By Dr Paul Nagemi
MEDICAL personnel often urge us to conduct routine medical examinations as a way of ensuring that our bodies are in a good health state.
However, most of us rarely go for these checkups unless we notice a change in our bodies. According to a 2019 report by the World Health Organisation (WHO), non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes, are the leading causes of mortality in the world, killing 41 million people each year, which is equivalent to 71 per cent of all deaths globally.
Each year, more than 15 million people die from NCDs between the ages of 30 and 69 years. Cardiovascular diseases account for most NCD deaths, or 17.9 million people annually, followed by cancers (9.3 million), respiratory diseases (4.1 million), and diabetes (1.5 million). These four groups of diseases account for over 80 per cent of all premature NCD deaths.
WHO figures rank cardiovascular diseases as having the highest death rates compared to other non-communicable diseases; an indication that keen attention and efforts need to be made if this rate is to be lowered.
Today, the advancement in technology has made it possible for individuals to conduct self-medical tests if they have the guidance from medical experts on how to operate the equipment, with the right prescriptions. Individuals can now download fitness and personal health applications on their smartphones.
In addition, there are numerous authorized online platforms that offer real-time tips on how one can check for low and high blood pressure, sugar levels, among many other conditions that might affect one’s health state.
Medical checkups are vital and we should conduct these religiously.