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Like Father, Like Son

Benson C Sail
THIS EARTH, MY BROTHER

How King David and his controversial heir Solomon made Israel great amid glaring personal  flaws

As far as the Anunnaki timetable was concerned, the 10th century BC was a crossroads, both literally and figuratively. It was in that century that Nibiru, their planet, and its King Anu, “Our Father Who Art In Heaven”, became all the rage.  The sign of the cross, the symbol of a near-at-hand Nibiru, was practically everywhere, more so in Babylon and Assyria, regions which constituted the old Sumer and the erstwhile Anunnaki hub.

When David set up base in Palestine after being ejected from the Egyptian throne as Pharaoh Psusennes II by General Shosheng, he had a specific brief from the Anunnaki god Ishkur-Adad geared to the reappearance of Nibiru, which circa 1000 BC was now roughly 400 years away. First, he was to capture all the Palestinian domains General Joshua could not conquer way back in 1315 BC. In particular, he was to take Jerusalem once and for all.

The native Jebusites had tenaciously held on to the city and although it was counted as part of Benjamite territory, the Benjamites did not have total  jurisdiction  over it.   Why was Jerusalem central in the geopolitical blueprint of the Anunnaki?  IT WAS SO BECAUSE ISHKUR-ADAD, THE FACE OF THE ENLILITE GODHEAD AT THE TIME OF THE EXODUS, HAD TOLD MOSES THAT IT WAS IN JERUSALEM THAT HE WISHED TO SET UP HIS EARTHLY ABODE IN ANTICIPATION OF THE ARRIVAL OF KING ANU. This was a symbolic home, not a literal home: his presence would be in the form of the Ark of Covenant, which would reside in a compartment of the Temple forever.

Second, David was to lay the groundwork for the establishment of Jerusalem as Mission Control Centre – the equivalent of Nasa’s Kennedy Space Centre of Merrit Island in Florida.  This was crucial given that when King Anu touched down on Earth, his ultimate destination would be Jerusalem. This would practically make Jerusalem the capital of the world, hence its characterisation as the “Navel of the Earth”, meaning the place through which “God” – the Enlilite godhead – would sustain the planet in one way or the other. 

Third, David was to ensure that Baalbek, the Landing Place in today’s Lebanon, was under Israelite control, so that both space-related sites within the Canaanite precincts were completely off limits to the rival Enkites. Baalbek was the airport that catered to Earth-based aviation and shuttlecraft operations. With David toppled from his Egyptian pedestal, the Enlilites had lost one other space-related site, the Giza Pyramid, but Baalbek, Jerusalem, and Nazca in South America would suffice anyway.

Fourth and of fundamental importance, David was to build Israel’s first formal Temple to replace the portable and stop-gap Tabernacle.  In the past, a temple was primarily the home of a god. All residences of gods were known as temples. The Jerusalem Temple would not physically house a god but would be a place where the Jews gathered to worship their god and observe and perform a whole host of religious rites in the name of the god. IT WAS IN THE TEMPLE BASEMENT THAT MISSION CONTROL CENTRE WOULD OPERATE, with a tiny helipad set aside for the god Ishkur-Adad. In there, Adad would land, park, and lift-off his sky-ship, called a shem in Sumerian. 

DAVID CONTENDS WITH SOUL

Yet in making a reality of the above imperatives, David had his work cut out. The major stumbling block was the dude known as Saul.  Saul had been mandated to rule Palestine whilst the hereditary King David concentrated on the affairs of Egypt as Pharaoh Psusennes II. Since Jerusalem was still a bone of contention, Saul had set up his capital of what was called the United Kingdom (of Israel in the north and Judah in the south) in Gibeah in his tribal territory, Benjamin. He was the first King of the Jews after 300 years of being led by the so-called judges.

But when David returned to Palestine to take the reins there now that he had lost Egypt, Saul refused to budge, telling David to go get stuffed. Power is sweet and absolute power corrupts absolutely. THE SAGA OF DAVID VERSUS SAUL AS RELATED IN THE OLD TESTAMENT IS FANTASY FOR THE MOST PART: it is an amalgamation of various strands of traditions woven together and in so clumsy and crude a fashion. It’s almost wholly pure legend.

David arrived in Palestine as an ex-Pharaoh and as the linear King of Israel. He didn’t grow up in Palestine as a poor shepherd boy and as the youngest son in a family of eight.  He was Jesse’s firstborn, himself an ex-Pharaoh of Egypt going by the throne name Siamun. There was no David vs Goliath clash: it’s all a figment of some scribal spin-doctor’s imagination.

Being the clever operator he was, David refrained from a confrontational approach when Saul declined to defer to him.  As the linear King, he had the support of the Jewish priesthood as well as the Jewish prophets. So he opted to use tact and diplomacy as a ruse,  with a view to eventually  repossessing the throne instead of mobilising outright for a civil war. Soon he and Soul had met and it was decided that in order to foster peace between the two,  David should take the hand of one of  Saul’s daughters  in marriage. It was likely vice versa but having falsely portrayed David as a relative youngster,  the biblical scribes desisted from highlighting this state of affairs.

Being from the tribe of Judah, David based himself in Hebron, the then capital of the province of Judah. For a time, the blindfold worked as the linear King and the pretender got along well. Then when  time was ripe, David pounced. He opportunistically allied with the Philistines, Israel’s arch-enemy, and took on Saul. In the process, Saul was killed in a battle, or rather he fell on his own sword so determined was he to avoid the ignominy of being put to death by his foes. His three older sons were also killed.

That, however, did not put paid to David’s troubles as Soul’s fourth-born son Ishbaal declared himself King with the support of a sizeable constituency in the north. As such, for the next two years or so, the United Kingdom was split between Israel and Judah, a scenario which was anathema to David. In the event, war broke out between the two kingdoms but it was not at the hands of David’s forces that Ishbaal met his fate as he was slain by two of his lieutenants. David was at long last the undisputed King of the re-united Kingdom.   The year was circa   988 BC.

DAVID TURNS ISRAEL INTO A MIGHTY MILITARY AND ECONOMIC POWER

As  Israel’s uncontested King, David went to work straightaway. He descended on Jerusalem and decisively trounced the native Jebusites, a feat General Joshua could not accomplish 300 years before. Although he is generally regarded as a warrior King,   David was seldom  a provocative belligerent: he typically reacted to offensive action by his enemies. In the process, he defeated the  mighty Philistines, the Moabites, the Edomites, the Ammonites, and the Arameans.

With this haul of victories, Israel now controlled the two space-related sites, Jerusalem and Baalbek, exactly as per David’s brief by Ishkur-Adad. Ultimately, the Davidic empire extended over both sides of the Jordan River, as far as the Mediterranean Sea. King David not only made Israel a great power militarily but also turned it  into an economic power through gaining control over international trade routes. He himself became filthy rich from the spoils and  tributes brought to Israel.

Next, David embarked on the preliminaries to the Temple project. Jerusalem had two major  landmarks. They were Mount Moriah and Mount Zion, separated by a small valley.  On the latter,  David established his seat of power. Then he set about the construction of  a “filling” to bridge the two mounts. The Temple was to arise on a pre-existing platform on Mount Moriah that had been built by the Anunnaki.  

Sadly,  all David was allowed to erect on Mount Moriah was an altar. The honour to construct the Temple was reserved for his heir because David, according to the prophet Nathan, had shed too much blood in his military exploits. Albeit, David pleaded with Adad to at least give him a visual idea of what the great Temple would look like. Adad obliged him and presented him with a Tavnit – a scale model of the Temple (Archaeological finds throughout the near East have indeed unearthed scale models of chariots, wagons, ships, workshops, and even multi-level shrines.) 

KING SOLOMON BUILDS FIRST JEWISH  TEMPLE

The Jewish  Temple is variously known as  the First Temple or Solomon’s Temple. The latter designation derives from the fact that it was built by King Solomon, David’s son and heir as per Adad’s pronouncement. Construction began in the second  month of the fourth year of Solomon’s reign.  This was exactly 480 years after the Nation of Israel’s exodus from Egypt commenced. 

The Temple was as expensive as it was a magnificent and imposing edifice. It used vast quantities of gold, silver, and bronze, with its entire interior inlaid with gold only. All utensils were made of copper or bronze. One estimate puts the value of the gold and silver used at over $200 billion in today’s money, which puts Saudi Arabia’s 120-storey,$15 billion Abraj Al Bait Hotel,  the world’s most expensive building, well in the shade.

Some 153,000 forced labourers and 3,300 officials were enlisted in the construction effort. Much of the gold that went into the project was imported from Ophir, today’s Zimbabwe.  The Temple was built over seven and a half years. At its conclusion, Solomon was so deep in debt he was forced to pay off  King Hiram of Tyre, who supplied vast quantities of  the cedar wood needed of the structure, by handing over 20 towns in Galilee.

As expected, the Temple was commissioned with a great deal of fanfare.  Ishkur-Adad did not put in a personal showing,  but it sufficed that he was represented by the so-called “Cloud”, his alter ego who was actually a sentient ET with smoke-like quantum building blocks. This Cloud had always  accompanied the Israelites since the onset of the exodus, hovering over the Tabernacle as a stand-in for Adad. In a vote of thanks and veneration, King  Solomon referred to Adad as “the Lord who has chosen to dwell in the Cloud”. As many as 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep were sacrificed, which was then followed by a great public feast.

RICHEST, WISEST, AND ABLEST  MAN OF HIS DAY

King Solomon reigned for about 39 years, in what has been described as the Golden Age of  Israel, himself becoming the wealthiest man of his day across the globe and still remains one of the richest  figures of history. He was also staggering wise and was in fact regarded as the wisest being who ever lived, courtesy of Ormus, the monoatomic white powder of gold which he manufactured right within the  Temple precincts.   

It is said Solomon made silver and gold “as common in Jerusalem as stones”.  During his rule, he is said to have received 25 tons of gold per annum. One estimate puts his net worth at $2 trillion dollars in today’s money,  making Jeff Bizos’ approximately $120 billion a drop  in the ocean. Thanks to  Ormus, Solomon had such staggering metaphysical insights and capacities that he was able to command Reptilians  (demons in the Bible) of the Lower Fourth Dimension  to manifest in this physical realm and do his every bidding. As such, in ancient occultic literature, he is  hailed as the greatest witch who ever lived.  

Unlike his war-prone father, Solomon was a consistently peaceful king. He forged abiding international relationships, forming alliances with surrounding powerful nations such as Egypt, Moab, Tyre, Arabia, etc. Many of these partnerships were cemented through royal marriages and the giving of concubines to Solomon, eventually gaining him 700 wives and 300 concubines (again thanks to the wonder of Ormus, he was easily able to satisfactorily “’serve” each one of this vast harem). One instance of his great wisdom is related in  1 KINGS 3:16-28 as follows:

“One day two women came to King Solomon, and one of them said: ‘Your Majesty, this woman and  I live in the same house. Not long ago my baby was born at home,  and three days later her baby was born. Nobody else was there with us.  One night while we were all asleep, she rolled over on her baby, and he died.  Then while I was still asleep, she got up and took my son out of my bed. She put him in her bed, then she put her dead baby next to me.  In the morning when I got up to feed my son, I saw that he was dead. But when I looked at him in the light, I knew he wasn’t my son.

“’No!’ the other woman shouted. ‘He was your son. My baby is alive! The dead baby is yours.’ the first woman yelled. ‘Mine is alive!’
“They argued back and forth in front of Solomon,  until finally he said, ‘Both of you say this live baby is yours.  Someone bring me a sword.’
A sword was brought, and Solomon ordered, ‘Cut the baby in half! That way each of you can have part of him.’
“’Please don’t kill my son,’ the baby’s mother screamed. ‘Your Majesty, I love him very much, but give him to her. Just don’t kill him.’
“The other woman shouted, ‘Go ahead and cut him in half. Then neither of us will have the baby.’
"Solomon said, ‘Don’t kill the baby.’ Then he pointed to the first woman, ‘She is his real mother. Give the baby to her.’
“Everyone in Israel was amazed when they heard how Solomon had made his decision. They realised that God had given him wisdom to judge fairly.”

PLOTTING AND COUNTER-PLOTTING LEAD TO KINGDOM SPLIT

King Solomon was about 80 years old when he died. His death simultaneously marked the demise of a unitary Israel, making him the third and last king to preside over the United Kingdom. Solomon’s reign did not enjoy total tranquility. The relative instability actually began in the waning days of his father David. It stemmed from David’s habit of hitching too many wives and siring too many children, a lesson that rather strangely was lost on the otherwise wise Solomon. 

David had at least ten sons from different wives. The eldest was Amnon, who he sired by his third wife. As the King’s firstborn son, Amnon naturally considered himself heir. In order to make a reality of this prospect, he began to hit on his half-sister Tamar. Tamar was David’s daughter with his own daughter-cum-wife Bathsheba. David had designated Bathsheba as his queen, making her leapfrog other senior wives – a precondition she had given him for keeping under wraps his tactical elimination of her erstwhile husband Uriah. 

What that meant was that whomever of Tamar’s half-brothers took her to the altar stood the best chance of inheriting after David. It was with this in mind that Amnon began to make overtures at a blushing Tamar (the Bible says Amnon raped her but that is a smear: the two were love birds with a promising relationship).

Tamar’s full brother Absalom,   who was David’s third son (his second son Daniel seemed to have died young), also had designs on the throne and he feared that if Amnon and Tamar tied the knot, that would bring his monarchical ambitions to a dead-end. Consequently, he had Amnon murdered to forestall just such an eventuality.

For some time, Absalom was on the run from the wrath of his kindly father, but he was forgiven after three years. He repaid his father by declaring himself King four years later, by which time David had lost much of his effectiveness as monarch, and bedding his father’s concubines at will. Absalom based himself in Hebron, where he raised an army to resist his father. David, however, had very determined generals and Absalom was killed at the Battle of Ephraim’s Wood.

Following the death of his two older brothers, Adonijah, David’s third son,  entered the lists. He declared himself King and had the support and blessings of army general Joab and the influential  priest Abiathar. But an even more influential trio of Zadok the priest; the KIng’s chief bodyguard  Benanaiah; and Nathan the court prophet threw in their lot with Solomon and had David officially announce him as his heir.

That’s how Solomon, who was David’s 10th son, supplanted everybody else to become  Israel’s next King and ruled illustriously for the next 40 years. Sadly, the Kingdom  came apart at the seams in the aftermath of his death. Exactly how that ensued we demonstrate in the forthcoming piece. 

NEXT WEEK: JEWISH PROPHETS SOUND OFF ON NEARING NIBIRU

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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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