For those of you who work in the health sector and citizens in general, you might have realised the unusual manner in which many Ghanaians have been dying younger in recent times.
Apart from the fact that modern Ghanaians and Africans in general now die younger, perhaps the other scary development we face is that there are currently too many kinds of ‘incurable’ diseases which have come to stay with us today than it used to be more than 50 years ago, despite the so-called ‘advancement’ in medical research.
Meanwhile a couple of years back, Africans were living in good health. People were living much longer than today. In many cases, dying below the age of 80years in Africa was considered to be “abomination” (unnatural) and many would usually express a shock upon receiving such news.
But today, about 70% of all deaths and funeral announcements in Ghana/Africa have been dominated by people in their 30s and 40s or at best, very few in their 50s.
Shockingly, nobody seems to be concerned about this dangerous development.
In an effort to reverse this disturbing trend, Dr Bryan. M. Bonsu of Diamond Herbal Clinic believes one of the ways is to help educate the populace on the importance and benefits to be derived from periodic medical check-ups which we (Ghanaians/Africans) hardly do.
A check-up is a medical examination or inspection which is taken at regular intervals to verify a normal state of health or discover a disease in its early stages.
He has therefore kicked-start a campaign in the community (i.e. a faith-based setting, workplace, school, or civic group) by encouraging individuals and groups to make an appointment for a check-up or health screening.
He said poor eating habits, lack of periodic medical check-ups and physical exercise is the major reason Ghanaians/Africans are dying at very young ages.
Dr Bonsu believes it is high time people began to take a second look at their eating habits and most importantly, the quality of food they eat these days.
“As far as our health is concerned, we must rather invest in quality of food rather than relying on chemicals to merely produce plenty of ‘deadly’ food which come with long-term health implications. It is time we go back to the colonial era where we ate natural and high quality food,”Dr Bonsu noted.
Speaking with this paper in an interview on the topic, the importance and benefits of regular medical check-ups, Dr Bonsu stated that regular checks and tests can help find problems before they start and with that your chances for treatment and cure are better.
By visiting the health facility for check-ups you are taking steps that help your chances for living a longer, healthier life, as well as lifestyle choices.
“Regular health check-ups are essential because they help identify potential problems at an early stage,” he stated.
These check-ups, according to the medical practitioner, could be quarterly, twice a year or yearly and this can help individuals detect any possible ailments or diseases that they are at risk for.
Dr Bonsu explained that these screenings help evaluate your state of well-being and help diagnose any potential problems that might be cropping up, stressing that these regular check-ups are a great way to help identify any ailments or issues in their nascent stage making treatment far easier.
According to him, there are some diseases that are very insidious and their progression cannot be tracked very well unless the patient has regular health screenings.
This makes it crucial that one gets a regular health check-up to ensure that they are not missing out on identifying any life-threatening diseases. He added that this becomes even more important if you have a lifestyle which makes you prone to health risks.
Touching on the benefits of regular check-ups, Dr Bonsu said that it lowers healthcare costs. He said the thought of a huge doctor’s bill is daunting to the best of us so if one wants to cut down on the healthcare costs they may incur it is important that one schedules a regular health screening.
In other words if the problem is detected at an already exacerbated stage, it becomes very difficult to manage it and can even be a major financial drain on the patient.
“These regular check-ups ensure that you save money in the long run. This is the case because regular health check-ups mitigates the risk of potential health ailments that can turn out to be dangerous. It can also, in certain cases, help reduce the risks of undergoing surgery and other serious medical expenditure,” Dr Bonsu stated.
Story: Today CORRESPONDENT