25. However, the biblical story is heavily doctored: it is not entirely authentic. As biblical scholar Elizabeth Fletcher rightly puts it, “The story of Bathsheba’s seduction as we have it in the Bible was edited by court story-tellers during the reign of her son Solomon, and doubtless influenced by Bathsheba and her son”. It was word that was put out by King Solomon that the scribes ran away with and not the real story.  So what is the true story?

Of David’s 8 official wives, one was known as Maakhah. Maakhah, we learn from the Bible, had a daughter known as Tamar. Her full names were Maakhah-Tamar. It was through one of Maakhah-Tamar’s male descendents, Joseph, that Jesus was born into this world. To history, Maakhah-Tamar is best known as Bathsheba. Bathsheba means “Daughter of Sheba”. What was/who was Sheba?

Sheba has two closely-related connotations. The first has to do with a city, actually a star city in that it housed the most important figure of the day in northern Egypt, King David. The city was Avaris, the capital of northern Egypt. The second has to do with David himself. As indicated above, David’s throne name was   Pashebakaenat. Pashebakaenat can be abbreviated as simply Sheba, meaning “Star”. Thus Bathsheba, it turns out,   was David’s daughter. She was the daughter of the Star (David) of the Star City (Avaris).

What happened was that whilst Bathsheba was married to Uriah, David made her pregnant (whilst Uriah was away on duty) and fearing the enormity of the  scandal if it became public knowledge,  he arranged for Uriah to be killed. After Uriah’s demise, David went on to marry Bathsheba,  his own daughter, secretly and in heed of  the preconditions she imposed on him declared her his seniormost wife. Thus whilst the palace personnel knew about what  had transpired, the body politic  had no idea. Remember, there were no newspapers, radio, or television  those days.  But  news has a way of filtering its way into the public domain; hence a secret doesn’t remain so forever.    

SOLOMOM INHERITS AFTER DAVID AGAINST ALL ODDS

It was by Bathsheba that King David had Solomon, even today reputed as the wisest man who ever lived, and another son of some fame, Absalom. Sometime after  Solomon  had succeeded to the throne, we’re told a certain “Queen of Sheba” paid a visit on him. That is the spin  the scribes  put  on the event. The Queen of Sheba was actually Queen Mother Bath-Sheba. Solomon was visited by his  mother Bathsheba. Josephus  reports that the queen who visited  Solomon  was the Queen of Egypt and Ethiopia.

An Egyptian Pharaoh,  as King David was, had jurisdiction over Egypt and other territories  up to and including Ethiopia. As King David’s widow, Bathsheba, who was David’s favourite wife, was  a queen. But at the time she visited King Solomon, Bathsheba was no more than Queen Mother as David had passed on.  

According to Josephus, Bathsheba presented Solomon with “twenty talents of gold, and an immense quantity of spices and precious stones”. That was simply a mother showing affection toward his son, who didn’t need such a lavish gift anyway as he was already the richest man in the whole wide world. The Bible also informs us that Bathsheba as a teenager was raped by his half-brother Amnon and that when the rape was reported to David, he did nothing.

Again that is totally false: Amnon  did not rape Bathsheba. It explains  why David didn’t act against  him. Amnon, who was  David’s eldest son and therefore heir apparent, wanted to marry Bathsheba with a view to inherit the Davidic throne hassle-free since for one succeed to a throne, he should have been married to  a half-sister. So Amnion kept pestering Bathsheba and Bathsheba seemingly was interested. However,  Amnon’s designs on  Bathsheba troubled  Absalom, as a result of which he had Amnon murdered. It was not about immorality: it all was politics. Amnon was too ambitious for Absalom’s liking.   
 


At some stage, Absalom rebelled against King David, incensed that David had anointed Solomon, who was at once his son and grandson, to take over from him upon his death. Absalom was killed in the uprising by King David’s general Joab.    Adonija, David’s surviving eldest son, then had a tilt at the throne too but he lacked the crucial endorsement Solomon received from the prophet Nathan, high priest Zadok, and head of King David’s Secret Service Benaiah. That  was how Solomon became King at the expense of  David’s other sons who were older than him.

NEXT WEEK:  ENLILITE INTRIGUE AGAINST MARDUK AND HIS SON NABU

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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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