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A $10m Gold Chest

Benson C Saili
THIS EARTH, MY BROTHER

    
Moses’ Ark of the Covenant was a multi-purpose, pricey  device

The standard Temple Tax, or rather, Religious Tax, was the Half-Shekel yearly, though it was reduced to One-Third-Shekel following the Babylonian exile and reinstated to Half-Shekel during the reign of Herod the Great.   Half-Shekel was 2 Drachmas in the gospel era and is US$0.13, or P1.35, in our day at the prevailing exchange rates.

In Old Testament times it was equivalent to a day’s wages, whereas in New Testament times, it amounted to a couple of days’ wages thanks to the inescapable effects of inflation. Every Jew who was 20 years and above was subject to this levy: only Levites were exempt. The Orwellian paradigm, whereby all animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others, dates back to the very days when “God” lived among his people.  

Note that the Half-Shekel was not a coin. In Moses’ day, the Israelites did not mint coins. Thus Half-Shekel simply represented a specific weight of silver and this was accepted as currency. Half-Shekel was about 6 grams of silver, which took the form of bars, bracelets, or necklaces weighed in a balance scale against a standardised and inscribed stone weight.  The worshiper received a receipt (and even “change” if he paid more, such as a full Shekel instead of a Half-Shekel) in the form of a piece of pottery or a clay tablet with the words "Paid in full" duly inscribed thereon. The Shekel coin came into being in the 6th century BC following the Babylonian captivity.  

For a brief period after the restoration of the Temple (the so-called Second Temple, which replaced the one Solomon had built but which was razed down by Nebuchadnezzar in 587 BC), the Jews had their own currency. Known as the Yehudi coins, they were minted in 350 BC. In truth, the Yehudi coins were not an own currency as they bore motifs commemorating the Anunnaki goddess Athena, known as Inanna-Ishtar in Sumerian times. During the Hasmonean rule, the Jews had the so-called brutah bronze coins minted but they too were adulterated with foreign symbology. 

Herod the Great and Pontius Pilate would also later mint brutah coins for the Jews but they also were tainted with tell-tale imageries of the oppressors and so were not eagerly embraced by the Jews. The first real Jewish coins, which were made from silver, were minted in AD 66 following the Zealot uprising. But they were short-lived as Roman general Titus overran Jerusalem in AD 70 and laid waste to the Temple. In AD 132, Simon Bar Khoba led an uprising against the Romans and minted new silver coins depicting the defunct Temple. The revolt was crashed three years later by the then Roman Emperor Hadrian. The next time the Jews would have their own currency was in the 20th century.

What is ironic is that throughout the pre- AD 66 series of upheavals, the main Temple currency was the Tyrian Shekel, issued circa 300 BC. The Tyrian Shekel bore the image of the patron god of Tyre, a Phoenician (Palestinian in today’s terms) domain about 150 km away from Jerusalem. The god was known as Melqart or Baal Sur, meaning Lord Sur. The Romans called him Heracles (Hercules) and the Greeks called him Apollo. In the Sumerian and Akkadian  records, he’s called Utu-Shamash.

The Jews were not aware  that it was the same Anunnaki gods playing mind games on them. So to them,   Melqart was a “pagan”  god when in truth he was the nephew of their very god Iskur-Adad. Be that as it may, the Jews  didn’t mind using a currency bearing the image of an idol god  in the hallowed precincts of the Temple primarily because the Tyrian Shekel contained the most silver – 92 percent. Economic reasons seemed to have overridden religious sanctity.     

It was the Tyrian Shekel, the dollar of the day, that sustained the bureau de  change business that thrived in the Temple’s Court of Gentiles and in which the priesthood had stakes as pilgrims who came to Jerusalem on festive occasions from all over the world and who were the Temple’s main lifeline were obliged to convert their currencies to the Tyrian Shekel for transactional purposes (tendering their tithes and buying animals for sacrifice).

Thus when Jesus stormed the Temple and  angrily set upon the money changers, turning their tables and driving their animals out with a whip, he was registering his outrage at the  spiritual hypocrisy of the Temple system. Sadly, it was this act, largely, that resulted in his crucifixion as from that point on, he was a marked man for tampering with economic mainstay of the corrupt-to-the-core priesthood.   

GOLD APLENTY IN ARK OF COVENANT

We showed in the previous article that the Tabernacle had three main constituents. These were the Tabernacle proper, the courtyard, and the altar. The duo-section Tabernacle proper comprised of the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies. The Holy of Holies was the most sacred place in the entire structure in that it was the deity’s inner sanctum, the very dwelling place of  Ishkur-Adad, the Jehovah of the Exodus.   Of course Adad did not physically reside in the Holy of Holies: in fact, he never set foot in there once. His permanent presence in the Holy of Holies was purely symbolic, along the lines of virtual reality.

It was in the Holy of Holies that Adad discoursed with the High Priest Aaron. Exactly how did Adad communicate with   Aaron? It was by way of the Ark of the Covenant, Adad’s symbolic  throne. “I will speak with you from above the Ark-cover, from between the two cherubim which are on the Ark of Testimony, about all the orders I am giving you for the people of Israel,” Adad said in EXODUS 25:22. In other words, THE MOST IMMEDIATE PURPOSE OF  THE ARK OF THE COVENANT WAS AS A TWO-WAY WIRELESS COMMUNICATION DEVICE.

This was when Adad was not in the vicinities of the camp, for as the Bible makes clear, when Adad’s flying saucer was parked on Mount Sinai, Moses and he talked  “face to face”, which is a figure of speech really as the Enlilite gods had long made a resolution that their faces should not be seen by mankind at all since they  rotated as Yahweh and so were determined not to  expose themselves as different personages masquerading as one.   

The Ark of the Covenant was constructed by Benzeleel and Aliohab   under the supervision of Moses. Like the Tabernacle, the Ark was neither original nor unique: it very much harked back to Egypt. Says Dr Raanan Eichler of Tel Aviv University whose PhD dissertation was on the Ark and the Cherubim: “The Ark was a portable wooden chest made in typical Egyptian style, and extant chests from the ancient Near East, particularly Egypt, reveal parallels to almost every detail of the Ark as described in priestly and other biblical texts … It would seem that the Egyptian design was copied and adapted by the Hebrew tribes of the time when they created their own sacred objects.”

Dr Eichler’s assertion is a pointed one: in the  inner chamber of Pharaoh  Tutankhamun’s tomb was found the same Ark as described in the Bible, the major difference being that whereas the Biblical Ark bore images of two Cherubim across its lid, the Tutankhamun Ark bore the image of a jackal, called Anubis in ancient Egypt; hence its name the “Shrine of  Anubis”. MOSES, BENZELEEL AND ALIOHAB COULD AFFORD TO BUILD THE ARK OF THE COVENANT BECAUSE THEY HAD FIRSTHAND EXPERIENCE IN EGYPT!

The Ark of the Covenant was overwhelmingly made of pure gold. EXODUS 25:10-11 says; “They (Benzeleel and Aliohab) are to make an ark of acacia-wood three-and-three-quarters feet long, two-and-a-quarter feet wide and two-and-a-quarter feet high. You are to overlay it with pure gold — overlay it both inside and outside — and put a molding of gold around the top of it.”  It was a  large chest or ornate box of acacia wood, plated on the inside and outside with pure gold.

Four gold rings were fastened to its four feet and  gold-covered poles of acacia wood were inserted into rings on each side to render it easy to carry.  The Ark’s cover or lid was a slab of pure gold, with two cherubim  of hammered gold, one at each end, facing each other, their wings spread upward and just stopping short of touching. It has been estimated that approximately 8 tons of gold, silver, and bronze went into the entire Tabernacle and its fixtures and fittings. In today’s money, the Ark of the Covenant alone would cost $10 million to replicate.

THE ARK BORE IMAGES OF AERIAL CRAFT

Exactly what were the two cherubim (plural for cherub) that faced each other on the cover of the Ark? Practically every depiction of the Ark portrays the cherubim as angels, that is, winged masculine beings. The Bible, however, simply describes them as cherubim and not angels or creatures of any kind. What were cherubim?

The term cherubim is a most misunderstood, if not deliberately distorted term even by savants of theology. Every pastor will tell you that cherubim were a class of angels, but that is simply the popular narrative: it has no basis in fact whatsoever. It is wishful or contrived thinking.   The term cherubim stemmed from the ancient Semitic term KERUB, which meant “to ride”. It is therefore rooted in the notion of transportation.  An alternative term that was synonymous with KERUB was ERUB.

It was ERUB that informed the term HOREB, the other name for Mount Sinai or any such prominent mountain range.  Mount Horeb thus simply meant “Mount of Cherubs”. That is to say, a mountain where a form of transportation, particularly aerial transportation, was typically observed.  What was this form of transportation? IT WAS ADAD’S FLYING SAUCER, JET,  OR CHOPPER, TYPICALLY REFERRED TO AS THE GLORY OF GOD IN ENGLISH VERSIONS OF THE BIBLE.

Certainly, every time the term cherubim  is encountered in the Bible, it is associated with a mobile throne (chopper, flying saucer, or simply the cockpit compartment) or with flight or locomotion in general. For instance, when Jehovah-Enlil expelled Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden (GENESIS 3:24), a cherubim mounted with a flaming sword which turned every which way hovered at the gates to prevent the couple from making a defiant return (assisted by Enki)  and therefore have unauthorised access to the Tree of Life (a rocket parked on the Eridu apron).

This simply was a levitating vehicle equipped with a search light. Both 2 SAMUEL 22:11 and PSALM 18:10 state that, “He (Yahweh) rode upon a cherub and did fly; and he was seen upon the wings of the wind”.  EZEKIEL 9:3 also says, “He (Yahweh) was gone up from the cherub whereupon he was, to the threshold of the house”. Clearly, the cherubim were not sentient things: they were flying or levitating machines, variously called celestial chariots or sky vehicles in Sumerian records.

So if cherubim were not angelic beings, or such winged humanoid figurines, why are they depicted as such in popular paintings of the Ark?     Once again, it all harps back to Egypt. The Egyptian arks of the gods bore the image of the goddess Maat (a daughter of Marduk and consort of his younger half-brother Ningishzidda who was known as Thoth in Egypt) with wings on each arm. Religious artists therefore automatically assumed that since Moses was raised up in Egypt,  some such similar male figurines must have appeared on his version of the Ark of the Covenant too, which is too much of a leap of faith.

The one other very pertinent factor that those who show two angelic beings atop the Ark of the Covenant overlook is that ADAD HAD PROHIBITED THE NATION OF ISRAEL FROM MAKING GRAVEN IMAGES (an image carved out of stone, wood or metal and taking the form of either a person or animal, see EXODUS 20:4-5) or any idols (rival Enkite gods) in cast metal (DEUTERONOMY 34:17).  Clearly, there was no way Moses was going to affix to the Ark images of angelic beings forged from gold when Adad unequivocally frowned on that. (Angels, or AN-GAL in Sumerian,  meaning “Great Ones of Heaven”, was simply the general term  for the Anunnaki. In art, the Sumerians depicted the Anunnaki as winged giants to denote the fact that they flew in skyborne vehicles).

True, the Bible says the cherubim had “wings”, but we cannot be dogmatic that as such they were  life-form representations. Hospitals have wings,  aircraft have wings, shirt collars have wings, ploughs have wings. A “wing” is simply a lateral projection which extends from the main body of an object. So in what form where the cherubim on the cover of the Ark? SINCE A CHERUB WAS AN AERIAL CRAFT, IT WERE TWO SUCH WINGED AIR CRAFT, IN ALL LIKELIHOOD AN OFFSPREY (WHICH IS PART AIR PLANE, PART-HELICOPTER)  THAT FEATURED ON THE ARK.

These were molten images but they were not graven images in that they were not in the form of a human being or an animal but in the form of machines. The air crafts were the best representation of  Adad in the eye of the Israelites as they symbolised his presence among them: whenever there was a flying saucer or helicopter parked or hovering around, it was a sign that their god was around. It is a pity that the Ark is lost to history. This is by deliberate design because if ever it were to be found, it would reveal a lot of secrets the Vatican & Co wouldn’t want Christendom to know.

TABLETS OF TESTIMONY AS DIGITAL RECORDS

According to the Bible, the Ark of the Covenant enclosed a number of items. They were the Tablets of the Covenant, the Tablets of Testimony, Aaron’s Rod, and a golden jar of Manna. The Tablets of the Covenant was the so-called Covenant Book, in which  Moses wrote everything he had been instructed by Adad at Mount Sinai. Aaron’s rod was of course his  symbol of Pharaonic authority, which the Pentateuch writers spun as a magical wand which he turned into a snake at the courts of Egyptian Pharaoh Ramesses I. This leaves us with the Tablets of Testimony and the Manna.

What were the Tablets of Testimony? The term “testimony” simply means “spoken evidence”. THE TABLETS OF TESTIMONY WERE THEREFORE A DIGITAL STORAGE OF THE ISRAELITES’ ACCEPTANCE  OF THE TERMS OF THEIR RELATIONSHIP WITH ADAD. When Adad spelt out to them what he expected of them as his chosen people, the Israelites had to undertake  that they were in full agreement with the decrees and ordinances he had pronounced forth. Such a nod on the part of the Israelites was digitally recorded in the Tablets of Testimony.  Even in our day, we refer to our portable computer devices as tablets. The Anunnaki had such technology too though it was not mainstreamed to mankind.    

As for Manna, this was inevitable. One of the everyday uses of the Ark of the Covenant was the manufacture of Manna. Of course this was not Manna in the form it is preached to you from the pulpits. This was special Manna, which also went by such names as Shewbread, Bread of Life, Bread of the Presence,  the Paradise Stone, Highward Firestone, the Phoenix,  Our Daily Bread, etc. The Sumerians called it Shemanna. The Egyptians called it Mfkzt. Ancient chemists referred to it as the Philosopher’s Stone.  Today, it is best known as Ormus,  the monoatomic white powder of gold.

THE WONDERS OF ORMUS

We did dwell on Ormus at length in earlier articles but we will hereby briefly recap for the sake of  newcomers to this column. The term Ormus  is the easier-to-pronounce form of ORME, an acronym for Orbitally Rearranged Monoatomic Element. Ormus is manufactured using a process  which in the ancient mystery schools  was known as alchemy. This was  defined as the transformation of base metals such as tin to gold. But that to a large extent was disinformation: it was meant to blindfold lay people, the bulk of the human population.

What alchemy was fundamentally about was the creation of Ormus from what we today call the Transition Elements on the Periodic Table. These are gold, palladium, rhodium, ruthenium, platinum, iridium, osmium, copper, cobalt, and nickel. All these ten metals are capable of transmuting to Ormus, which has properties which are radically different from the original metals, but  the highest quality of Ormus is that which is made from gold. As you know, gold is the god of metals.

The Institute of Advanced Studies refers to Ormus as “exotic matter” and characterises its superconductive powers as “the most remarkable physical property in the universe”. When high-quality Ormus is consumed, it can perform wonders in a human being. It can boost the intellect manifold, instill deeper spiritual and metaphysical insights, dispel any form of disease (including incurables such as cancer and HIV/AIDS) in the body, and impart a whole host of abilities  which ordinarily we would regard as magical or miraculous. 

For example, one could walk on water and glow in the darkness. One can also lay hands on the sick  and cure them immediately. Even a mere word or thought would be enough to bring about another’s wellbeing. Besides producing  a blindingly brilliant light, Ormus can also give off deadly rays.

But there is more. Because it confers near-perfect health, Ormus can lengthen lifespans indefinitely. Even more tantalising, it can make a person to defy gravity by floating  in the air (levitation), transport a person from one part of the cosmos to another (teleportation) and translate a person from this physical dimension into another, postmortem dimension, the Astral dimension (transmutation): hence its other name, the Powder of Projection. That Moses, Benzeleel and Oliab could manufacture Ormus using the Ark of the Covenant is no surprise: they were from Egypt and Egyptian Pharaohs and some members of the nobility were fed on Ormus.
         
NEXT WEEK:   ORMUS FIND IN THE SINAI!

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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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