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Sibling Dynamics

The saga of Cain and Abel

Since Adapa, General   Atiku, was an Enkite, the Enlilites wanted a genetic stake in the emerging bloodline. The two clans therefore held a meeting to decide on this critical matter. What the Enlilites proposed was that Adapa must marry an Enlilite to even the scores. This was a moot point as Enki had already chosen a spouse for Adapa.

This was Titi, Enki’s daughter with the other Earthling woman. Enki wanted the bloodline to be unilaterally Enkite but the Enlilites were adamant that an Enlilite had to factor into the equation given Enki’s standing as the principal son of the Orion Queen, the Milky Way Galaxy’s most pre-eminent personage. When a neutral Ninmah was asked to break the ice, she suggested that in order to content either party, Adapa should marry two women: Titi and another woman who had Enlilite blood in her even if that would entail relaxing the cosmic clause that forbade cross-racial marriages. Albeit, Titi would be the junior wife whereas this other woman would be the senior spouse.

Following a very heated debate which involved the input of Adapa himself, it was a deal: Adapa, General,  was to take a woman with Enlilite blood as his senior wife. And the woman chosen in this regard was Lilitu. Lilitu was related to both Enki and Enlil: she was the daughter of  Nergal, Enki’s son, and his wife Ereshkigal, Enlil’s granddaughter. Initially, Lilitu was not happy. Being a full Anunnaki and therefore a “goddess”, she thought Adapa, a half-human, half-Anunnaki, or “demigod”, was beneath her notwithstanding his incandescent virtues and qualities. She made it clear that the man she would have loved to marry was Enki himself, who she had always admired since childhood. However, she was finally prevailed upon and reluctantly agreed to be Adapa’s main spouse.

Since Lilitu was geneologically senior to Titi-Eve, the book of Genesis’s other Eve, it meant the heir to Adapa would come from her as per the Anunnaki monarchical merit, which ran through the female line as opposed to the male line. Such a scenario, General,  proved to be a perpetual nightmare to Titi-Eve, who would have loved her own son with Adapa to be the heir. Now, whereas Adapa’s marital relationship to Titi-Eve was a joyous one, that with Lilitu was hell. Lilitu was wayward and insubordinate as a wife. Not only did she defy Adapa at will but was reluctant to give him a heir. In the Adapa household, the workers were in dread of her. She was always screaming and swearing at them, calling them all sorts of demeaning names. This mean streak in her largely stemmed from Enlilite genes than the typically beneficent Enkite genes. The “wicked queen” Jezebel pales in comparison with Lilitu.

ENKI IMPREGNATES DAUGHTER-IN-LAW

Although Titi-Eve was aware that being a second-fiddle wife her son would never inherit, she wasn’t resigned to such a fate, which was forcefully decreed on her. She was determined to upend it by foul or crook. She was sworn that her son must be heir come what may. But exactly how was that to be attained, General? Having pondered the matter over, Titi-Eve and her Earthling mother came up with a most ingenious strategy. This strategy revolved around her own father/father-in-law Enki. Titi-Eve reckoned that if she were to sleep with Enki and produce a son, that son would take precedence over Lilitu’s in the succession stakes if Lilitu happened to bear girls only or if she stood by her volition not to give Adapa a child at all.

Titi-Eve was a stunning beauty and Enki was hopelessly weak where women were concerned. It therefore goes without saying that sexual relations between the two were a natural. It did not take long for Titi-Eve to become pregnant. The pregnancy was an interesting one. Titi-Eve gave birth to two boys who were fraternal and not identical twins. Furthermore, the twins had distinctly different skin tones and other features. The boy who arrived first was much lighter than the second one. Naturally, Adapa, who was no dupe, knew something was amiss. He asked Zidda, Enki’s genius son, to conduct a DNA test on the two boys.

Zidda, General,  found that whereas the younger one was Adapa’s son, the older one was not. Adapa straight-off confronted his wife and she was quick to own up: the older son was Enki’s. What had happened was that when Titi-Eve ovulated, she produced two eggs. During the three days the eggs were in her tubes, she slept with both Adapa and Enki in succession. The two eggs were therefore fertilised by two sperm cells coming from two different men, something that happens only once in a million times. Titi-Eve’s plea to her husband was that she did so for purely political reasons: she wanted a son who would inherit after him all other things being equal. Since Adapa had the tender virtues of his father Enki, he did not begrudge his wife but simply made bygones be bygones.

CAIN WAS ENKI’S SON; ABEL ADAPA’S

As per the culture of the day, General, it was Titi-Eve who reserved the right to name the kids. The older twin she named Ka-En, meaning “One begotten of the Lord”. This is the biblical Cain. He was so named because his biological father was Lord Enki. The Bible itself actually attests to that. GENESIS 4:1 as properly translated in the King James corpus quotes Eve as exclaiming of baby Cain that, “I have gotten a man from the Lord”, that is, she had given birth to a son fathered by Enki. The Midrash, a Jewish traditional commentary on the Bible, also emphasises the point that Cain was the son of Enki and not Adapa/Adam.

The younger son Titi-Eve named as Aba-El, meaning, “He whose father is of the Lord”. This is the biblical Abel. Why was he so named? Well, the person who was “of the Lord” in this regard was Adapa. Remember, Adapa did have Anunnaki blood in him as he was the son of Enki but he was not Anunnaki himself. Although the term “El” (“Ilu” in Sumerian) referred to the Anunnaki pantheon as a whole, in the context of Abel it referred to Enki. Enki’s other epithet was Sama-El, meaning “Lord of Sumer”, that is, Sumeria, or Eridu in particular. Thus paraphrased, the name Abel meant “a son of the son of Enki”. The name Abel was thus a tribute to Adapa, who was the son of Enki. This indeed was fitting as Adapa was Abel’s father.

In Genesis, Cain and Abel are presented as brothers. In the Sumerian chronicles, the source material for much of the Genesis story, they are set down as twins. Why did the Genesis writers choose to mis-characterise the relationship between the two siblings? Venturing a definitive answer to such a question is not easy as the whole gimmick is actually absurd considering that Abel, who was killed by his brother, did not have to be politically dissociated from the “wicked” Cain. He had no heirs who had to keep a wide berth from the taint of Cain.

What is apparent, nonetheless, is that the Genesis writers were not comfortable with associating Jewish posterity with Cain. And this had nothing to do with the fratricide against Abel. It all had to do, General, with the fact that Cain was an Enkite, the son of Enki, who was branded and vilified as the evil Serpent by the Enlilites. On the other hand, the Genesis writers, the Levites, were Jewish, Enlil’s chosen people. As such, any relationship with the infamous Enkite Cain had to be avoided like the plague. You cannot be Enlil’s people and openly admit your roots are in fact predominantly Enkite.

Yet however hard the Jews tried to steer clear of the “stain” of Cain, General, they just could not cleanly dodge the connection. They were stuck with him come rain or shine. Why? Because Cain did succeed to Adapa’s throne as a true-blue bloodline. He was a leading light of the Holy Grail, the dynastic ruling line that here on Earth stretched all the way from Adapa to Jesus Christ and well beyond. So to have totally sidestepped him would have rendered all the Jewish kings who followed after him, including David and Solomon, counterfeit.

Note, General,  that although Genesis does highlight the killing of Abel by his brother Cain, it does not demonise or blacklist him as such. The only people who do so are the prejudiced pulpit men. The fact of the matter is that Genesis actually exalts Cain even after the murder of his brother. The notion that Cain was cursed by “God” and bore the brunt of that curse forever is purely a figment of the pulpit men’s laughable imagination. It belongs to the refuse bin, to put it mildly.

THE FARMER VS. THE PASTORALIST

It was decided by the Anunnaki, General, that Cain was to specialise in arable farming, whereas Abel was to specialise in pastoral agricultural. On what basis, General,  was the specialisation decided? Why was Cain allotted farming and Abel shepherding? The Bible is silent on this, as if it was an arbitrary decision, but the more ancient records do intimate a raison d’être. In Anunnaki modus vivendi, everything had to be symbolically apt. It had to sync energetically, if you know what I mean General. When you were a “tiller of the land,” like Cain was, it meant you had dominion over that land. As the heir to Adapa, Cain was Earth’s King-in-waiting. Thus he had dominion over Earth.

That’s the reason he was allotted a responsibility that dovetailed with land ownership. It explains why according to Sumerian records, Cain’s role was not restricted to farming. He also had responsibility over laying down and maintaining infrastructure. It was Cain who built dams, roads, and canals. Whereas Cain was to set up his grain and horticultural farm around the Eridu within the broader Edin (Eden in the Bible), Abel’s animal domestication activities were to be conducted at the foot of the Cedar Mountains in today’s Lebanon.

There, at the mountain summit, Ninurta, Enlil-Jehovah’s firstborn son,  had set up for him a “Creation Chamber” along the lines of Enki’s Bit Shimti facility in East Africa. Also called the “House of Fashioning”, the Creation Chamber was used to genetically engineer for-meat animals such as sheep, goats, and cattle as well as to improve strains over time through periodic genetic tinkering. A few years later, the two had settled into their occupational rhythms and were ready to present the first fruits of their labour to Enlil, Earth’s Chief Executive. It seemed Abel the shepherd had worked harder than his older brother the ploughman. Consequently, Abel met his production target and Cain fell considerably short.

Abel was therefore highly extolled by Enlil whereas Cain, though commended too for his efforts, was censured and told in no uncertain terms that he had to produce more grain to meet his production quota. A highly combustible man, Cain was wroth. And not only that: he was rancorous. He had a lump in his throat. For to him, it was not simply about being out-produced by his younger brother. Over and above that, General,  it was about the threat Abel now posed to Cain’s  prospects for inheriting after Adapa, a fact even savants of ancient history seem wholly ignorant of.

THE TWINS GIVEN SPECIALISED ROLES

In Genesis, General, we’re told that Cain moved to kill his brother out of sheer jealous, that he was envious that God had embraced Abel’s offering whereas his had been rejected. The Sumerian records on the other hand say Cain’s offering was accepted too though frowned upon. And it was not only envy that drove Cain to get rid of his brother, it turns out: dynastic politics were central to the whole intrigue, General.

At the time, Lilitu, Adapa’s highly conceited, seniormost Anunnaki wife, had left him, preferring instead to be a mistress of his father Enki. Enki, who had an Achilles penis, had eagerly obliged and had produced two children with her. They were Luluwa, also known as Awah, and Alimath, both of whom daughters. Although the two girls were genetically senior to Cain, they were female and so they posed no obstacle to Cain as heir to Adapa’s throne. That left Abel as the only contender.

In truth, Abel was not in contention at all: he was Cain’s junior and was by rights ineligible. Potentially though, he was a possible threat. Abel was a protégé of the Enlilites and the Enlilites wielded a lot of political power. They could easily manoeuvre Abel into contention on the pretext that he was more agriculturally productive and therefore more dutiful than Cain and thus snatch the crown from under Cain’s nose. It was out of fear of such an eventuality, General,  that Cain decided the only safe Abel was a dead one. But if Cain was to kill Abel, General, it was important that he use tact, he reckoned. He could not simply bludgeon him to death on a whim: he had to allow hostilities to naturally arise and then capitalise on that to tear into his brother. Then once the deed was done, he would have the excuse that, “It was not premeditated murder: I did it in the emotion of the moment”.

ABEL IS NO MORE

Now, although the two brothers’ main theatres of operation were miles apart, General, they had small holdings somewhere in the Edin which adjoined each other. Cain’s was a beautiful meadow bristling with green pastures and Abel’s was a hay-stacked area within which flocks roamed about. One day when both Cain and Abel were at Edin, Cain received a report from his workers that Abel’s men were trespassing on his pastures as they drove the flocks to the canals. Cain decided this was the time to pounce.

He made a beeline for Abel’s fields and angrily confronted him for the highly provocative encroachment, demanding that he withdraw his flocks forthwith. A slanging match ensued, with each making a case for the instrumentality of his role in catering to the needs of the Anunnaki. “I am the one who abundance brings, who the Anunnaki satiates, who gives strength to the heroes, who wool for their clothing provides!” Abel boasted. Cain shot back thus: “It is I who the plains luxuriates, who furrows with grains makes heavy, in whose fields birds multiply, in whose canals fish become abundant: sustaining bread by me is produced, with fish and fowl the Anunnaki’s diet I variate!”

As they altercated, a fist fight ensued and picking up a stone, Cain bashed his brother hard on the head and Abel fell limply to the ground. His workers immediately gathered around him and frantically tried mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Meanwhile, a message was radioed to the Shuruppak health facility and a chopper was on its way over to airlift a comatose Abel. Zidda was also sent for so that he could possibly do his “medical magic” in case all efforts at restoring Abel’s life proved futile. Sadly, Abel had suffered substantial and irreparable brain damage and there was nothing that could be done to bring him back to life.

CAIN SLAPPED AN EXILE SENTENCE

Due process of law was followed,  General, and Cain was brought before the Anunnaki tribunal to face trial.  The judgement panel sat at Sippar, Utu-Shamash’s cult city. It was a seven-man bench, namely Enlil, his wife Ninlil, Ninurta, and Nannar-Sin of Enlil’s Lineage; Ninmah; and Enki, his wife Damkina, and Marduk from the Enkite clan. After deliberations that went on for days, judgement was passed. First, a curse was pronounced on Cain by Enlil in his capacity as Earth’s Chief Executive for spilling the blood of his sibling. The sentence was banishment from the Edin. Cain was to go into exile and only be eligible to return after seven generations counting from Adapa.

The number seven here is significant, General. First and foremost, it was both the number of planet Earth counting from Pluto and therefore the number of Enlil himself as head of the planet. Secondarily, it alluded to the number of people who presided over Cain’s case. When Cain was given a chance to comment on his sentence as per the juridical procedure, he bemoaned the harshness of the punishment. He wondered aloud to the panel thus: what if during his wanderings somebody who wanted to avenge Abel’s death stalked him and struck him dead? Furthermore, did his banishment to the ends of the Earth mean he had also lost the right to inherit after Adapa?

The first concern was addressed by Enlil. Enlil told him he need not worry as anybody who would so much as lay a finger on him during his peregrinations would receive seven times the punishment Cain had received. That effectively amounted to capital punishment. The second question was addressed by Enki. Enki told his son that the right of succession did not have to be warranted: it was a right of primogeniture. One was born with it. Therefore, Cain would remain heir to Adapa for as long as he, Cain, was alive. In the event that Adapa passed on, Cain’s son would ascend to the throne. In order to make it plain to everybody who encountered Cain anywhere that he was a King-in-waiting, Enki rose from his judgement seat and made his way into Cain’s dock. Then he made a declaration in relation to what would later become known as the Mark of Cain. Exactly what was this, General?

NEXT WEEK:  THE MARK OF CAIN

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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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