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Opinions of Sunday, 25 October 2015

Columnist: Essel, Kojo Cobba

The lighter side of “all die be die”

Death is certainly unavoidable and constant. No matter what you do with your life “your time will come” but though the end result is the same the path leading to death varies. A long painful death is not one to be desired and whenever we speak to our maker we should ask for his mercies while we do our bit to avoid months or years of anguish, bedridden with sores, recurring infections and a host of others. It’s even more painful when we had a chance to take care of our health but settled on “meticulously” neglecting our health in an effort to prove that “all die be die.”
If your goal is 6-feet under then well you may have a point but some people may choose to have their ashes stored or sprinkled in the sea to help save land and hopefully put it to good use. Leading a healthy life with all the physical activity, medical tests and examinations plus that feeling of losing out on some extremely good looking and tasty meals does not promise immortality. It only keeps us fit so that we can do more of the things we really love. Picture yourself being able to do much more of what you love the most: is that enough motivation?
I am heartbroken by the fact that our western neighbours just a few years post war are once again outpacing us in the production of Cocoa. What is wrong with us? Have we given up on planning because after all “all die be die?” The superstitious may even suggest that the process that brought Cocoa into Ghana in the first place is questionable but what about tomatoes that we import from our less endowed neighbours. Pineapple and many other food products that our God-given land can support are all drawing on our hard earned foreign currency making the Ghana Cedi mimic a yo-yo. Ghana should really be running on Cocoa.
Last year we spoke about “no Dentist, no Christmas” and I hope those of you who could not make it to the dentist stayed away from the celebrations. Do not take your teeth, gums and mouth in general for granted. Show it the love it deserves and remember it can sometimes show tell-tale signs of diseases we are not even aware of.
Talking of signs reminds me of our eyes; those precious twins that allow a glimpse into our body and even emotions. It is virtually impossible to let your eyes “smile” when you are angry. Hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol are only a few of the conditions that can be predicted from a proper eye examination. In Sikaman many people have glaucoma (increased pressure within the eyes) and this may lead to blindness. See an eye specialist for a comprehensive eye examination at least once a year and do remember this examination is different from a vision screening.
These days I see many people with itching, red or tearing eyes not caused by an infection. Yes! You guessed right. Eye Allergies seem to have “anased” their way into our eyes.

TIPS FOR PREVENTING EYE ALLERGIES
• Don’t touch or rub your eyes
• Wash hands often with soap and water
• Wash your bedsheets and pillow cases (especially) with soap/detergent and warm water. Ensure you rinse thoroughly
• Avoid wearing eye make-up (I can already hear the protests)
• Well then avoid sharing eye make up
• Neve never use another person’s contact lenses
So just as in many other situations prevention is best when it comes to eye allergies.
You may have heard of all the noise about breast cancer screening going on in the land of green notes. My advice to those of us on this side of the aisle; stay focused and do continue with the screening as we have been doing. When all the dust settles some years later it will be easier to see clearly with your “eyes” since you have adopted the annual thorough eye examination. Do you need to have a doctor physically examine your breast yearly? I think that may not be necessary.
Silence is said to be golden but I have come to the realization that NOT all SILENCE is GOLDEN after all. Many of the diseases that humiliate us and bring us to our knees, the diseases that rob us of our life savings and also restrict us in many ways are often silent till they reach a point where they think they own our bodies and so can torment us. High blood pressure, Diabetes, High Cholesterol, Glaucoma, Osteoporosis, Cancers and many more. Some of them are often referred to us the Silent Killers and others the Silent Thieves. Our best weapons against these pretenders are regular medical screening and adopting a healthy lifestyle. They have to go hand-in-hand.
Surely “all die be die” should find its way into the wikipaedia soon (that’s if it has not done so already) but we all appreciate it’s in a totally different context far from our health and wellbeing.
AS ALWAYS LAUGH OFTEN, WALK AND PRAY EVERYDAY AND REMEMBER IT’S A PRICELESS GIFT TO KNOW YOUR NUMBERS (blood sugar, blood pressure, blood cholesterol, BMI)
Dr. Kojo Cobba Essel
Moms’ Health Club/Health Essentials
(www.healthclubsgh.com)

Dr Essel is a medical doctor, holds an MBA and is ISSA certified in exercise therapy and fitness nutrition.
Thought for the week – “November 14th is one of my favourite days, and on that day the whole world will be talking about Diabetes. Stay ahead of the pack and check your blood sugar before World Diabetes Day.”

Reference:
1. Eye Health & Allergies – Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.