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Yahweh’s Debauchery

Benson C Sail
THIS EARTH, MY BROTHER

Ishkur-Adad, the Jehovah of the Exodus, demands his share of virgins of conquered lands!

According to the Pentateuch, the Israelites were in the Sinai wilderness (or rather Arabian Wilderness as we now know) for 38 years or so, or approximately 40 years (this periodicity we have long debunked though and demonstrated that the wilderness years  totalled  13 at most). It was at this stage Ishkur-Adad, the Anunnaki Jehovah of the exodus, decided his chosen people were now ready for the march on Canaan. First, Moses dispatched a team of 12 scouts to spy out the Negev region in Canaan whilst the Israelites were camped at Kadesh  Barnea in the Wilderness of Zin.  Upon their return, they filed a militarily bad and therefore demoralising report, whereupon Adad had ten of the spies killed save for Joshua and Caleb.

To signal their protest against Adad’s draconian ways, and to move against Adad’s decree that the rebellious Israelites would never enter the Promised Land, a contingent of the Israelite army broke away and decided to launch their own invasion of Canaan. THIS WAS THE ISRAELITES’ FIRST OFFENSIVE AGAINST A CANAANITE NATION.  The Canaanite state the dissident Israelites targeted was that of the giant-sized Amorites, the descendants of Canaan the son of Ham, in what would become the Kingdom of Judah, and the Amalekites.

"The Amorites who lived in that hill country came out against you and chased you as bees do, and crushed you from Seir to Hormah," Moses recounted to the Nation of Israel in DEUTERONOMY  1:44.  The dissidents were routed and had no option but to ingratiate themselves back into Moses’ good graces.

The Promised Land was way north of Kadesh Barnea and having barred his people from proceeding there, Adad ordered them to trek southwards, in the opposite direction,  to Ezion Geber on the shores of the Gulf of Aqaba, the eastern wing of the Red Sea. “Now turn around, and don’t go on toward the land where the Amalekites and Canaanites live,” Adad said to Moses.  “Tomorrow you must set out for the wilderness in the direction of the Red Sea”  NUMBERS 14:25.

EDOMITE KING SNUB ISRAELITES

The Israelites did not linger long at Ezion Geber. Remember, they did not have territory they could call their own: the expanse of wilderness within which they wondered was Ishmaelite land – the domain of the Arabs. So at some stage, they returned to Kadesh Barnea with a view to proceeding northwards and make their first offensive foray into  Canaan as a united army.

The obstacles, however, were mammoth. From the place they were stationed, they did not have direct passage to Canaanite territory. Canaan was surrounded, clockwise, by the kingdoms of Bashan, Heshbon; Ammon; Moab; Edom (now southwestern Jordan); and Arabah. Presently, the Israelites were camped near the Edomite border town of Petra, immediately south of Edom. It was therefore  of necessity that Moses seek permission from the Edomite King to traverse his territory. Moses’ optimism derived from the fact that the Edomites, being descendants of Esau, Jacob’s half-brother, were cousins to the Israelites.

Edom, also known as the Land of Seir, was a rich state with luxuriant fields and vineyards and plentiful   wells. Moreover, it was located on what was known as the King’s Highway, a main road and well-traversed trade route.  In the message Moses sent to Edom’s King, he stressed that his caravan would restrict itself to the King’s Highway. However, the King refused to give Moses the green light, fearful that this great horde of people would either stun them with an attack or devour their crops. The King even had the Edomite army stand guard along the southeastern border.

What that entailed was that the Israelites had no option but to use the much longer route along Edom’s eastern border but via the land of the Nabateans, who were neighbours to Edom. The trek was made all the more arduous because the Israelites had to make a decoy southernward journey (done to hoodwink the Edomites)  to Ezion Geber before they set course northwards again.

Moses wanted to attack Edom with a view to bulldozing his way through the country but Adad told him to desist because  “I have given them all the hill country around Mount Seir as their property, and I will not give you even one square foot of their land”, DEUTERONOMY 2:5.  Adad had allocated Edomite land not on his own behalf but on behalf of the Enlilite godhead, who he fronted by deliberate design. Otherwise, the Edomites’ specific god was Nannar-Sin, Adad’s older brother who is today known as Allah.
 
    ISRAELITES INCH CLOSER TO PROMISED LAND    

As Commander-in-Chief of the Israelite army, Moses did register key and decisive victories. These were four in total, three against Canaanite nations and one against a coalition of Midianite kings.      The order in which the conquests are recorded in the biblical Book of Numbers is not necessarily accurate, but that does not subtract from their significance.  

Now, although the King of Edom initially refused the Israelites passage through his territory, he at long last relented and gave them the nod after Moses badgered him. This was  after having covered considerable distance on the roundabout route. The Moabite King, the central figure in the Balaam story, also did likewise in heed of Balaam’s warning that anybody who tried to stand in the way of Yahweh’s chosen people automatically invited a curse.  

The Israelites were now camped at a place known as Arnon, on the border between Moab and Amorite lands and  east of the Jordan River.   The Amorites were the most dominant nation of Canaan, with the result that the terms Amorite and Canaanites are often used interchangeably in the Old Testament.  The light-skinned (not white-skinned) Amorites – Amaru in Sumerian – were descended from Canaan, Ham’s fourth son. They have gone into the annals of history as the first Europeans as they were the first to settle north of the Mediterranean Sea (Europe is actually E-ru-Pan, meaning “Land of Fair-Skinned People”).

The Amorite ruling elite came from the Nephilim race – the offspring resulting from matrimonial unions between the Igigi (space-based Anunnaki who at some stage settled on Earth) and Earthling women. The Nephilim, also known as Anakim, Rephaites, Emites, or Zamzumites, were gigantic in stature thanks to the more expressive Anunnaki genes in their blood. The Bible describes them as “of the height of the cedars” and “of the remnants of the giants”. One Amorite King’s bed measured  13 feet long and 6 feet wide.  The Amorites teemed in the lands west of the Jordan River though they occupied both Canaan (east of the Jordan River  basically) and Transjordan (west of the Jordan River in present-day Jordan). In the Bible,  they are  generally associated with Canaan.

MOSES OVERRUNS THREE CANAANITE STATES

The  principal Amorite states were Heshbon immediately north of Moabite territory and Bashan, the northernmost state  of Transjordan. Heshbon was ruled by King Sihon, whereas Bashan, which encompassed Gilead and Galaunitis,  was ruled by King Og. Heshbon had been captured from a Moabite King, which suggests the Amorites were people  of  substantial military mettle.  

All Moses wanted was to transit through Heshbon to further his march on Canaan, and so he sent a deputation to King Sihon to make that request. Sihon not only parried the overture but declared war on the Israelites pre-emptively. It was a gross miscalculation as the Israelites turned out to be a formidable foe. King Sihon’s army was routed and at the orders of Ishkur-Adad, the Israelites saw to it that the king was killed along with all his children. IN FACT, WHAT THE ISRAELITES ADMITTEDLY PERPETRATED AMOUNTED TO A GENOCIDE. “We conquered all of King Sihon’s towns and completely destroyed everyone – men, women, and children,” relates Moses in DEUTERONOMY 2:34-35. “Not a single person was spared.”

On hearing of the fate of his counterpart and his people, King Og of Bashan feared he and his people were next. He too decided on a pre-emptive, knockout  offensive at the Israelites. Big mistake: he was given a pasting and both his family members and his subjects, children included, were massacred. All of Bashan’s 60 towns were strewn with Amorite dead, the only living and breathing humans being Israelites. The Israelites now occupied the entire expanse of Amorite land.   

Just how did Moses pull off this twin feat considering that in the case of Bashan, for instance, “all these towns were fortified with walls and barred gates”?, (DEUTERONOMY 3:5).  It seems Adad either assisted them with aerial firepower, or the Ark of the Covenant’s military capacity was employed to full effect though it is not associated with these preliminary wars in the Pentateuch records. In delivering a walk-over victory to the Israelites, Adad must have employed  mind-manipulation stratagems in part.

For of   King Sihon,  Moses says, “the Lord made Sihon stubborn and defiant so that he could help us defeat him …  The Lord our God helped us conquer Aroer on the edge of the Arnon Gorge and the town in the gorge and whole area as far as Gilead. No town had walls too strong for us.” Meanwhile, the King of Arad, a Canaanite state that was located around the Negev Desert, got wind of the Israelite army’s exploits   and its imminent approach. He decided to intercept them before they penetrated deeper into his territory.

The Israelites were stunned and a good number of them were taken as prisoners. Once again, Adad came to their rescue and somehow facilitated their eventual drubbing of the Aradians. The destruction of Arad was so comprehensive the place  earned itself a new name, Horman, which means “ruins”. Clearly, Adad must have used sophisticated weaponry in the kingdom’s routing.

MIDIAN CONQUERED, PLUNDERED

Next to quake in his boots at the military might of  the Israelites was the Moabite King. With Moses’ forces cutting a swathe through the region and putting everybody to the sword, King Balak was anxious that his own scalp might be next. But he didn’t have much confidence in his own forces to pit them against the mighty Moses. As such, he decided to employ the services of the most renowned sorcerer of the day  to utter curses against Israel and therefore pave way for a Moabite easy victory. That was how Balaam entered the lists, an episode we have already dwelt upon in detail.

In calling upon Balaam, Balak did so in league with the Midianites. At the time, Midian was a confederacy of five states, each ruled by its own king.  Having been prevented from placing a curse on the Israelites by Ishkur-Adad, Balaam had advised  King Balak to strategically lure Israelite soldiers into the worship of  the Moabite god using promiscuous women as the mercenary bait. It was hoped that in the process, the Israelites military prowess might be compromised and they would be easy pickings when hostilities commenced. About 24,000 Israelites were so seduced, both sexually and religiously, as a result of which Adad cracked the whip by visiting a unspecified deathly plague on them.  

A livid Adad ordered Moses to attack the Midianites for leading  his people into “idolatry”. Moses commissioned 12,000 soldiers, led by Phinehas, the grandson of Aaron, into the  war effort and before long all of Midian had been overrun and all of its five kings executed. Balaam, who had lingered among the Midianites as their mercenary strategic tactician, was also ferreted out  and put to death.  

This time around, the Israelites did not  kill every living and breathing Midianite: they spared the women and children, who they presented as war trophies to Moses. BUT MOSES WAS NOT AMUSED: HE WANTED A WHOLESALE MASSACRE AND SO ORDERED THAT THEY ALL BE KILLED SAVE FOR VIRGINS. “Why have you let all the women live?” he demanded. “These are the very ones who followed Balaam’s advice and caused the people of Israel to rebel against the LORD at Mount Peor.

They are the ones who caused the plague to strike the LORD’s people.  So kill all the boys and all the women who have had intercourse with a man. Only the young girls who are virgins may live; you may keep them for yourselves”, NUMBERS 31:15-18. Of course Moses was simply doing the bidding of his sadistic god Adad and if it were all up to him, he wouldn’t have resorted to this barbarism.   

Every time the Israelites conquered a state, they plundered it. From Midianite lands, the plunder consisted of 675,000 sheep and goats; 72,000 cattle; 61,000 donkeys; 420 pounds (190 kg)  of gold; and a wealth of jewellery in the form of armlets, bracelets, signet rings, earrings, etc.  Of these, Adad demanded 675 sheep and goats; 72 cattle; and all the gold. As for the jewellery, Adad ordered that it all be handed over to him as atonement for whatever sin the soldiers may have committed whilst waging war.

Altogether, 16,000 Midianite virgins were spared. ALL WERE GIVEN AWAY TO THE SOLDIERS FOR A JOB WELL DONE SAVE FOR 32, WHICH ADAD DEMANDED FOR HIS OWN SEXUAL GRATIFICATION (NUMBERS 31:40), AN INCIDENT YOUR PASTOR WILL NEVER PREACH ABOUT. This was Jehovah folks, the god of Christendom, seeing to it that  he did not miss out on the indulgence jamboree with sexually innocent teens. This Earth, My  Brother …

THREE TRIBES ALLOTED CONQUERED TERRITORY

The Israelites were now poised to invade Canaan proper, the lands east of the Jordan River. Since this was the final and decisive offensive, Moses decided to conduct a census of fighting men. The 12 tribes (excluding the Levites, who were exempt from serving in the army) totaled 601,730, only slightly lower than the 603,550 who were tallied when the Israelites arrived at Mount Sinai “40 years” before. As before, the most numerous was the tribe of Judah at 76,500 (followed by the tribe of Dan at  64,400) , and the tiniest was the tribe of Simeon  at 22,200 (followed by the tribe of Ephraim at 32,500).  

At this very  juncture, the tribes of Reuben and Gad asked Moses for permission to settle the lands the Israelites had wrested from the two Amorite kings being enamoured with their fertility. At first, Moses rejected their request, fearing that allowing the tribes to stay behind and avoid further military service would discourage fellow Israelites and lead to disunity among tribes. Moses also interpreted their request as a cover for their fear of  entering the Promised Land and suspected that it was a cleverly contrived way of pulling back from the brink. Moses believed that all the tribes should conquer the Promised Land together.

The Reubenites and Gadites responded by emphasising their commitment to the community and their willingness to fight alongside their fellow Israelites until everyone had attained the land they were promised. Moses listened to their arguments and eventually accepted   their solemn promises to engage in battle for the collective conquest of the Promised Land before returning to their settlements outside Canaan. That’s how the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and Mannaseh eventually came  to occupy what used to be the Kingdoms of Bashan and  Heshbon.
   

NEXT WEEK:   DEATH OF A COLOSSUS

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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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