Connect with us
Advertisement

King Moses is Toppled

Benson C Saili
THIS EARTH, MY BROTHER

Nibiru-focused Cult of the Aten precipitates Pharaoh’s downfall

Pharaoh Amenhotep III, Moses’s father, was renowned as a temple  builder. He had a temple at Hermopolis in northern Egypt; two temples at Karnak in southern Egypt; the great Luxor temple as well as a mortuary temple  at Thebes; three temples in Nubia, today’s Sudan;  and at least a temple each  in nearly every Canaanite city that was an Egyptian garrison town.  These temples, which he started building from the second year of his reign, were dedicated to various Anunnaki (Enkite) gods.

 
In propagating the Cult of the Aten, Moses followed after his father: he embarked on a programme to erect temples dedicated to Aten only  months after he became co-regent with his father. Two temples were  built in close succession, one within the very precincts of the Amen-Ra temple at Thebes and another within the very courts of the  Amen-Ra temple at Luxor.

In other words,  what he was saying was that Amen-Ra (Marduk) and Aten (planet Nibiru) were one and the same – call it a merger. In a way, he was correct: since becoming the new Enlil, Marduk had named Nibiru after himself, so that “Ra was Marduk and the celestial Marduk was Nibiru”. 

But there was a subtle difference in the way the Amen-Ra and Aten temples were architecturally oriented: whereas the Amen-Ra temples were oriented toward the sun (“Ra” meant “sun”), that is, on a southeast-northwest axis, the Aten temples were oriented away from the sun, that is, on an east-west axis.

MOSES SO ORIENTED THE ATEN TEMPLES BECAUSE WHEN NIBIRU APPROACHED, IT DID SO FROM A DIRECTION OPPOSITE TO THAT FROM WHICH THE SUN EMERGED AT SUNRISE.

Every time he presided over a major festival, Moses made it clear to the Theban priests that they were disinvited. In the fourth year of the co-regency, his father attained 30 years on the throne. The tradition  was for a festival known as the Sed or Rejuvenation festival to be held on every 30th anniversary of the incumbent pharaoh.  On the occasion, the pharaoh had to perform a series of fitness test to make the case that he indeed was healthy enough to continue ruling.

Thereafter,   the Sed festival was celebrated every three years till the king’s death. Under Amenhotep III, there were three Sed festivals. On every such occasion, Moses decreed that no god other than Aten would be invoked, which meant that the Theban priests, who for one reason or the other did not recognise Aten, would be totally quiet.   

In order to reinforce the fact that he was Nibiru-oriented, Moses erected a special monument at his Karnak temple to honour the Ben-Ben – THE FIRST OBELISK (four-sided, tapering stone pillar which ends in a pyramid-like shape at the top). The Ben-Ben was the space vehicle which Marduk was said to have used when he first came to Earth from planet Nibiru.

THEN IN THE 5TH YEAR OF THE CO-REGENCY, MOSES CHANGED HIS PHARAONIC TITLE, FROM AMENHOTEP IV TO AKHENATEN,  MEANING “SERVANT OR WORSHIPPER OF ATEN”.

MOSES ESTABLISHES “NIBIRU CITY”

It goes without saying that the Theban priests were madly incensed by the disparaging way Moses was treating them and his attempt at practically replacing their age-old religion with a new one.  It was not necessarily about the acceptability of Aten worship: Marduk, their principal god, was also known as the Aten.

It was about upstaging them as the custodians and exponents of Egyptian spirituality.  What they preached to the people was that a god had to be familiar and sentient – a flesh-and-blood god   who could be seen,   as all the Anunnaki gods were. The deceased god Osiris was the only exception but he had a living representative – his son Horus, so that Osiris was worshipped through Horus: the father was worshipped through the son, very much an echo  of the gospels.  

The Aten, on the other hand, was nothing more than a celestial body – a planet. It was absurd to worship a planet. Even if the Aten represented King Anu,  “Our father Who Art In Heaven”, Anu was not exactly a friend of the Egyptian priests: he was believed to favour the Enlilites at the expense of the Enkites. Anu and the Enlilites were of Sirian heritage, whereas Enkites were of Orion heritage. It explained why in Egypt, the Queen of Orion,  Anu’s ceremonial wife, took precedence over Anu. Both Isis and Nut, the female  Egyptian goddesses, bore names that constituted some of the many titles of the Orion Queen.

With mounting priestly antipathy  toward Moses, his mother Tiye persuaded him to leave Thebes and settle in a completely new city of his own, a rival, so to speak, to Thebes,   a place  that had never been dedicated to any god. There, his followers would be free to worship Aten. Moses took heed and  in the fourth year of the co-regency, he set about establishing a new political and religious centre on the east bank of the Nile right  within southern Egypt. 

This was about halfway between Thebes and modern Cairo. He called the city Akhet-Aten, meaning, “Aten of the Horizon”, clear-cut homage to planet Nibiru. This is modern Tell El Armana. It took four years for Armana to be complete. At Armana, Moses also built a new temple, which he  called the Gempaaten, meaning “The Aten is found in the Gleaming Estate of the Aten”. A huge building filled with tables for offerings to Aten,  it consisted of six rectangular courts. Outside the great temple in the southeast  corner was the house of Panehesy  the Chief Priest.

Moses relocated to Armana in the 8th year of the co-regency and decreed that no god other than Aten would be worshipped or venerated in his city.  Just uttering the name Amen-Ra was forbidden: it  didn’t matter that the two names were interchangeable though Amen-Ra projected Marduk as a Sun God whereas Aten projected him as the personification of the planet Nibiru.

ATEN CULT TAKES SHAPE

The way Moses proceeded about embedding the Cult of the Aten in the psyche of his people was gradual rather than precipitate. He went about this in stages. Writes Ahmed Osman in his book CHRISTIANITY: ANCIENT EGYPTIAN RELIGION:
     “Early representations of Aten showed the deity as of human shape with the head of a falcon, surmounted by a solar disc, in keeping with the conventional way gods were depicted in Egyptian art. 

At the end of the second year, or early in the third, of the co-regency, an important development took place in this representation. The human figure vanished. Only a golden disc appeared, whose rays descended over the king and queen as well as over the temple, altar and palace. This golden disc did not represent the sun but was the symbol of Aten, who had no physical image. The rays, in their turn, were not the endless rays of the sun.

They ended in hands, and the hands held the ankh—the Egyptian cross, a symbol of life, not death—before the nostrils of the king and queen. To indicate the kingly statues of Aten, a uraeus (cobra) hung from the disc in the same way as a uraeus adorned the brow of the king. At the same time the name and epithet of the God was placed inside two cartouches, matching the manner in which the ruling king's name was written.

“Toward the end of Year 9 of Akhenaten (Moses) the name of Aten received a new form to rid it of any therio-anthropomorphic (worshipping a god presented in a form combining animal and human elements) or pantheistic (heathen worship of all gods) aspect that may have clung to it as a result of the hieroglyphic (symbolic)  use of images. The falcon symbol used to spell the name Ra-Harakhti, which in this form would represent the Sun-God, was changed to abstract signs.

Thus the word ‘Ra’ no longer represented the god of Heliopolis (Marduk) but achieved a new abstract meaning, ‘The Lord’… The new form of the God's name read: "Ra (The Lord), the Living Ruler of the Horizon, in His Name the Light which is in Aten."     Note Osman’s characterisation of the term “The Lord” as “abstract”. Clearly, Osman hadn’t done his homework thoroughly here, for had he consulted the Sumerian records, he would have come to know that “THE LORD” WAS ANOTHER NAME FOR PLANET NIBIRU.   Moses’s focus was no longer on Marduk per se but  on the planet he represented – Nibiru.

MOSES RUNS RIOT AS SOLE PHARAOH

Amenhotep III ruled Egypt together with Moses during the last 12 years of his life, though it was Moses who was the real ruler. After being Pharaoh for a total of just under 40 years, Amenhotep III passed away and Moses was installed as the sole pharaoh. He had two separate coronations, one at Thebes in southern Egypt, where he wore the HEDJET, a white crown, and another at Memphis in northern Egypt, where he wore the DESHRET, a red crown.

Scenes in the Amarna tombs show him receiving gifts from foreign dignitaries. THE ACCESSION  OF MOSES TO THE EGYPTIAN THRONE MARKED THE GENESIS OF THE  RULE OF A SUCCESSION OF FOUR PHARAOHS WHO  BECAME KNOWN AS THE AMARNA KINGS.  

      By this time, Moses already had four daughters. Indeed,  on the lintel of the doorway in the tomb  of Huya (steward of Tiye, Moses’mother ), there’s a captioned painting of Moses (under his Egyptian name Akhenaten) and Nefertiti with their four daughters, and on the right Amenhotep III, his wife Tiye, and his youngest princess Baketaten. Moses would eventually have six daughters  with Nefertiti.

Part-evidence of Moses’ Hebrew origins can be deduced from his appointment of a man with  Hebrew-sounding name as his chief minister. This was Aperel, a former high priest. “Aper” is the Egyptian word for “Hebrew” and “el” is the shortened form of “Elohim”, what the Hebrews called the Anunnaki’s ruling pantheon.   “The tomb of Aper-el,” writes Ahmed Osman,  “is the first evidence we have of a link between a pharaoh and someone of Hebrew stock living in Egypt during his reign.”

Now that he was the sole ruler of Egypt,  Moses upped the ante in the enforcement of the Cult of the Aten. That he was an Atenist to the core can easily be gleaned from his 5-Fold Titulary – the mandatory minimum of 5 titles a pharaoh was  supposed to bear.  All except one had the term Aten in them. They   were "Beloved of Aten";  "Great of Kingship in Akhet-Aten"; "Exalter of the Name of Aten"; and Akhenaten itself. The only title that was a direct to tribute to Marduk was Neferkheperure-Waen-Re, meaning “the Unique One of Ra”.

Moses moved fast to accentuate the Cult of the Aten. First, he declared Aten as the only god of Egypt and the only god of planet Earth and abolished the worship of any other god. Second, he declared himself Aten’s only prophet. Moses increasingly referred to himself as “the god’s prophet-son”, one “who came forth from the god’s body,” and to whom alone the deity’s plans were revealed.  “There is no other that knoweth thee except thy son Akhenaten,” he bragged in song. “Thou hast made him wise in thy plan.”

But there was more. Ahmed Osman: “He closed all the temples, except those of Aten, dispersed the priests and gave orders that the names of other deities should be expunged from monuments and temple inscriptions throughout the country. Units were dispatched to excise the names of the ancient gods, particularly Amun, wherever they were found written or engraved. Even the plural word NETARU for gods was proscribed.”

Referring to the same religious repression at the hands of Pharaoh Moses, a Karnak temple stele reads thus: “Now when His Majesty (Moses) appeared as King, the temples of the gods and goddesses from Elephantine down to marshes of the Delta had gone to pieces. Their shrines had become desolate, had become mounds overgrown with weeds. Their sanctuaries were as if they had never been.

Their halls were footpaths. The land was topsy-turvy, and the gods turned their backs upon this land. If the army was sent to Djahi (Palestine-Syria) to extend the frontiers of Egypt, no success of theirs came at all. If one prayed to a god to seek counsel from him, he would never come at all. If one made supplication to a goddess similarly, she would never come at all.” Moses, folks, was killing people to get them to discard their gods and embrace his own, Aten, like a jihadist. Religious persecution comes a long way folks. This Earth, My Brother …
 
MOSES AND AARON ARE CO-PHARAOHS

It goes without saying that the Draconian measures Moses took to enforce the Cult of the Aten    did not sit well with the Theban priesthood, who as the country’s religious authorities had enormous sway over the Egyptian masses. In fact, what made it possible for Moses to stay in  power for 17 years was the loyalty of the army. The army was under the command of Ephraim (Aye to Egyptians), Joseph’s second-born son and Moses’ maternal uncle. But there’s a limit to which even one’s own flesh-and-blood can protect them.

The religious authorities, who resented the fact that Moses had usurped their role as the primary custodians of spirituality in Egypt, set about inciting the equally disaffected ranks of the army to depose Moses. Receiving intelligence to that effect, General Ephraim had no option but to seek an audience with Moses. The priests were untouchable: it was Moses who just had to toe the line and not the other way round.

Ephraim was concerned that if Moses was to be overthrown, that would be the end of their clan as Josephites. As important, it would bring to an end  the Enlilites’ designs to bring Egypt in their sphere of influence.  Already, there were vociferous calls from the body politic for Moses to step down forthwith and hand over power to whoever was next in line. That was the proposition General Ephraim put to the now beleaguered Moses.

Ever the headstrong man, Moses refused to vacate the throne and counter-proposed that for the sake of placating his myriads of detractors, he would rather go for a co-regency with a royal family member of his choice.  Now, Moses had at least five wives. Ideally, the heir should have come from his Great Wife Nefertiti, but she only gave him daughters. So he settled for the eldest son by his second wife Khiya. This was Tutankhaten. At the time though, Tutankhaten was only 8 years of age and therefore was too young to be a co-leader. The person Moses thus proposed was Smenkhkare.  

Smenkhkare (Smenkhkaraon in full) was the son of Ephraim and his Hebrew and Jacobite wife Tey. Since Ephraim was a brother to Moses’mother Tiye, it meant Smenkhkare and he were first cousins. Moses and Smenkhkare, having been born only 2-3 years apart, were nursed together by Tey at Tiye’s summer palace at Zaru. Indeed, in the tomb she shared with her husband, Tey is described as “the great nurse, nourisher of the god (Pharaoh Moses), adorner of the King (Moses)”.

TO MOSES, THEREFORE, TEY WAS A HONORARY MOTHER AND SMENKHKARE WAS A VIRTUAL BROTHER. It explains why in the Old Testament, Smenkhkare,  who is called  Aaron (a truncation of his full Egyptian name), is referred to as Moses’ brother.   

Moses not only was close to Aaron but he reposed a great deal of trust in him. The moment he appointed him as co-regent, which was in the 15th year of his reign, he offered him his eldest daughter, Meritaten. For about a year, Aaron and Meritaten lived in the Armana palace with Moses, after which they relocated  to Thebes.  There,  Aaron was caught in the powerful  orbit of the Theban priesthood and before long, he had begun to reverse Moses’ religious reforms but only  in Thebes alone – where he built a new temple  to the national god Marduk – and not in the whole of Egypt.

MOSES FLEES EGYPT

The co-regency between Moses and Aaron by no means appeased the Theban priests. Aaron, who was more inclined to the status quo ante of the pre-Moses years, was still overshadowed by Moses: he only had jurisdiction, effectively,  in Thebes. The priests wanted Moses to cede power wholly to Aaron and they made that clear  to General Ephraim.

Confronting Moses, Ephraim did not mince words: he was categorical that  sentiment against the pharaoh in the country was such that when push came to shove, he could not guarantee his safety as army general. Moses therefore had no option but to climb down from his pedestal.   

Initially, Moses refused to step down. He dug in his heels for another two years or so, at which time signs became more than apparent that a revolution was brewing in the country and word reached the Armana  palace that whether Moses  left the throne voluntarily or otherwise,   he was a marked man anyway. A mutiny soon was abroad in the land. “It is clear that in his Year 17,  Akhenaten faced an army rebellion led by Horemheb, Pa-Ramses and Seti,”writes Ahmed Osman.

“General Aye,  supported by General Nakht Min,  but unable to crush the rebellion, made a deal with them to allow the abdication of Akhenaten  and the appointment of his young son.” Thus driven to the wall, Moses finally capitulated, whereupon Ephraim and Aaron immediately made arrangements for him to be spirited out of Egypt. Once he was safely out of the country, Aaron was crowned as the sole pharaoh but in a stand-in-capacity as the rightful heir, Tutankhaten, was snapping at his heels.

The Bible’s version of events is that Moses was forced to flee Egypt when a bounty was put on him by the pharaoh after he killed an Egyptian who was altercating with a Hebrew slave. That is pure fiction. Moses was a pharaoh and he left Egypt to escape a violent ouster of he himself on account of his wayward religious reforms and his sidelining of the deathly influential Theban priesthood.

It is the Old Testament itself which says, “Moses was very great in the land of Egypt” (EXODUS 11:3). Sadly, it fails, or rather, omits, by deliberate design, to showcase just how great Moses was. Thankfully, we have the Egyptian records, which  lay bare the fact that Moses was a great man in Egypt primarily because he was Pharaoh.
     

NEXT WEEK:   AARON GIVES WAY

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!