… but did he really die or was simply spirited away to “Paradise” by Ishkur-Adad?
Even as the Nation of Israeli braced to militarily take possession of the Promised Land, its top three senior citizens, namely Moses, Aaron, and Miriam, were not destined to share in this god-conferred bequest. All three died (or in the highly probable case of Moses simply disappeared from the scene) before the lottery was won.
The first to pass on was Miriam, whilst the Israelites were camped at Kadesh Barnea. In the Bible, Miriam’s death is spoken of as if in passing. “Miriam died and was buried,” that’s all the Pentateuch says about her death in NUMBERS 20:1. This disparaging treatment is in keeping with the Jewish male chauvinism of the day, whereby women were not to be accorded the merest preeminence. It also speaks volumes on the antipathy that existed between Moses and Miriam, who once were husband and wife, beside being half-siblings, and who divorced right in the wilderness when Moses felt Miriam’s popularity was gnawing away at his own – all facts of which the Pentateuch deliberately obscures as that was not meant for the ears of its intended readership.
On the other hand, the more objective BOOK OF JASHER, which was spitefully left out of the Old Testament canon, accords Miriam’s death the prominence it merits. It says (the statement in parenthesis is ours), “The children of Israel mourned for Miriam for 40 days (10 days longer than they did Moses and Aaron) and neither did any man go forth of his dwelling. And the lamentation was great, for after Miriam arose, there was no other ever like her … The flame thereof went out into all the lands; yeah, throughout all Canaan and the nations feared greatly.” Miriam’s death sent reverberations throughout the biblical lands, ample enough evidence that she was a colossus as opposed to the also-ran she’s portrayed as in the shamelessly partial Torah.
Miriam and Moses shared the same father, Pharaoh Amenhotep III, but had different mothers. Whereas Moses’ mother was Tiye, the great patriarch Joseph’s daughter and who was Amenhotep III’s second but most influential wife, Miriam’s mother was Gilukhipa, Amenhotep III’s third wife. In Egypt, Miriam was known as Meryamon, meaning “Beloved of Amon” (Marduk, Egypt’s national god, who was also known as Amon-Ra). It is Meryamon that is corrupted to Miriam in the Bible.
In Egypt, Miriam was particularly prominent because she produced a heir for Moses, who was to become Pharaoh Tutankhamen. It was also through Kiya-Tasherit, Miriam’s daughter with Moses, that the royal line of Judah emerged, again a fact the Pentateuch writers cleverly swept under the rug just so that Miriam was not put on a pedestal.
The Bible provides two versions of the scenes of Aaron’s death at age 123. The BOOK OF NUMBERS says he died at Mount Hor, whereas DEUTERONOMY says he died at Mount Moseroth, a place miles removed from Mount Hor. It is clear the Pentateuch writers were not sure of their facts here.
THE BOOK OF NUMBERS says Aaron was mourned for at least 30 days. He was succeeded as national priest by his son Eleazer. Aaron had four sons, namely Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar in that order, but Nadab and Abihu were killed by Ishkur-Adad, the Jehovah of the exodus, in Aaron’s tactical sacrifice of his foremost children. That’s how Eleazer came to succeed Aaron. Both Aaron and Moses were former Egyptian pharaohs, with Moses having ruled as Pharaoh Akhenaten and Aaron as Pharaoh Smenkhkare.
MOSES’ UNCERTAIN FATE
According to the Bible, Moses died on Mount Nebo in Moabite country, aged 120 years. Even at this advanced age, he was of robust health and his sight was as potent as ever according to DEUTERONOMY. If Moses so bristled with health still, why did he die? ONE CANNOT RULE OUT FOUL PLAY BY ADAD HIMSELF, WHO WAS DETERMINED THAT MOSES NEVER SET FOOT IN CANAAN. Indeed, his burial place was never to be known though the Bible says he was buried (alive?) at Beth-Peor in Moab.
The legendary historian Flavius Josephus says, “a cloud stood over him all of a sudden, and he disappeared in a certain valley”. The cloud, as we now know, was the alter ego of Adad, a fellow Alien he co-worked with during the Israelites wilderness wonderings, which may suggest that Adad had a change of heart: instead of eliminating Moses, he simply retired him and took him to a privilleged place where he continued to live happily ever after, most likely in South America, where the Enlilites now were headquartered and operated a new spaceport following the nuking of the one in the Sinai Peninsula in 2024 BC. This may explain why Moses and Elijah featured in the transfiguration of Jesus (MATT 17:1-9; MARK 9:2-10; LUKE 9:28-36) in that neither of the two prophets tasted death.
THE BOOK OF JUDE, which buys into the narrative that Moses did die, says the “Devil” and the archangel Michael contended for his body. We know now that the “Devil” was the Enlilites’ nickname for Marduk in the astrological Age of Aries and the archangel Michael was Ninurta, the firstborn son of Jehovah-Enlil. So what Jude is suggesting is that the Enkites wanted Moses to be buried in Egypt, where he was brought up and was even Pharaoh at some stage, whereas the Enlilites wanted him to be buried just within shouting distance of the Promised Land, their future geopolitical capital.
As was the case with Aaron, Israelites mourned Moses for 30 days. It is likely though that at some stage, Moses’ remains, if he indeed did die, were exhumed and taken back to Egypt for a dignified reburial as ex-pharaoh Akhenaten. The identity of Akhenaten’s remains, however, remain inconclusive to date although all sorts of theories have been bandied about.
Josephus lauds Moses thus: “He was one that exceeded all men that ever were in understanding, and made the best use of what that understanding suggested to him. He had a very graceful way of speaking and addressing himself to the multitude; and as to his other qualifications, he had such a full command of his passions, as if he hardly had any such in his soul, and only knew them by their names, as rather perceiving them in other men than in himself. He was also such a general of an army as is seldom seen, as well as such a prophet as was never known, and this to such a degree, that whatsoever he pronounced, you would think you heard the voice of God himself.”
JOSHUA TAKES CHARGE
Although Moses had children, Gershom and Eliezer (not to be mistaken with Aaron’s heir whose name is spelt slightly differently) being the most prominent at this stage, he was not succeeded by any one of them as leader of the Nation of Israel. If Aaron was succeeded by his son, why wasn’t Moses? After all, wasn’t Moses for all practical purposes the King of the Nation of Israel although he was not referred to as such?
According to the Enlilite timetable, time was not yet ripe to install a dynastic King of Israel. The Israelites presently had no country of their own and to be King one had to have a substantive domain, a territory. What was crucial at this juncture, when the Israelites were still prosecuting wars of conquest, was a military leader, a general. It was only after victory was won and the Israelites were firm in the saddle in Canaan that a king would be installed.
To his credit, Moses had over the past 40 years or so been grooming his successor as Israel’s Commander-in-Chief. This was Joshua, an illustrious and veteran dog of war now 80 years old. Although his born name was actually Hoshea, Moses dubbed him Joshua (or Jesus in Greek), meaning “Yahweh’s Liberator”, and the moniker stuck. He was from the tribe of Ephraim and was one of the 12 scouts Moses had sent to spy out the land of Canaan during the Kadesh Barnea encampment. Of the 12, only he and Caleb gave a positive report, as a result of which Adad told them they would be the only ones to enter the Promised Land. The other ten spies perished in a plague engineered by Adad for their alarmist report.
Immediately after the period of Moses’ mourning was over, Joshua announced it was time for the Israelites to commence their march on Canaan, the land west of the Jordan Valley. There simply was no time to waste. Joshua pronounced that the march on Canaan was to be spearheaded by three tribes, namely that of Reuben, Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh, all three of which constituted 40,000 in all.
If you recall, Moses had acceded to these tribes’ request that they settle in the conquered lands of Bashan and Heshbon (now collectively known as Gilead) as they offered good pastures for livestock on condition that they promise to help the other Israelites when the time came to enter the Promised Land. Accordingly, Joshua issued this clarion call to them: “Your wives, your children and your livestock may stay in the land that Moses gave you east of the Jordan, but all your fighting men, ready for battle, must cross over ahead of your fellow Israelites. You are to help them” NUMBERS 1:14.
JOSHUA’S SPIES SAFEGURADED BY RAHAB THE HARLOT
But like every seasoned general, Joshua first decided to spy out the first Canaanite city that was within his crosshairs. The Israelites were presently camped at a place in Moabite land known as Shittim, which meant “Acacia Trees”. Shittim overlooked the city of Jericho, which was only 8 km across the Jordan River. Jericho was therefore the most logical city to attack first.
Unlike Moses, who sent 12 spies at the time of the Kadesh Barnea camping, Joshua settled for only two, that experience having taught him that too many people spoiled the broth in terms of the news they reported. “Scout out the land on the other side of the Jordan River, especially around Jericho,” he said to the two unnamed spies.
Although the spies successfully stole into Jericho, they were sniffed out the very first day. Relates Josephus: “Before they were at all discovered, they took a full view of the city of Jericho without disturbance, and saw which parts of the walls were strong, and which parts were otherwise, and indeed insecure, and which of the gates were so weak as might afford an entrance to their army. Now those that met them took no notice of them when they saw them, and supposed they were only strangers, who used to be very curious in observing everything in the city, and did not take them for enemies; but at dusk they retired to a certain inn that was near to the wall, whither they went to eat their supper.
After having supper they considered how to get away. Meanwhile, information was given to the king as he was at supper, that there were some persons come from the Hebrews' camp to view the city as spies, and that they were in the inn kept by Rahab, and were very solicitous that they might not be discovered. So he sent immediately some to them, and commanded to catch them, and bring them to him, that he might examine them by torture, and learn what their business was there.”
The city of Jericho was fortified with a casemate wall several inches thick and several feet high. In a corner of the wall was a dwelling owned by a woman known as Rahab. In Joshua’s day, it was common to build houses on city walls. Houses were built on wooden logs laid across the tops of the two walls. Rahab’s house was one such, with a window that looked out over the outside wall.
Rahab’s home doubled as an inn and a brothel, with she herself lodging in the upper storey. Although she’s famed as a prostitute, she also ran a side linen business as suggested by the flax stalks found on her roof. She was a woman who was ready to make money any way she knew how.Its recreational offerings aside, Rahab’s place was ideal for espionage purposes. First, it was on the very edge of the city, which made it easier for the spies to escape in case they aroused suspicion. Second, all manner of visitors could come and go there without raising eyebrows. Third, it was a good place to pick up the latest gossip in a city or country. Fourth, an inn was also a place where government informants could be strategically placed to pick up any information touching on state security.
RAHAB EARNS HERSELF INDEMNITY FROM DESTRUCTION
The moment the spies introduced themselves to Rahab, she enthusedly warmed up to them. News of the might of the Israelites and their wonder-working god now pervaded the whole country, Rahab said, and everybody lived in fear as “we know the Lord has given you this land”.
Aware that Jericho’s army did not have a prayer against the invincible Israelites, Rahab wanted to be on the side of potential winners and so took the risk of offering them citadel for as long they promised her that when they took the city-state, they would spare her and her entire family. Rahab had heard how the Israelites made a clean-sweep slaughter of every inhabitant of the land they conquered, including women and children. The spies undertook to honour her plea and advised that she hand a scarlet thread out of the window as a signal to the Israelite army when it approached.
When the King’s intelligence spooks stormed into Rahab’s home, she had already taken the precaution of hiding the two spies beneath the bundles of flax. She told the spooks that the Israelites had already left and pointed them in a dud direction she said they had taken. “Yes, the men came to me, but I did not know where they had come from,” Rahab said to the King’s men. “ At dusk, when it was time to close the city gate, they left. I don’t know which way they went. Go after them quickly. You may catch up with them.”
Once the King’s men had departed and the city gate had closed for the night, Rahab quickly let the spies down by the scarlet rope through a window. “Go to the hills so the pursuers will not find you,” she said to them. “ Hide yourselves there three days until they return, and then go on your way.” The spies did likewise as related in JOSHUA 2:22. “When they left, they went into the hills and stayed there three days, until the pursuers had searched all along the road and returned without finding them.”
The spies had been on Jericho land for no more than a full day but the intelligence they gathered was sufficient enough for the purpose. “The Lord has given us the whole land,” they gushingly reported to General Joshua, “for all the people are terrified of us.” It was probably an exaggeration but it did contain a kernel of truth.
ADAD DESIGNATES JERICHO AS A SACRIFICE TO HIS HONOUR
Ancient Jericho is a mile down the road from modern Jericho. Its ruins today, a round tower with a spiral staircase inside, are at Tel Es Sultan and reveal that Jericho is the oldest city in the world. Archeology reckons that Jericho’s walls were 30 feet high, with a 6-foot thick outer wall and a 12-15 foot gap between that and a 12-foot thick inner wall. The walls became a barrier as the city grew, so houses were perched on top of the walls in close proximity to one another.
Jericho was the strongest and most heavily fortified city in Canaan. It was also the richest, being endowed with gold, silver, and iron. As such, Adad regarded Jericho as his personal prize. Since it was to the first Canaanite city Israelites would conquer, Adad claimed it as his firstfruit of the military and territorial harvest. Just like all firstborn Israelite children were to be sacrificed to him, all of Jericho was to be both literally and symbolically sacrificed to him. The bloodshed that would result from the massacre of the Jericho populace would be an “aromatic odour” to him”, and the wealth that would be plundered would all vest in him.
Every time the Israelites were to present a sacrifice to Adad, they first had to purify themselves. By the same token in the present scenario, Adad ordered Joshua to have the Israelites purify themselves before they handled the sacrifice that was Jericho’s people and its riches and treasures.
This time around, the Israelites were not going to storm Jericho the way they did the cities they had previously conquered. Adad had come up with his own battering-ram device. He wanted to make a resounding statement to the Canaanites that he was not a nominal god but a true, miracle-working god, that he was way mightier than the Canaanite gods. Two such “miracles” were in fact in the offing. The first was the crossing of the river Jordan. The second was the demolition of the walls of Jericho.
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 aninflammation 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
Constipation or diarrhoea
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.
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.
Appendicitis can cause serious complications such as;
Appendicular mass/abscess– If 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 rises48–72 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:email@example.com” firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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!
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:email@example.com” firstname.lastname@example.org 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.