Connect with us
Advertisement

Enki is Hero of “Great Calamity”

Benson C Saili
THIS EARTH, MY BROTHER

   
Pro-mankind Anunnaki god saves lives as nuclear cloud rages then goes into seven-year hibernation to sleep over the abominable event

Both the upheavalling of Sodom and Gomorrah (by Nergal, Enki’s second-born son at the orders of Jehovah-Enlil) and the ravages of the “Evil Wind” in Sumer took place in 2024 BC.  The fateful year was the sixth of Sumer-Akkad ruler Ibbi-Sin, making him an ill-fated king in the greater scheme of things. Although practically all of Sumer was affected by the Evil Wind, the radioactive cloud that emanated from the nuclear bomb blitz on the five cities of Canaan’s Jordan plain, Ur and Uruk bore the harshest brunt.

Says the Uruk Lament text: “When the Evil Storm passed over, the people were piled up in heaps …  a  hush settled over Uruk like a cloak … The loyal citizens of Uruk were seized with terror … Mob panic was brought about in Uruk  … Its good sense was distorted." But it is Ur which is the most documented in the context of the Evil Wind in that it was the seat of the great god Nannar-Sin. The Lamentation Over the Destruction of Ur, a long poem of some 440 verses, is particularly graphic in its portrayal of the woes of the Cloud of Death.

“The city into ruins was made, the people groan … Its people, not potsherds, filled its ravines … In its lofty gates, where they were wont to promenade, dead bodies lay about … Where the festivities of the land took place, the people lay in heaps … The young were lying in their mothers' laps like fish carried out of the waters … The house has become a house of tears … The storm crushed the land, wiped out everything; it roared like a great wind over the land … The cultivated fields are not hoed, no seeds are implanted in the soil, no songs resound in the fields.”

Whereas in the past people would hasten to Sin’s temple-house to seek solace in times of hardship and distress, that simply was no longer the case: practically all the gods were nowhere to be seen. “Thus all its gods evacuated Ur. They kept away from it. They hid in the mountains. They escaped to the distant plains … Ur and its temples have been given over to the wind … The counsel of the land was dissipated … The song has been turned into weeping … Ur has been given over to tears.” Left in chaos, leaderless, and helpless, and as they gasped under a fog of nuclear “poison”, the people of Ur broke into the gods’ abode, temples, and shrines and angrily smashed their contents. “Why did the gods' benevolent eye look away?” they asked as they wailed and gnashed their teeth in anguish. “Who caused such worry and lamentation?"

Productive work came to a total standstill. “In the city's fields, there is no grain, gone is the fieldworker … The palm groves and vineyards, with honey and wine abounded, now bring forth mountain thorns.” Convinced that death was certain, that this was the apocalyptic end of the world, people no longer attached an abiding value to wealth of any guise. “Precious metals and stones, lapis lazuli, have been scattered about …”

In the countryside, both wild and domesticated animals were in dire straits. “On the steppe, cattle large and small become scarce, all living creatures come to an end." The domesticated animals, too, were left to their own devices.  "The sheepfolds have been delivered to the wind … The hum of the turning churn resounds not in the sheepfold …  The stalls provide not fat … In the storehouses that abounded in the land, fires were kindled …

The ox in its stable has not been attended, gone is its herdsman … The sheep in its fold has not been attended, gone is its shepherd boy … In the rivers of the city dust has gathered … Into fox dens they have become …”      Meanwhile, the “holy” city-state of Nippur was equally reeling. "On that day, on that single day: on that night, on that single night … the storm, in a flash of lightning created, the people of Nippur were left prostrate."

NANNAR-SIN TAKEN ILL, NINURTA’S WIFE IS NO MORE

Seized by fear and confusion, the gods were just as frenetic in their panic as their Earthling subjects. It was “each man for himself”: using sky vehicles or sea-borne vessels, they ventured  as far away from the vicinities of the Evil Wind as possible. The term “abandonment” features repeatedly in the lamentation texts. Nannar-Sin and his spouse Ningal abandoned Ur. Enlil, “the wild bull”, and his wife Ningal abandoned their temple-abode, the Ekur, at Nippur. Ninmah abandoned her city Issin.

Inanna, “the queen of Uruk”, abandoned her cult city. Ninurta forsook his Lagash-based temple, the Eninnu.    Evacuating from Issin, Ninmah “wept in bitter tears” as she jetted off. Nanshe, Enki’s smartest and soulful daughter, was inconsolable: as she departed, she cried over “my devastated city" as "her beloved dwelling place was given over to (the Evil Wind) misfortune".

But it is the equally recurrent phrase “gone by the wind” that is the more telling.  “Enlil has abandoned his temple … he was gone by the wind. Ninlil from her temple was gone by the wind. Nannar has abandoned Ur … his sheepfolds were gone by the wind”, and so on and so forth.  What was this “wind” that forced the gods to turn tail? It was the Evil Wind, the radioactive cloud that was precipitated by the nuclear blasts in Canaan.  

However, the haste with which the gods departed their respective cities was not uniform. At least three gods procrastinated, with the result that one god was taken gravely ill and another actually met her fate. These were Nannar-Sin and Bau, Ninurta’s wife, respectively.   
When Enki announced to fellow gods by way of radio communication that a death-carrying storm was on its way to Sumer, Sin and Ningal opted to stay put in their cult city Ur.

They vowed that they just could not abandon their people, their Earthling subjects. Instead, they appealed to Enlil to do his magic and either tame or divert the Evil Wind. Enlil told the couple they were out of their mind:  neither he nor the all-knowing Enki was capable of averting the looming disaster. The Evil Wind advanced not at the pace of a whirlwind but rather slowly, which made Nannar and Ningal somewhat complacent.  “Of that day I still tremble,” Ningal personally stated in a lamentation text she penned herself, “but of that day’s foul smell we did not flee.

As doomsday came,  a bitter lament was raised in Ur, but of its foulness we did not flee.” By the time the couple decided to stash themselves in a “termite house” (an underground chamber in their ziggurat), the damage was already done. Sin was already affected and was so acutely ill the couple finally capitulated: early the following morning, “when the storm was carried off from the city”,  they took off from Ur. Sin did eventually recover but he required round-the-clock  attention from the Anunnaki’s best physicians, who included Ninmah and Ningishzidda.

As the couple overflew Ur on their way out, Ningal wept at the gut-wrenching spectacle below her. "The people, like potsherds, filled the city's streets. In its lofty gates,  dead bodies were lying about. In its boulevards, where the feasts were celebrated, scattered they lay. In all of its streets, dead bodies were lying about. In its places where the land's festivities took place, the people lay in heaps.  The dead were not brought to burial: like fat placed in the sun, of themselves melted away.”

Ur and its temples had been “delivered to the Wind”. Bau, sadly, was not as fortunate as Sin. Trained as  a doctor, Bau had an abiding attachment with the people of Lagash,  who had a mutual affection for her and addressed her as “Mother Bau”.  She too was adamant that she was going to stay put in Lagash: she just could not leave “my people” to their own devices like her husband Ninurta, who was busy levelling the Sinai Peninsula with nuclear bombs, had. “On that day,” say the Lamentation texts,  “the storm caught up with the Lady Bau; as if she was a mortal, the storm caught up with her.” Days later, she was deceased from the effects of the Evil Wind. She was one of very few Anunnaki royals to die on planet Earth.  

ENKI CARRIES THE DAY AS EVIL WIND LASHES OUT

 Just as Sin, Ningal, and Bau were concerned about the fate of their Earthling subjects in the face of the dreaded Evil Wind, Enki and Marduk were too. Babylon, Marduk’s Sumerian base, happened to be just on the edge of the Evil Wind’s wide sweep. As the Evil Wind loomed large over Sumer, Marduk sent an urgent message to his father Enki as to what he and his people should do to keep its effects at the barest minimum since it was unavoidable.

Enki’s response was that the people of Babylon should head north and as they did so under no circumstances should they turn back or  look backwards lest they inhale the full force of the Evil Wind. In the event that the Evil Wind caught up with them in their onward march, they should seek shelter underground. “Get them into a chamber below the earth, into a darkness.”  Enki proceeded to advise that once the Evil Wind had run its course and the people returned to the city or resurfaced, they were not to eat any food grown from the soil or drink any beverage for a spell as these may have been “touched by the ghost” as the radioactive wind was dubbed.

Of the Anunnaki pantheon, only Enki and Marduk at the end of the day did not depart Sumer to escape the Evil Wind. And they got away with that for they had taken sufficient and timely precaution.  “The Lord of Eridu stayed outside his city.” He “took cover some distance away from the wind's path, yet close enough to be able to return to the city after the cloud had passed”. Quite a number of Eridu’s citizens hovered around Enki, “camping in the fields at a safe distance as they watched – for a day and a half – the storm ‘put its hand on Eridu’.”

But despite Enki’s spirited efforts to alert his people about the approaching poisonous storm, laggards did abound and therefore Eridu too had casualties. “After the evil-bearing storm went out of the city, sweeping across the countryside, Enki surveyed Eridu. He found a city smothered with silence … its residents stacked up in heaps … For the fate of his city, he wept with bitter tears.”  The survivors fell at his feet and wondered aloud why a city that was presided over by the mighty Enki had been “cursed, made like an alien territory!"

Using his scientific paraphernalia, Enki calculated that although the Evil Wind had dissipated, the city still was unsafe. As such, he led "those who have been displaced from Eridu to the desert, towards an inimical land,”   where he used his scientific knowledge to provide food (manna, the edible form of Ormus) and safe water.

SUMERIAN EVIL WIND HAS BEEN SCIENTIFICALLY BORNE OUT!

The advent of the Evil Wind practically marked the abrupt collapse of the Sumerian civilisation about 4000 years ago. Curious as to why Sumer and Akkad collapsed at such a time virtually in the twinkling of an eye just after the 3rd millennium BC wound to a close, archaeologists, geologists, and climatologists have in recent times teamed together to get to the bottom of the matter. They used radiological and chemical analysis analysis of dust layers of the Middle East of that period, more so of the Gulf of Oman. 

Their rather interesting findings were reported in n the scientific journal Geology in its April 2000 issue and in another scientific journal Science in its issue of 27 April 2001. The scientists concluded that “an unusual climate change in the areas adjoining the Dead Sea gave rise to dust storms and that the dust – an unusual ‘atmospheric mineral dust’ – was carried by the prevailing winds over southern Mesopotamia all the way beyond the Persian Gulf”. 

This was the very course of Sumer’s Evil Wind! The scientists attributed the unusual “fallout dust” to an “uncommon dramatic event that occurred near 4025 years before the present”. 4025 years prior calculated from 2024 BC gives us the year 2025 BC – barely different from 2024 BC, the year of the Sodom and Gomorrah atomic blasts!

Similarly, Science reported that  based on “evidence from Iraq, Kuwait, and Syria”, the  “widespread abandonment of the alluvial plain between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers was due to dust storms commencing 4025 years before the present.  Again, this is precisely 2024 BC. The scientists did not explain or name the force that gave rise to the “dust storms” but the Sumerian records do: it was Nergal’s atomic blitz on the five “sinning cities” of Canaan. The Sumerian chronicles are not only legit folks: they are scientifically attested.   

ENKI IN SEVEN-YEAR HIBERNATION

Yet of the entire Anunnaki top brass, it was Enki who was the most psychologically affected by what he called the “Great Calamity” – the nuclear blasts and the resultant Evil Wind, both of which laid waste to millions of lives. Enki was so downcast and so upset that he decided to withdraw from all interaction with the broader society, gods and Earthlings alike, and become a recluse for seven years. The place he chose to sequester himself was an island on the River Nile in Egypt.

Throughout the entire seven years, he was never seen by a single living being. He concentrated wholly on pondering the total depravity of his fellow gods. He just couldn’t bring himself to understand how beings who were supposed to be at the pinnacle of creation could be so unconscionably evil and baser than the lowest forms of life.   

ENKI DECIDES TO DOCUMENT STORY OF GREAT CALAMITY

At the conclusion of the seven years and    precisely on February 17, 2017 BC,   Enki decided to resume contact with the world and there and then sent for a renowned scribe known as Endubasar, who was a directly descendant of his son Adapa and was based at Eridu.
“In the seventh year after the Great Calamity, in the second month, on the seventeenth day, I was summoned by my master the Lord Enki, great god, benevolent fashioner of Mankind, omnipotent and merciful,” Endubasar, who introduces himself as the master scribe of Eridu city, writes in a Sumerian tablet.  “I was among the remnants of Eridu who had escaped to the arid steppe (that is, seven years before) just as the Evil Wind was nearing the city.”

Endubasar had set out alone to gather twigs for firewood when a flying saucer suddenly swopped down on him.  “I looked up and lo and behold, a Whirlwind (UFO) came out of the south. There was a reddish brilliance (fiery hue) about it and it made no sound. And as it reached the ground, four straight feet spread out from its belly and the brilliance disappeared.” Cognizant of the fact that he had been visited by the gods – the Anunnaki – Endubasar straightaway took a devotional posture.

“I threw myself to the ground and prostrated myself, for I knew that it was a divine vision. And when I lifted my eyes, there were two divine emissaries (an Anunnaki deputation with a special message, called “angels” in the Bible) standing near me. And they had the faces of men, and their garments (airman’s uniform) were sparkling like burnished brass.”

What the two Anunnaki messengers  said to Endubasar was most unexpected. “And they called me by name and spoke to me, saying: you are summoned by the great god, the Lord Enki. Fear not, for you are blessed. And we are here to take you aloft, and carry you unto his retreat in the Land of Magan (Egypt), on the island (Abu Island) amidst the River of Magan (River Nile), where the sluices are.”

ENDUBASAR BEFORE THE GREAT GOD

It was the first time Endubasar had ridden in a sky vehicle and he was naturally overwhelmed by the occasion. But it was the grandeur of the great god’s courts and his sort of mystical presence that had Endubasar pass out from the shock of disbelief. “They let me down on the island at the gateway of the great god's abode. And the moment they let go of my hands, a brilliance as I had never seen before engulfed and overwhelmed me, and I collapsed on the ground as though voided of the spirit of life.

My life senses returned to me, as if awakened from the deepest sleep, by the sound of the calling of my name. I was in some kind of an enclosure. It was dark but there was also an aura. Then my name was called again, by the deepest of voices (that is, through the studio-like acoustics of a loud speaker). And although I could hear it, I could not tell whence the voice came, nor could I see whoever it was that spoke. And I said, here I am.”

For a while, there was pin-drop silence. Then the still invisible Enki spoke again. “Endubasar, offspring of Adapa, I have chosen you to be my scribe, that you write down my words on the tablets.” Things then proceeded at the press of a button. “And all at once, there appeared a glowing in one part of the enclosure. And I saw a place arranged like a scribal workplace: a scribe's table and a scribe's stool, and there were finely shaped stones upon the table. But I saw no clay tablets nor containers of wet clay. And there lay upon the table only one stylus, and it glistened in the glowing as no reed stylus ever did.”

NEXT WEEK:  NEW DAWN FOR ENKITES!

Continue Reading

Columns

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.

Continue Reading

Columns

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!

Continue Reading

Columns

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.

Continue Reading
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!