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Moses is Co-Pharaoh

Benson C Saili
THIS EARTH, MY BROTHER

   
He rules Egypt with his father for about a dozen years

When Prince Moses of Egypt, who was known as Amenhotep  IV in that country,  was about 18 years of age, there was an uprising in Ethiopia. Ethiopia was at the time a cherished ally of Egypt. Since Egypt was the mightiest country of the day, the Ethiopian monarch appealed to Egyptian pharaoh Amenhotep III, Moses’ father, to help crash the rebellion.

At the time, the Egyptian army Field Marshal was a certain Bilam.  Bilam, the son of a renowned Egyptian magician, and who was said to be exceptionally wise, also doubled as one of the senior advisors to the pharaoh. It was an army contingent headed by Bilam the pharaoh dispatched to Ethiopia. The King of Ethiopia had already fled his country to seek refuge in Egypt itself.

Bilam made mince of the rebellion without much ado and just as the Ethiopian King was preparing to return home triumphantly, Bilam declared himself King of Ethiopia. The exiled King was gutted. With the Bilam defection, the next seniormost army officer in the ranks of the Egyptian forces was General Moses. Moses was already being groomed to take over from Bilam when Bilam seized power in Ethiopia. The pharaoh had no choice but to set his eldest son on Bilam as already it was suspected that Bilam’s coup had the covert blessings of the pharaoh, that it was all a cleverly contrived scheme for Egypt’s seizure of Ethiopia.  

At first, Tiye, Moses’ mother, was reluctant to stake her beloved son in the war against Bilam.  She did relent at long last but only half-heartedly so, following a serious talking-to by her father Joseph, who was still alive at the time. Although Moses was a formidable warrior, in Bilam he had an even match. Bilam had “strengthened the walls of the capital, built huge fortresses, and dug ditches and pits between the city and the nearby river”. It took a whooping 9 years for Moses to dislodge him.

However, the returning King insisted that Moses stay by him as he felt secure in his presence and Moses gladly obliged him, particularly that his guard duty entailed economic benefits for his country Egypt. The King even gave him a daughter, called Tharbis, to marry.  A year or two later, the aged king passed on and no sooner had he died than the late king’s inner circle installed Moses as the new King of Ethiopia.

This gesture, however, was not a popular one as far as the Egyptian body politic was concerned. However much they loved him, which they indeed did, they were totally opposed to the idea of a foreigner ruling them when they had their own, indigenous qualifying heirs. Of the dissenting voices, the   most vociferous was the King’s widow herself, Atenit: it didn’t matter that King Moses was her son-in-law. She wanted her own son to rightfully take the throne.

When he got wind of such stirrings, a level-headed Moses decided not to contend for the throne as he was not a usurper. He sent word to his father that he was stepping down and his father gave him the nod. He was given a rousing send-off. “Moses resigned voluntarily the power which they had given him and departed from their land,” says the Talmud, the Jewish religious canon which is second in importance only to the Bible.  “And the people of Ethiopia made him many rich presents and dismissed him with great honours.”

MOSES’ MOTHER ECLIPSES CHIEF WIFE

About 8 years before the birth of Moses, Pharaoh Amenhotep III had moved his capital from Memphis in northern Egypt to Thebes (modern Luxor) in southern Egypt. So when Moses returned from Ethiopia, it was to Thebes he headed. Moses was the son of Tiye, the King’s junior wife. As such, he was not a bloodline heir. But as his firstborn son and army general, Moses was a significant figure in Egypt and enjoyed all the trappings of a heir. “Moses was very great in the land of Egypt, in the sight of Pharaoh’s servants, and in the sight of the people,” the Bible underscores in EXODUS 11:3.

Straight after returning from Ethiopia, Moses took up residence in the Malkata Palace complex. Its other principal occupants were his mother Tiye; Sitamun, his father’s sister-wife and therefore his chief wife, at least on paper; Nefertiti, Sitamun’s older daughter; Tey (Jochebed in the Bible), Aaron’s mother who had nursed both Moses and Aaron as infants; Ephraim (Aye), Joseph’s second-born son who was also Tey’s husband; and Aaron (Smenkhkare) himself.  

In due course, Moses would become the High Priest of Heliopolis, following in the footsteps of his grandfather Joseph and his uncle Anen (Mannaseh), Joseph’s firstborn son. On becoming High Priest, Moses took the religious name of Osarseph, which was a tribute to Osiris, the Egyptian god of the afterlife, just as Joseph had adopted the name Ptahseph in homage to Enki, the Anunnaki’s overall god of Africa who was known as Ptah in Egypt.  

Meanwhile, Moses’ mother Tiye continued to overshadow the chief wife Sitamun. Thanks to the stature and influence of her great father Joseph, she was practically the King’s equal. Writes the renowned Egyptian historian Ahmed Osman in his book Christianity, An Ancient Egyptian Religion:

“By the time Moses arrived in Thebes, Queen Tiye, who is known to have been a woman with a powerful personality, had become an increasingly influential presence behind the throne as her husband's health declined with his advancing years. This increased influence is reflected in the fact that her name, unlike that of earlier queens, was placed regularly in a cartouche, a distinction previously limited to the ruling monarch, and was also included in royal titularies. Furthermore, she was represented as being of equivalent stature to the king.”

MOSES IS JOINT-RULER OF EGYPT

As time went by, the pharaoh’s health began to deteriorate. One of his battery of illnesses stemmed from severe dental problems (his embalmed remains have been found with very badly worn teeth and gums riddled with cavities.) Fearing that Nefertiti could step into her father’s shoes in the event of his death, Tiye prevailed upon Moses to marry her so that he would be the one to succeed to the throne.

Not very long thereafter, Prince Moses and Princess Nefertiti, whose ethereal beauty was the talk of the day, tied the knot.   In the fullness of time, the couple would have six daughters.  They were Meryaten, Maketaten, Ankhsenpa-aten, Nefermeferu-aten Tasheri, Neferneferure, and Setepenre.

Moses’ marriage to Nefertiti qualified him as bona fide heir to his father at a time when the Egyptian establishment were reluctant to countenance the notion of a female succeeding to the throne, which Nefertiti was by rights entitled to being the king’s eldest and bloodline daughter.  Tiye then proceeded to persuade her husband into a co-regency with Moses considering that the king was indisposed most of the time: he was on and off.  On becoming co-regent with his father, in the 27th year of his reign, Moses took the name Neferkheprure Waenre Amenhotep, that is, Amenhotep IV, as his throne name.

An undated jar seal found in Malkata also says, “of the estate of the true King’s son, Amenhotep,” in reference to Moses. The necessity for the word “true” is instructive. It suggests that Moses was not fully recognised by the Egyptian establishment as Amenhotep III’s heir. His accession was without hiccups but there was an undercurrent of resentment amongst the ranks of the Egyptian religious establishment.

This cabal never recognised Joseph as a true-blue Egyptian. By the same token, they never recognised Moses, Joseph’s grandson, as a genuine Egyptian. It seemed they were aware or suspicious of the Enlilite agenda to take possession of Egypt by sleight of hand.  

Moses knew that he was resented by the Amunite priesthood (the priests of Amen-Ra Marduk) but the last thing he was prepared to do was to go out of his way to curry favour with them. In point of fact, Moses, who had a wayward character, was fed up with polytheism – the worship of a multitude of   gods (Enkites and/or Enlilites) at the same time.

Although he was co-ruler with his father, Moses was the one who called the shots. His father was pharaoh in name only. Not long after his coronation, Moses made it clear to the Theban priesthood that he was neither a great fan of their beliefs nor in awe of their ecclesiastical overreach.

Perhaps as a quid pro quo to the priesthood’s simmering resentment of him, Moses had decided that he was going to focus Egyptians on only one “god”, thus rendering all other gods to secondary status. This was Nibiru, the planet of the Anunnaki, the Old Testament gods.  The name he chose to represent Nibiru was Aten.
    

MOSES AS PHAROAH CHAMPIONS CULT OF NIBIRU

Nibiru, as we have already underscored in previous articles, was known by several names. They included the Lord;  the King of the Gods;  the Sole God; the Creator; Olam; the Imperishable Star; the Star of Jacob; the Planet of Millions of Years; the  Unseen; the Eye of God; the Beast of Waters; the Sea Monster; and of course the  Aten. Maybe we should recap a bit on how these names came to be for the sake of those readers who are new to this column.

Nibiru was the Lord (the Celestial Lord in full) and the King of the Gods because it was the Solar System’s supreme planet. In the Sumerian cosmogony, planets were referred to as “gods”, or “celestial gods”.  In the so-called “Celestial Battle” of circa 4 billion years ago, it was a stray primordial Nibiru that smashed into Tiamat, the planet that lay between Mars and Jupiter, and split it into the Asteroid Belt and the planet we today call Earth.

The simultaneous result of this cataclysm was Nibiru’s propagation of the seed of life on Earth. That’s the reason Nibiru came to be known as the Creator. It created a New Earth from the Old Earth (Tiamat) and gave rise to plant and animal life on the   New Earth. The term Olam is what the Bible translates as “from everlasting to everlasting”.

It actually refers to Nibiru, as intimated in PSALMS 93:2 ("Thy [Yahweh] throne is established forever, from Olam art Thou”); LAMENTATIONS 5:19 (“Thou, Yahweh, are enthroned in Olam, enduring through the ages”);  ISAIAH 40:28 ("Yahweh is the God of Olam");  GENESIS 21:33 (Abraham “calling in the name of Yahweh, the God of Olam"); and PSALM 89:47 ("How long, Yahweh, wilt Thou hide Thyself—forever?"). JEREMIAH 6:16 and PSALMS 10:16 calls Yahweh (Anu in this context) the “King of Olam”. 
 

When Jehovah-Enlil instituted the rite of circumcision upon the Jews, he called it the “Covenant of Olam” (GENESIS 17:13), that is too say, a covenant sanctioned by Nibiru King Anu. The root of the term Olam is “disappearance”. It most aptly suits planet Nibiru in that it is seen by Earthlings only once in 3600 years. This periodic appearance and disappearance of Nibiru gave rise to the Hebrew metaphor “From Olam to Olam”, meaning “an inordinately long time” or simply “forever”, as in JEREMIAH 7:7 and 25:5, where Yahweh is quoted as saying, “I had given you (the Jews) this land (Canaan) from Olam to Olam".  The lengthy disappearance also gave rise to Nibiru’s other name, the “Unseen”.

Nibiru was known as the “Imperishable Star” as well as the “Planet of Millions of Years” because from the point of view Earthlings, it was the place of everlasting life.  And it became known as the “Star of Jacob” when Jacob and his family went there and returned to Earth after 300 years.

As to why Nibiru was known as the Eye of God, this had to do with Nibiru being regarded by mankind as “God’s” instrument of retribution (remember, Nibiru sometimes caused floods, fires, earthquakes, and global warming when it drew too close to Earth.)  Explains Robert Morning Sky: “As the planet (Nibiru) loomed in the distance, the people of other worlds would look skyward and know that an emissary of the King/Queen (of the Sirian-Orion Empire), if not the King/Queen him/herself, was about to make an appearance. Immediately, they would begin to cry out her name AY! AY! AY! In time, this cry would become universal in the empire … AYE! AYE! AYE! The mysterious ‘Eye of God’! The ‘Eye of God’!”

Morning Sky proceeds: “This is a story, that everyone on the other worlds told their children: somewhere in the sky, hidden among the stars or in the clouds, the 'AYE' of the Supreme Being was overhead … watching, always watching … waiting to rain down death and destruction on any people, who had done something wrong. Any evil or crime would be punished with a wrath, that could destroy the entire planet! While the story scared many a child, the meaning of the tale was very clear … the forces of the Queen/King were always overhead, always monitoring the activities of the people on the planet below (Earth). Though one could not always see the (celestial) ship (Nibiru) … it was there … somewhere!"

Explaining why Nibiru was known as the “Beast of Waters” or the “Sea Monster”, Morning Sky has this to say:  “Many stories (of Nibiru) described the most horrible 'Beast of the Heavenly Waters'. A monster with one horrible eye, that could see everything and could spit fire … Other stories told how the 'Beast of the Waters' traveled the 'rivers of heaven', and was capable of destroying ships and swallowing up their human pilots. 

Obviously, since this 'beast' traveled the 'rivers of heaven' (space, the Ocean of the Kaa), this was a reference to the Great AR (Nibiru). Since the 'Beast' was 'of the Waters' or the 'rivers of heaven', many stories about the horrible demon described it as a horrible 'Sea Monster' or a 'Demon Sea Creature'.”

WHY MOSES ACCENTUATED THE CULT OF THE ATEN

Moses chose Nibiru as his primary religious frame of reference for two reasons basically. First, the name honoured Marduk. If you recall, one of Marduk’s 50 titles as Earth’s Chief Executive since 1954 BC was Nibiru. Marduk had in fact introduced the “Star Religion” in Babylon, which focused on Nibiru, the Imperishable Star aka the Star of Jacob, since he now regarded himself as the personification of that planet.

When Marduk was referred to as Amen-Ra, meaning Ra the Unseen, it was not necessarily because of his periodical absences from Egypt: it was a synonym with Nibiru. When Nibiru was not seen by Earthlings, it was said to have gone to the “rear of the horizons, to the height of Heaven”.   During this period, it was the “Unseen”. In Egypt’s Star Religion, when Nibiru returned, it would do so as the Aten. In Sumer or Babylon, it would do so as the “Planet of the Crossing” (that is, a planet coursing down the crossroads between Jupiter and Mars), which was precisely what the term Nibiru meant.  

Second, Nibiru represented an idyllic place. Nibiru was the Aten, which in this context meant “Eden” or “Paradise”. Indeed, according to The Book of the Dead, the oldest complete book, when pharaohs passed on, they embarked on a journey   to a utopian planet that was referred to as the Aten. Zechariah Sitchin sets down this journey in the following words: “His (the deceased pharaoh) destination is the Aten, which is also called the Imperishable Star.

The prayers (of the funeral gathering) now focus on getting the King to the Aten and his safe arrival upon it: ‘Aten, let him ascend to thee; enfold him in thine embrace’, the texts intone in behalf of the King. ..  The prayers seek to assure a favorable welcome for the King, by presenting his arrival at the Celestial Abode (Nibiru) as the return of a son to his father:  the gods who guard the entrance to the Aten there will let him through … The King has ascended the Stairway to Heaven (etherical spaceship); he has reached the Imperishable Star; ‘his lifetime is eternity, its limit everlastingness’."

Third, since Nibiru wasn’t very far from making its reappearance, Moses decided to shift the issue from celestial time (reckoning in terms of zodiacal constellation periods of 2160 years) to divine time (Nibiru’s orbital time of 3600-year cycles). He thus changed the question  from, “When will the Age of Aries come to an end” to “When will the Unseen celestial god (Nibiru) reappear and become visible  in the skies?”

Be that as it may,  the Cult of the Aten in Egypt was not introduced by Moses. We know, from Egyptian records, that  it gained prominence during the reign of his grandfather Tuthmosis IV at Zaru, a city that overlooked Goshen, the Hebrew bastion in Egypt. The very first shrine to Aten was erected at Zaru. Indeed, the title of  the mayor of Zaru at the  time was "Overseer of the Foremost Water in the Lake Area of the Temple of Aten”. And the royal barge in which Moses’ father Amenhotep III and his mother Tiye sailed the pleasure lake at Zaru was called the Gleams Aten. Thus all Moses did was raise the Cult of the Aten by yet another bar.   

All the same, the Cult of the Aten was simply one of the also-rans: it was not pre-eminent as it vied  with precious other cults for prominence. Also, until the time of Moses, the Cult of the Aten in Egypt was in practice focused solely on Marduk. It was Moses who took it to another level, a focus predominantly on Nibiru, and to yet another radical, drastic level. What was this?

NEXT WEEK:   MOSES ALIENATES EGYPTIAN PRIESTHOOD

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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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