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A Fiscus in the Desert

Benson C Saili
THIS EARTH, MY BROTHER

 Ishkur-Adad, the Jehovah of the Exodus, institutes first Jewish exchequer

Having ordained the Aaronic priesthood through the agency of Moses, Ishkur-Adad, the Anunnaki Jehovah of the Exodus, now proceeded to the next step. HE DECIDED TO INSTITUTE THE FIRST FORMAL WORSHIP SERVICE FOR  THE NATION OF ISRAEL. This was the beginning of Judaism proper.

Thus far, the Hebrews had never had  a dedicated, national  religion of their own.  They had no  temple or any other such own-nurtured place of religious gathering. That did not mean they were religiously indifferent.  In Egypt, for instance, they had worshipped non-Enlilite gods – called idols in the Bible. Indeed,  the prophet Ezekiel admonishes them for doing just that (EZEKIEL 20:4-12) and Joshua also lambasts them for indulging in the same reprehensible practice in their formative days in ancient India in  Abraham’s father Terah’s time (JOSHUA 24:2).

But this was simply a pull factor, a kind of sidetrack. It was a case of catching the lurge, of being influenced by the factor of propinquity. It is natural for any minority population to assume tendencies and predilections of the dominant people in the broader society. In fact, in the majority of cases, Israelites, particularly when they were in Egypt, hardly mingled with Egyptians religiously: they simply kept symbolic images of Egyptian gods for whom they had an affinity.  Their religion was for the most part private and domestic as opposed to being brash and institutional.

The closest Israelites had to a formal religion of their own was in the form of altars. All their patriarchs – Noah, Abraham, Isaac – erected an altar to their god. Altars, however,  were not  worship settings: they were impermanent platforms for   sacrifices (slaughtered animals) and offerings  (grain, wine, bread, etc) to a god. Certainly,   the Hebrew word translated altar connotes slaughter, as in sacrifice. Writes one savant on the subject: “The term altar comes from old English, possibly also related to a Latin word ADOLARE that means to burn up.

In the Hebrew tradition, the word is MIZBE’AKH – and its root is ZAVAKH, which means slaughter, as in a sacrifice.” Some altars were not places of sacrifice as such,  but were simply   monuments or memorials to commemorate a great act done,  or a promise rendered, by a  god. Jacob built one such altar at Shechem (GENESIS 33:19,20) and Moses had only recently done so right in the Arabian wilderness to toast to Adad following the Israelites’ “miraculous” repulsion of the provocative Amalekites after a three-day war (EXODUS 17:15,16).

Thus,  whereas in the past the Jews had revered their gods in an informal,  make-shift kind of way,  Adad now decided it was time they  did so permanently and as a matter of  routine in a formal assembly. This was to be known as the Tabernacle. There,  he would meet them in a symbolic sense and they  would worship him with all the religious protocol that entailed.  The Tabernacle would be “God’s” dwelling place so to speak, a place where he would interface with his chosen people. The Tabernacle foreshadowed the more permanent Temple that would be built when the Israelites were firmly ensconced in Canaan.  

COMPOSITION OF THE TABERNACLE

The Tabernacle went by several names. It was variously called a Sanctuary; a Tent of Meeting; a Tabernacle of the Testimony; or the Tabernacle of the Congregation.  According to EXODUS 25:9, Adad was so determined to get exactly what he wanted that HE PROVIDED MOSES WITH A SCALE MODEL OF THE TABERNACLE, AN ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN. But the  actual construction of the Tabernacle was assigned to two crack artisans, Benzaleel  of the tribe of Judah and Aholiab of the tribe of Dan.

Although the specifications of the Tabernacle are elaborate and rigorous, it was not unique. It was a throwback to Egypt. Both the architecture of the Tabernacle and its surrounding courtyard more or less mirrored the battle tent of Egyptian Pharaoh Ramesses II. There were three main sections of the structure. These were the Tabernacle proper; the courtyard; and the altar.   The Tabernacle proper was subdivided into two rooms: the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies.

The courtyard was the preserve only of the Jews and proselytes, the latter being non-Jews who had converted to the Jewish faith by undergoing circumcision.  In the courtyard was found the bronze water basin, where the High Priest (Aaron) and the chief priests (his four sons) would thoroughly wash their hands and feet before they entered the Tabernacle or approached the altar with a food offering, and the altar itself.

It is ironic that the Tabernacle is called a Tent when it was actually a covered timber building. Clearly, it was not as easily portable as it is billed in Exodus. It is said when the Israelites wanted to shift camp,  they took the  Tabernacle down and carried all its constituent parts  to the new locale. It must have taken them weeks to have the Tabernacle systematically dismantled. 

The material inputs that went into the construction of the Tabernacle were gold, silver, bronze, shittim wood, goat hair, the skins of hides, rams, and sea cows, and yarn that had been dyed blue, purple, and scarlet. Exodus says both the metals and hides/skins were supplied by the Nation of Israel themselves, the metals from the hoarded “loot” which they had tactfully swindled  the Egyptians out of before they embarked on the great trek into the Arabian wilds. This was basically stolen treasures used as raw materials in the construction of “God’s House”!

The altar, where animals were sacrificed, is prescribed in EXODUS 20:21, which says,  “An altar of earth you shall make to me, and shall sacrifice on it your burnt offerings, and your peace offerings, your sheep, and your oxen …” Altars in the Hebrew Scriptures were constructed of earth, stone, wood and/or metal.

The altar had a particularly intriguing characteristic. Its most sacred parts were the “horns” protruding from its four corners. It was to these four horns that the blood of the sin offering was applied.  What do horns stand for in Illuminati imagery? The Devil, as evinced by the ubiquitous El Diablo (Devil’s horns) hand signal flashed by famous personages in practically every picture our eyes happen to light upon. This particular altar was made of pure gold and acacia wood, which was extravagant: why make a platform whose only purpose was to roast animals out of  gold, the priciest commodity?  But since the altar represented Lucifer, the real god of the Enlilites,  this is not surprising at all. His meal table had to be adorned with gold to fit his stature and standing.

Whilst the Tabernacle was being built,  Moses meanwhile met with Adad in the Tent of Meeting, a provisional arrangement.  “As Moses went into the tent, the pillar of cloud would come down and stay at the entrance, while the Lord spoke with Moses,” says EXODUS 33:7,9. Once the Tabernacle was up and running, the Tent became redundant though the Tabernacle too continued to be loosely referred to as the Tent of Meeting. 

DEVIL HONOURED IN SANCTUARY’S HOLY OF HOLIES

The various sections of the Tabernacle were to be furnished with accoutrements particular to them. For the Holy of Holies, these were the Ark of the Covenant, the Table of the Presence, and the Golden Lampstand.  Since we will dwell on the first two in detail next time around,  we will at this juncture devote to unpacking the Golden Lampstand, also known as the Menorah.

The Golden Lampstand comprised of seven branches, each supporting an olive oil lamp. Its ostensible purpose was to illuminate the Holy of Holies so that it had clear visibility on the occasion the High Priest stepped in there. But you will be aware by now that Illuminati trappings invariably have several layers of meaning. The surface layer, which is intended for the wider public, is the least important. It is the underlying layers, meant for fellow Illuminati elements, which carry the fundamental message.

The Golden Lampstand represented occultic illumination, not necessarily the needed environmental lighting. At every Satanic gathering, there’s always a form of light. Even in musical videos shot by mega stars of the American entertainment industry, there’s always a bit of light lingering in the background. To the Illuminati, light is the primordial symbol of Lucifer for Lucifer is the light bringer, the term light here employed in the sense of privileged occultic and metaphysical knowledge and not general knowledge.

The number 7 is also numerologically significant. Primarily, it was at once the number of Earth (being the seventh planet counting from Pluto) and Jehovah-Enlil in his capacity as Earth’s Chief Executive pre- the astrological Age of Aries.  BUT THE ILLUMINATI ARE VERY CLEVER OPERATORS. MORE OFTEN THAN NOT, THEY USE REVERSE SYMBOLISM SO THAT WHAT THE MAINSTREAM ASSUME IS THE PRIMARY MEANING OF A CERTAIN EMBLEM IS ACTUALLY NULLIFIED (for instance, they use an inverted cross to desecrate Jesus and therefore mock Christendom). That way, they are less liable to give the game away.

The number 7 is in some contexts (such as in the Golden Lampstand case) a bow to the planet Saturn and therefore to Satan himself as Saturn is the Devil’s Solar System bastion. Saturn is the 7th major celestial body in the Solar System counting from and including the Sun.     It is a pity that in the Book of Revelation, the Golden Lampstand is presented as an image of the Church. UNBEKNOWNST TO MOST CHRISTIANS, WHAT THAT SUGGESTS IS THAT THE CHURCH IS ACTUALLY PRESIDED OVER NOT BY   JESUS OR FIRST SOURCE BUT BY THE DEVIL. It is the Devil who struts the pulpit folks.

It explains why the Golden Lampstand imagery is a constant feature in every Catholic parish, and we know the nature of  interdimensional forces the Vatican represents. It also explains why these days, all sorts of outrageous  deeds are being perpetrated by  pastors of the so-called Fire churches in the name of “God” without shame or scruple.

This litany of iniquities include flagrant adultery and sexual snacking; false prophesying; bogus healings which do not endure; theatrical laying of hands; felling desperate members of the audience  under the pretext of the “power of the Holy Spirit” (when all what that does is introduce demonic spirits in the hapless victim); getting people to eat grass and consume the deadly Doom spray;  sacrificing of prominent members of the church or a critical mass of congregants by way of  road “accidents” (read: “spell-casting”) and collapsed buildings; outright paedophilia, which has now become a staple of the Catholic church;  pimping teenage girls to the pastor and other senior members in the church hierarchy; using church members slavishly and imbecilically  moving on all fours as a stage prop;  and  the flaunting of blood-stained,  ill-gotten, Lucifer-enabled riches.  This Earth, My Brother …

ADAD’S SAFETY AND SECURITY TAX

If you thought religion was essentially spiritual and innocuous, then I’m afraid you are living in Cloudy Cuckoo Land. Religion’s main  purpose is to stunt mankind’s progress as a spirit-soul, to distract us from focusing on our inner, higher self as only that can bring about true real salvation. The Kingdom of God is within you, not outside of you, as Jesus truthfully put it.

But there is more: religion is a subtle, sleight-of-hand means to economic ends. It is about self-aggrandisement at the expense of the hopelessly naïve and gullible “flock”.  The famous – or is it infamous – Black   American tele-evangelist TD Jakes is on record as gleefully admitting that “religion makes for  good business”. And he can prove it: according to the Forbes magazine list of wealthiest pastors on the globe, TD Jakes has – Praise the Lord! – a net worth of $147 million as of the “year of our Lord” 2018, making him the richest propagator of the gospel on Earth.

Of course TD Jakes has a broad-based portfolio of investments,  but what set him up was the financial windfall accruing from the tithes and offerings of the stupidly unsuspecting people who  cram the pews when he’s belting out his “calling”. Yet he’s far from the odd one out: members of the Levitical priesthood were just as wealthy. The High Priest was filthy rich folks.  The priesthood was just as corrupt those days as the clergy of our day are (when in AD 66 the Zealots ejected the Romans, the first person to be put to the sword was the High Priest, who they regarded as the paradigm of a looting collaborator). 

Remember, the Temple was the very heartbeat and lifeblood of the Jewish economy. All economic life was centred around the Temple. One of the sources of the priesthood’s wealth was Temple Tax. Temple Tax was introduced by Moses, at the say-so of Ishkur-Adad right at Mount Sinai.  It served two principal purposes. First, it was meant for the upkeep of the Temple and the subsistence of the priesthood. This is the role you hear the pastor eagerly preach about  because it sounds very godly and bolsters his own economic cause.

What the pastor will not tell you is that Temple Tax was also A RANSOM FOR THE PAYER, A MEANS BY WHICH HE OR SHE PAID FOR HIS WELLBEING AS A PROTÉGÉ OF HIS GOD. This was most obvious in its other form, which we can call Census Tax but which was actually Safety and Security Tax. Census Tax applied to men who were 20 years and above, who were under obligation to serve in the army.  For “God” to guarantee the general wellbeing of service men, he had to be bribed. Otherwise, he would visit a plague on the whole nation even if only a few people were in default.

The ordinary Jew paid Temple Tax once every year. For service men, they paid it every time a census was conducted as censuses those days were done to establish how many people were eligible for enlistment into the war effort. This is what Adad says in EXODUS 30:11-16 (the emphasis is ours):  “When you take the census of the people of Israel, THEN EACH SHALL GIVE A RANSOM FOR HIS LIFE TO THE LORD when you number them, that THERE BE NO PLAGUE AMONG THEM when you number them.

Each one who is numbered in the census shall give this: half a shekel according to the shekel of the sanctuary, half a shekel as an offering to the Lord. Everyone who is numbered in the census, from twenty years old and upward, SHALL GIVE THE LORD’S OFFERING. The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less, than the half shekel, when you give the Lord’s offering TO MAKE ATONEMENT FOR YOUR LIVES …”

In the above statement, Adad accentuates the fact that Temple Tax was an atonement – a payment made by the Nation of Israel so as to forestall a calamity of sorts and therefore insure their lives.  The Anunnaki gods never ever rendered a favour or blessing for free. The other thing Adad stresses is that every time a census was held, ransom money had to be collected from everybody counted. To neglect collecting the ransom was a very serious offense against the god and invited very serious repercussions as was the experience of King David (1 CHRONICLES 21 and   2 SAMUEL 24).

Adad instructed David to take a census of all the tribes of Israel. David did likewise but for reasons that are not spelt out, he omitted to collect the Census Tax. Adad was livid as a great economic opportunity was passed up. He had Gad, a prophet, confront David for this transgression and read the riot act to the King. The King was asked to choose one of three reprisals.

They were three years of famine, three months of a tempestuous military onslaught by enemy nations, or three days of a holocaust-like plague. David chose the latter. The short-lived plague, which is not specified, laid waste to 70,000 Israelites. For having his money-centred god incur an incalculable economic loss, David had to lose 70,000 of his people. Human life was so cheap to these barbarous Anunnaki gods.

MORE  ANIMAL SACRIFICE, MORE BLOOD-LETTING

At long last, Aaron and his four sons Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar were consecrated for “God’s” service by Moses on the instructions of Adad. This commissioning into elemental priestly service was a bloody affair. Besides having  Aaron and his four sons wash in water (to publicly demonstrate that they were not physically tainted in any way, shape or form) and anointing Aaron as High Priest, it involved animal sacrifice and literally  dousing  the five priests in animal blood.  

The animals involved were one bull and two rams in a three-phase, week-long ceremony. The one involving the bull was a sacrifice of purification – to cleanse the priests of any lingering sin that might render them unfit to represent the people before “God”.  The bull was consumed by fire, first on the altar within the Tabernacle yard and finally outside it. The second sacrifice involved having a ram burnt to a cinder right on the altar. 

The third sacrifice was of the ram of ordination. Aaron and his sons first laid their hands on the ram. Then once it was slaughtered, its blood was first smeared on three areas of the body. These were the ears (to signal unquestioned obedience to Adad); the right hand (to signal devoted service to Adad in the manner of a right-hand man); and the right foot (to signal an abiding, lockstep philosophical  walk with Adad). The rest of the blood was then sprinkled on the altar as well as over the priestly garments of the quintet. 

The ram of ordination was not totally consumed by fire: only a part of it as the rest was spared as a meal for Aaron and his sons  – to herald the fact that the priesthood were to be fed on the offerings from the rest of the population as recompense for their  dedicated service to God. Note the symbolism of the animals chosen for sacrifice. Both the ram (signifying the astrological Age of Aries) and the bull (representative of the Egyptians’ Apis Bull)   were emblematic of Marduk, the Enlilites’ arch-enemy who was Earth’s sitting Chief Executive. 

It was all occultism folks: what you kill (through shedding of blood) and eat you assimilate and consequently enhance  your own occultic powers with its life force,  which is eternal. Also note the occultic hallmarks of blood and death in the whole process. This is very much an echo of a Satanic setting. And you say the Old Testaments gods were “holy”? C’mmon, give me a break dude.

 
NEXT WEEK:   THE ARK TAKES SHAPE

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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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