Benson C Saili THIS EARTH, MY BROTHER Nergal’s, Jehovah-instigated nefarious proposition endorsed by Council of Gods
The Council of the Gods, the Anunnaki ruling pantheon, met in Nippur. It constituted Enlil, Enki, Ninurta, Nannar-Sin, Nergal, Ishkur–Adad, Utu-Shamash, and Inanna-Ishtar. It was clearly padded with Enlilites as only two Enkites – Enki and Nergal – were invited. Another outspoken peacenik, Ninmah, was deliberately kept away. Nergal strictly speaking was an Enlite as he almost always sided with them.
“By his (Marduk) appeal for their (all other Anunnaki gods) submission, the Anunnaki gods were disturbed and alarmed,” say the Sumerian records. “To a great assembly, counsel to take, Enlil them all summoned. All the Anunnaki leaders in Nibru-ki (Nippur) gathered.” The principal subject of the impromptu, ad hoc meeting, Marduk, was also invited but he declined, insisting that as the planet’s head honcho now, it was his summoning of them they ought to heed, and not the other way round.
His son Nabu, who wasn’t a full-god being the son of an Earthling mother, the late Tsaparnit I, was not invited too. Instead, in the week before the proceedings commenced, a summons for Nabu to appear before the Council as a defendant was issued by Enlil, with Nergal and Ninurta assigned to deliver it.
Ninurta and Nergal straightaway detailed men to comb every inch of Borsippa, Nabu’s Sumerian base, but to no avail: they later reported that he was not there but was playing hide and seek somewhere in Canaan and the Mediterranean islands. Then when the meeting was hardly underway, Nabu sprang a surprise: he pitched all of a sudden at the rendezvous and announced that he was ready to defend himself and his beloved father. “Before the gods, the son of his father came,” the Sumerian archives say.
The meeting droned on for twenty-four hours. “Meeting in Council, the leading Anunnaki debated what to do, discussing the alternatives a day and a night, without ceasing," the Sumerian records inform us. “In the council of the great gods, accusations were rampant, recriminations filled the chamber.” Zechariah Sitchin also relates thus: “The die was cast. Of the various extant sources dealing with the fateful chain of events, the principal and most intact one is the Erra Epos.
It describes in great detail the discussions, the arguments for and against, the fears for the future if Marduk and his followers should control the spaceport and its auxiliary facilities. Details are added by the Khedorlaomer Texts and inscriptions on various tablets, such as those in the Oxford Editions of Cuneiform Texts.”
ENKI, NERGAL IN SLANGING MATCH
The first to be quizzed though was not Nabu: it was Ninurta, who hierarchically was Enlil’s de facto deputy on the side of the Enlilites being his firstborn. Ninurta was asked why he had allowed the Elamites, the mercenary warriors from Africa he himself had trained, to run rampage in Sumer and cause untold carnage and destruction whilst Enlil was away. This was a serious dereliction of duty since he was expected to take charge of Earthly affairs during his father’s absence.
Defending himself, Ninurta attributed all the evils that had taken place in Sumer during his absence (he had been in Peru, in South America, all the while) to Marduk and Nabu for their unbridled ambition. “They are very rash and self-seeking people,” Ninurta charged. “They want to rule the world when it is not their time to do so.” Nannar-Sin and his son Utu-Shamash, both of whom spoke after Ninurta, heaped all blame on Nabu in particular. “All this Nabu has caused to happen,” Shamash said.
“It is he who has been his father’s instrument of the mayhem witnessed in Sumer.” Standing up, and quivering with rage, Nabu posited before the pantheon what his father called the Celestial Oracle argument, meaning testimony in his favour not by an oracle priest but the signs of heaven itself. Paraphrased, this is what Nabu said: “With the passage of time – with the crucial shift of the precessional clock (zodiacal time) by one degree (equivalent to 72 years) – the Age of the Bull, the zodiacal age of Enlil, is coming to an end, and the Age of the Ram, Marduk’s Age, is looming in the heavens. Ninurta can see it coming at his Eninnu temple in Lagash. Ningishzidda can confirm it from all the stone circles that he has erected elsewhere on Earth. And the people know it too.”
It was Nergal, Marduk’s immediate young brother, who stood up to angrily counter Nabu. “The celestial omens are being misread,” he thundered. "Let Shamash – the Sun god – see the signs and inform the people. Let Nannar – the Moon god – at his sign look and impart that to the land." In other words, what Nabu was saying was that Nannar-Sin and Shamash, whose celestial counterparts were the Moon and Sun respectively, were better qualified than everybody else to state whether or not the Age of Aries had dawned. Of course this was balderdash as Zidda, an all-round genius, was actually the most knowledgeable in these things.
In the process of making his case, Nabu affronted Enlil by accusing him of “injustice and of condoning destruction” since he was not an impartial leader but a prejudiced one who put the interests of his clan first and those of Enki last. “There is no justice,” Nabu vented. “Destruction was conceived: Enlil against Babylon caused evil to be planned (in relation to the Tower of Babel incident).” No one had ever spoken so caustically and directly at Enlil, the Bible’s principal Jehovah. On hearing this, what he called a “blasphemy against the Lord of the Command”, Nergal got into a shouting match with Nabu and the two just stopped short of manhandling each other.
At this juncture, Enki, the father and grandfather of the two adversaries, decided to speak up to. His point of order was specially directed at Nergal. Enki scoffed at the futility of Nergal’s histrionics and put it to him that he just could not stop the march of history. “Why do you continue the opposition?” he asked coolly. “Now that Prince Marduk has risen, now that the people for the second time have raised his image, let us Marduk's supremacy accept. What is coming no one can prevent.”
As Enki was talking, Nergal kept interjecting and heckling him rudely. Enki at long last exploded and ordered Nergal to “get out of my presence!”, whereupon Nergal took off in a huff. The meeting there and then broke up as Enlil adjourned the proceedings to allow for tempers to cool.
COUNCIL OF GODS VOTE FOR NUCLEAR ASSAULT
The pantheon reconvened in the evening. Whilst the meeting was in recess, Enlil had secretly approached Nergal and prevailed over him to propose very radical measures against Marduk. “Let us Marduk of the Bond Heaven-Earth (spaceport) deprive,” he pleaded with him. Nergal promised to do likewise for as long as Enlil expressly supported him in the meeting. Enlil said he definitely would.
In the evening meeting, which Nabu declined to attend as he could not stand Nergal showing so blatant and brazen disrespect to his grandfather, Nergal offered to speak first and Enlil granted him the floor. Nergal this time seemed to agree with Enki’s and Nabu’s earlier observation – that there was nothing that could stop Marduk from becoming the new Enlil. But since Marduk’s intention was to empower Earthlings so that they were on an equal footing with the gods in every sphere of their endeavours, he had to be taught a lesson.
Nergal was anxious that once militarily and technologically empowered, Earthlings could rise against the Anunnaki and even expel them both from Earth and the Solar System as a whole. “We have to activate that which with a mantle of radiance is covered and make the evil people perish," he coldly proposed. What Nergal was referring to were the so-called “Awesome Weapons” or “Weapons of Terror”. In our day, we call them nuclear weapons. The “evil people” were the residents of the two Canaanite cities in which Marduk and Nabu had rock star popularity. These were Sodom and Gomorrah.
It was a diabolical idea which Enki vehemently opposed. "The lands would make desolate, the people will make perish,” Enki pointed out. Sin, who was the dove of the Enlilites, and his son Shamash were non-committal: they voted neither for nor against the strike. Enlil, Ninurta, and Inanna were stoutly for the strike. Since it was basically a stalemate, the matter was referred to King Anu on planet Nibiru. That was accordingly done by Enlil using a sophisticated interstellar communication device. “There was constant communication with Anu: Anu to Earth the words was speaking, Earth to Anu the words pronounced.”
King Anu gave his nod to the motion. However, he demanded that Enlil see to one precondition basically. This was that a seven-day notice should be given to the people of Sodom and Gomorrah so they prepare to escape to safety. “Under no circumstances should innocent people be harmed,” insisted “Our Father Who Art In Heaven”. “Mankind must be spared. Only the battlefront combatants, their arsenals, and potentially strategic sites should be targeted.” The latter referred to the spaceport mainly. “The targets must be specifically approved. Igigi gods manning the space platform and the shuttlecraft have to be forewarned.”
Upon hearing Anu’s affirmation of the nuclear strike, Enki stormed out of the meeting in vain protest. “What was destined to be, your decision cannot undo,” the wise Enki mouthed off as a parting shot. The moment Enki made his exit, Enlil announced that the council would henceforth be known as the Council of War as it was strictly war against Marduk and his people they would now discuss.
The council proposed Nergal and Ninurta, the aptly named God of War, as the joint commanders of the knockout war against Marduk and Nabu. Inanna appealed to fellow members of the War Council to make sure that Enki, Marduk, and Nabu were not made aware of the exact day of the attack. “Cover your lips” she entreated them.
LORD NINURTA CALLS ON GENERAL ABE
The War Council, however, did not entirely heed King Anu’s wishes. They made their own additions and subtractions. For example, an attack against Nabu and his temple Ezida in Borsippa was also penciled in. The only people it decided to alert in advance were the few key, Canaan-based Earthlings who were pro-Enlilite, as well as all the Earthlings and Anunnaki who manned the spaceport in the Sinai Peninsula.
Once everything had been scheduled, Ninurta was detailed to fly to Canaan forthwith and evacuate General Abraham, who was presently camped in Hebron, ready to tackle Marduk’s warriors, who had rallied in force again for the final tilt at seizing the spaceport. Setting off for Hebron, Ninurta was accompanied by two other “gods”, that is, fellow Anunnaki. These were actually Mal’akhim, meaning “roving ambassadors”, with considerable discretionary powers as we shall see but described as “angels” in Genesis, which is not exactly far-fetched anyway as in Sumerian angels (An-Gal) meant “Great Ones of the Lord”.
Ninurta and his two companions touched down at Abraham’s encampment in a stealth, silent flying saucer as Abraham did not hear the sky vehicle at all as it swooped down, that’s how sophisticated Anunnaki technology was. “Yahweh (Ninurta) appeared to him (Abraham) among the oaks of Mamre as he was sitting at the opening of the tent when the day was brightly warm. When he lifted up his eyes, behold, he saw three men standing by over against him. As he saw them, he ran from the opening of the tent to meet them and bowed down before them” – GENESIS 18:1-3.
The first thing Abraham, who was now 99 years old (but still physically fit since he had a great deal of Anunnaki blood in him) was to wash the feet of his three VIP guests. That done, he held a banquet for them. Thereafter, the gods invited him into the flying saucer for an aerial survey of Sodom. It was during the flyover that Ninurta made known to the general Enlil’s decision to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah using nuclear weapons.
“Because the outcry regarding Sodom and Gomorrah has been great, and the accusations against them being grievous, I decided to come down and verify,” Ninurta said. “If it is as the outcry reaching me, they will be destroyed completely. If not, I wish to know anyway.” Although as a military general Abraham was used to shedding blood, he was not without a heart.
He thought the decision was too extreme since the vast majority of the peoples of Sodom and Gomorrah were innocent people who were simply caught up in the euphoria of the Marduk factor. But as far as Ninurta was concerned, there was scarcely any “righteous” people in Sodom and Gomorrah: everybody was a “sinner” and so deserved to die. Enlilites defined a righteous person as one who deferred to Enlilite gods and a sinner as one who deferred to Enkite gods.
Abraham spiritedly argued against his god. He impassionedly implored him to spare the two cities for as long as at least 10 people in there were pro-Enlil but Ninurta just could not budge. As far as he was concerned, the only pro-Enlilite people in the whole of Sodom and Gomorrah were Lot and his family. These were the only ones who were to be evacuated from there. Abraham, his family, and his forces too were to leave Hebron immediately so as to be way clear of the effects of the radiation cloud arising from the nuclear blast that was certain to billow over the entire Canaan.
A dogged Abraham at least managed to convince Ninurta to send a fact-finding team – call it an espionage team for that was what it actually was – to Sodom just in case the people there were not as pro-Marduk as Ninurta supposed they were. Accordingly, a commission to that effect headed by the two Anunnakis who had accompanied Ninurta was dispatched forthwith to Sodom. They were to be hosted by Lot, who lived there.
DIE IS CAST AS LOT IS EVACUATED
In the Bible, there’s a litany of falsehoods in relation to what transpired with Ninurta’s spies when they got to Sodom. This is not surprising in that the Bible is essentially an Enlilite document. Genesis for one was authored by the Levites, who Enlil had appointed as his scribes. The Bible says when the “angels”, the espionage emissaries of Ninurta, were at Lot’s place, where they intended to spend a night, the men of Sodom swarmed in on the compound and asked that they have sex with them. In other words, the men were homosexuals as Sodom was reportedly said to be riddled with homosexuality.
“As the two stayed in Lot's house,” Genesis says, "the people of the city, the people of Sodom, young and old, closed in on the house; and they called out unto Lot: 'Where are the men who had come to thee tonight? Bring them out to us so that we may know them’.” To “know them” is a euphemism for having sex with them. But that is a pure lie: yes the Bible lies, sorry “Brothers and Sisters”. Sodom is what gives us the word sodomy, meaning homosexuality. However, the Sumerian records, from which the Levites researched and which predated the Bible by at least 2000 years, make no such scurrilous claims about Sodom and Gomorrah.
The people who descended on Lot’s place where what we today would call intelligence agents, who of course were pro-Marduk. Marduk’s spooks knew that Lot was a die-hard Enlilite and so they kept tabs on him round the clock. Hence when they saw white-skinned men travelling in a UFO arrive at his place, they knew who they were – they were Anunnaki Enlilites. Rightly, therefore, they decided to interrogate them.
The Anunnaki team, however, feared that indeed as spies, they would be detained if they simply gave in and so they opted to resist. They had on them very sophisticated, hand-held laser beam weapons which they directed at Marduk’s intelligence agents and rendered them blind. “And when the people persisted, even attempting to break down the door to Lot's house, the angels smote the people at the door, young and old, with a blindness, and they gave up finding the door."
Ninurta’s spies did not need further evidence: Marduk had literally captured Sodom. The programme changed there and then: they had to return to Hebron and report their findings to Ninurta. “Lot, pack up what you can,” they said. “We’re taking you out of the city right away – you and your immediate family as well as your relatives who are resident in this city. For we’re about to destroy it.”
Lot, who was so much in love with the rich and prosperous city, hesitated. His son-in-laws, who were his only other relations in Sodom, outrightly refused, saying there was no way they were going to leave such a paradise as Sodom, whose prosperity and individual wellbeing of its citizens had been greatly enhanced by the use of Ormus, which Marduk had mainstreamed there. The Anunnaki therefore grabbed hold of Lot, his wife, and his two virgin daughters and hurriedly commandeered them into the UFO. There simply was no time to waste.
NEXT WEEK: “FIRE AND BRIMSTONE” REIGNS ON “SINNING CITIES”
Many a times I get clients casually walking into my room and requesting to be checked for “appendix”.Few questions down the line, it is clear they are unaware of where the appendix is or what to expect when one does have it (appendicitis). Jokingly (or maybe not) I would tell them they would possibly not be having appendicitis and laughing as hard as they are doing. On the other hand, I would be impressed that at least they know and acknowledge that appendicitis is a serious thing that they should be worried about.
So, what is Appendicitis?
Appendicitis is aninflammation of the appendix; a thin, finger-like pouch attached to the large intestine on the lower right side of the abdomen. Often the inflammation can be as a result of blockage either by the faecal matter, a foreign body, infection, trauma or a tumour. Appendicitis is generally acute, with symptoms coming on over the course of a day and becoming severe rapidly. Chronic appendicitis can also occur, though rarely. In chronic cases, symptoms are less severe and can last for days, weeks, or even months.
Acute appendicitis is a medical emergency that almost always ends up in the operating theatre. Though the appendix is locally referred to as “lela la sukiri”, no one knows its exact role and it definitely does not have anything to do with sugar metabolism. Appendicitis can strike at any age, but it is mostly common from the teen years to the 30s.
Signs to look out for
If you have any of the following symptoms, go and see a Doctor immediately! Timely diagnosis and treatment are vital in acute appendicitis;
Sudden pain that starts around the navel and shifts to the lower right abdomen within hours
The pain becomes constant and increases in severity (or comes back despite painkillers)
The pain worsens on coughing, sneezing, laughing, walking or deep breaths
Loss of appetite
Nausea and vomiting
Constipation or diarrhoea
The doctor often asks questions regarding the symptoms and the patient’s medical history. This will be followed up by a physical examination in which the Doctor presses on the abdomen to check for any tenderness, and the location of the pain. With acute appendicitis, pressing on and letting go of the right lower abdomen usually elicits an excruciatingly unbearable pain. Several tests may be ordered to determine especially the severity of the illness and to rule out other causes of abdominal pain. The tests may conditions include: blood tests, a pregnancy test, urinalysis, abdominal“How do ultrasound scans work?” ultrasound (scan), CT scan or MRI Scan.
The gold standard treatment of acute appendicitis is surgical removal of the appendix known as appendectomy. Luckily,a person can live just fine without an appendix! Surgical options include laparoscopy or open surgery and the type will be decided on by the Surgeon after assessing the patient’s condition. Painkillers and antibiotics are also given intravenously usually before, during and after the surgery.
Appendicitis can cause serious complications such as;
Appendicular mass/abscess– If the appendix is inflamed or bursts, one may develop a pocket of pus around it known as an abscess. In most cases, the abscess will be treated with antibiotics and drained first by placing a tube through one’s abdominal wall into the abscess. The tube may be left in place for a few hours or days while the infection is clearing up but ultimately one would still have surgery to remove the appendix.
Peritonitis – without treatment, the appendix can rupture/burst. The risk of this rises48–72 hours after symptoms start. A ruptured appendix spreads the infection throughout the abdomen (peritonitis). This is life threatening and requires immediate surgery to remove the appendix and clean the abdominal cavity.
Death – The complications of appendicitis (and appendectomy) can be life threatening, only if the diagnosis has been missed and no proper treatment has been given on time. This is rare though with the evolved medical care.
If you need further advice or treatment please call 4924730, email HYPERLINK “mailto:email@example.com” firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.themedisccentre.co.bw
Antoinette Boima, MBBS, BMedSci, PgDip HIV/AIDS, Cert Aesth Med is the Managing Director of The Medics Centre in Palapye.
Here’s a news item from last month you may have missed. In December 2021 the University of Staffordshire announced it would be offered a degree course in pantomime! Yes, that’s right, a degree in popular festive entertainment, the Christmas panto.
We used to have one here, put on by the Capitol Players, though it seems to have fallen away in recent times, but the spectacle is still alive and well in the UK, both in local ad-dram (amateur dramatic ) societies and on the London stage and most of the major cities, these latter productions usually featuring at least one big-draw name from the world of show business with ticket prices commensurate with the star’s salary.
In case you’re unfamiliar with the pantomime format, it consists of a raucous mixture of songs and comedy all based around a well-known fairy or folk tale. Aladdin and His Magic Lamp, Cinderella, Jack & The Beanstalk & Dick Whittington are perennial favourites but any well-known tall tale goes. There is no set script, unlike a play, and storyline is just a peg to hang a coat of contemporary, often bawdy, gags on, in what should be a rollicking production of cross dressing – there has to be at least one pantomime dame, played by a man and always a figure of fun, and a Principal Boy, ostensibly the male lead, yet played by an attractive young woman.
As an art form it can trace its roots back to 16th century Italy and the Commedia Del’Arte which used a mélange of music, dance, acrobatics along with a cast of comic stock characters so it has a long and proud theatrical tradition but you have to wonder, does that really qualify it as a suitable subject for a university? Further, what use might any degree be that can be acquired in a single year? And last but not least, how much standing does any degree have which comes from a jumped-up polytechnic, granted university status along with many of its ilk back in 1992, for reasons best known to the government of the time? Even more worrying are the stated aims of the course.
Staffordshire University claims it is a world first and the masters course is aimed at people working inside as well as outside the industry. Students on the course, due to start in September 2022, will get practical training in the art form as well as research the discipline.
“We want to see how far we can take this,” Associate Professor of Acting and Directing Robert Marsden said. The role of pantomime in the 21st Century was also going to be examined, he said, “particularly post Me Too and Black Lives Matter”. Questions including “how do we address the gender issues, how do we tell the story of Aladdin in 2021, how do we get that balance of male/female roles?” will be asked, Prof Marsden added.
Eek! Sounds like Prof. Marsden wants to rob it of both its history and its comedic aspects – well, good luck with that! Of course that isn’t the only bizarre, obscure and frankly time and money-wasting degree course available. Staying with the performing arts there’s Contemporary Circus and Physical Performance at Bath Spa University. Sounds like fun but why on earth would a circus performer need a university degree?
Or how about a Surf Science and Technology degree at Cornwall College (part of the University of Plymouth). Where the one thing you don’t learn is….how to surf!
Then there is a degree in Floral Design at University Centre Myerscough. No, I hadn’t heard of it either – turns out it’s a college of further education in Preston, a town that in my experience fits the old joke of ‘I went there once…..It was closed’ to a ‘T’!
Another handy (pun intended) art is that of Hand Embroidery BA (Hons), offered at the University for the Creative Arts. Or you could waste away sorry, while away, your time on a course in Animal Behaviour and Psychology. This degree at the University of Chester teaches you about the way animals think and feel. Cockroaches have personalities according to the subject specs– you couldn’t make it up.
Happily all these educational institutes may have to look to their laurels and try to justify their very existence in the near future. In plans announced this week, universities could face fines of up to £500,000 (P750m), be stripped of their right to take student loans or effectively shut down if they cannot get 60 per cent of students into a professional job under a crackdown on ‘Mickey Mouse’ courses. Further, at least 80 per cent of students should not drop out after the first year, and 75 per cent should graduate.
The rules, published by the Office for Students (OfS), aim to eliminate ‘low-quality’ courses by setting new standards & requiring courses to improve their rating in the TEF, the official universities ratings system. Universities not meeting the new standards will not be able to charge full annual fees of £9,250. Unconventional courses that could fall victim to the new rules could include the University of Sunderland’s BA in Fashion Journalism, where students learn essential’ skills such as catwalk reporting and the history of Chanel. They have only a 40 per cent chance of entering highly skilled work 15 months after leaving.
At University College Birmingham, BSC Bakery and Patisserie Technology students – who learn how to ‘make artisan bread’ – have a 15 per cent chance of a professional job within 15 months. Universities minister Michelle Donelan welcomed the move, saying ‘When students go to university, they do so in the pursuit of a life-changing education, one which helps pave their path towards a highly skilled career. Any university that fails to match this ambition must be held to account.’
OfS found that at 25 universities, fewer than half of students find professional work within 15 months. Business and management courses at the University of Bedfordshire (14.8 per cent) were among the least likely to lead to graduate-level jobs. Asked to comment, the University of Sunderland said it always looked ‘to find ways to improve outcomes’; University College Birmingham said data on graduates and definition of ‘professional work’ was limited. I’ll bet it is! As the saying goes, ’what the eye doesn’t see, the heart doesn’t grieve over’. What a pantomime!
With the world still reeling from the negative impact of the Coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19), and the latest Omicron variant (which is responsible for the ongoing global forth wave) on everyone’s lips, we should not forget and neglect other aspects of our health.
While anyone can get infected with corona virus and become seriously ill or die at any age, studies continue to show that people aged 60 years and above, and those with underlying medical conditions like hypertension, heart and lung problems, diabetes, obesity, cancers, or mental illness are at a higher risk of developing serious illness or dying from covid-19.
It is a good habit to visit a doctor regularly, even if you feel healthy. Regular health checks can help identify any early signs of health issues or assess your risk of future illness hence prompting one to take charge and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Heart disease, diabetes, some cancers and other non-communicable diseases (even communicable) can often be picked up in their early stages, when chances for effective treatment are high.
During a health check, your doctor will take a thorough history from you regarding your medical history, your family’s history of disease, your social life and habits, including your diet, physical activity, alcohol use, smoking and drug intake. S/he will examine you including measuring your weight, blood pressure, feeling your body organs and listening to your heart and lungs amongst the rest. Depending on the assessment, your doctor will notify you how often you need to have a health check. If you have a high risk of a particular health condition, your doctor may recommend more frequent health checks from an early age.
Diet – a healthy diet improves one’s general health and wellbeing. It is recommended that we have at least two serves of fruit and five serves of vegetables daily. Physical activity – regular physical activity has significant health benefits on one’s body, mind & soul. It contributes to preventing and managing non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancers and diabetes, reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, enhances thinking, learning, and judgment skills and improves overall well-being. According to the world health organisation (WHO), people who are insufficiently active have a 20% to 30% increased risk of death compared to people who are sufficiently active. Aim for 30 minutes to an hour of moderate physical activity at least four days in a week. Examples of moderate physical activity include brisk walking, gentle swimming and social tennis.
Weight – maintaining a healthy weight range helps in preventing long-term complications like cardiovascular disease, diabetes and arthritis. It is also vital for one’s mental wellbeing and keeping up with normal activities of daily living. Ask your doctor to check your body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference annually. If you are at a higher risk, you should have your weight checked more frequently and a stern management plan in place.
Alcohol – as per WHO reports, alcohol consumption contributes to 3 million deaths each year globally as well as to the disabilities and poor health of millions of people. Healthy drinking entails taking no more than two standard drinks per drinking day with at least two alcohol-free days in a week.
Smoking –Nicotine contained in tobacco is highly addictive and tobacco use is a major risk factor for cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, many different types of cancer, and many other debilitating health conditions. Every year, at least a whopping 8 million people succumb from tobacco use worldwide. Tobacco can also be deadly for non-smokers through second-hand smoke exposure. It is not ‘fashionable’ if it is going to cost you and your loved ones lives! If you are currently smoking, talk to your doctor and get help in quitting as soon as possible to reduce the harm.
Blood pressure: Hypertension is a serious medical condition and can increase the risk of heart, brain, kidney and other diseases. It is a major cause of premature death worldwide, with upwards of 1 in 4 men and 1 in 5 women – over a billion people – having the condition. Have your blood pressure checked annually if it is normal, you are aged under 40 and there is no family history of hypertension. You might need to have it checked more frequently if you are over 40, your blood pressure is on the high side, or you have a personal or family history of high blood pressure, stroke or heart attack. Your doctor will be there to guide you.
Dental care – eating a low-sugar diet and cleaning and flossing the teeth regularly can reduce one’s risk of tooth decay, gum disease and tooth loss. Visit a dentist every six months for a dental examination and professional cleaning, or more frequently as per your dentist’s advice. Blood tests – annual to five-yearly blood tests may be done to further assess or confirm risk of disease. These may include blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels, kidney function, liver function, tumour markers, among other things. They may be done frequently if there is already an existing medical condition.
Cancer screening – various screening techniques can be done to detect different cancers in their early or pre-cancer stages. These include; skin inspections for any suspicious moles/spots, two-yearly mammograms for those at risk of developing breast cancer, Pap smear or the new Cervical Screening Test (CST) every five years, stool tests and colonoscopy (every five years) for those at most risk of bowel cancer, prostate cancer screening for those at risk (over 45 years of age, family history of cancers etc.). Discuss appropriate tests with your doctor.
Vaccinations – You should discuss with your doctor about the necessary routine immunisation, in particular; the Covid-19 vaccines, an annual flu shot, a five-yearly pneumococcal vaccine if you have never had one or you are immunocompromised and any other boosters that you might need.
If you need further advice or treatment please call 4924730, email HYPERLINK “mailto:email@example.com” firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.themedisccentre.co.bw
Antoinette Boima, MBBS, BMedSci, PgDip HIV/AIDS, Cert Aesth Med is the Managing Director of The Medics Centre in Palapye.