THE only time when most people are subjected to medical checkup is when they are critically ill and hosptalised in a health facility.
As society marks the health week, the cost of healthcare combined with busy work schedules means that many people in the country put regular checkups on the back burner.
However, the fast moving life and hectic employment demands in the present day world can also give rise to many health ailments that are highly influenced by the stress levels.
Any kind of rise in the stress levels can lead to numerous health problems – not only mental but physical as well.
Some common ones include hypertension and high blood pressure, weight problems, mental disorders, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, asthma, and gastrointestinal problems.
As Zambia observes the National Health Week themed “Health for all living no one behind’’ stakeholders in the health sector should encourage the populous to be going for regular checkups.
Well, medical experts say regular medical checkup, becomes easier to diagnose and detect these problems way before they turn into deadly or severe.
One can also take help from their healthcare provider to manage and control ailments related to stress quite effectively if they observed routine checkups.
For many, the thought of a large doctor’s bill in private hospitals is enough to put off scheduling a checkup.
But the hard truth of the matter is that regular doctors’ visits can mean the difference between life and death.
It is with this in mind that experts say there are several ways that one can find great savings on health care by adhering to regular checkups.
According to physicians, regular medical checkups make it easier for the health practitioners to choose a way to diagnose any health issue at an early stage.
Medical checkups include numerous tests, counting physical examinations and preventive screenings to check the present health condition and detect any risk to the patient’s health.
This can be helpful to eliminate the risk of various diseases associated with blood as well as conditions that are incorporated into the bloodstream, including cholesterol, diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, anemia, HIV and AIDS and coronary artery diseases.
Moreover, a blood test also helps a health expert to properly evaluate the functioning of various body organs, like liver, kidneys, heart, and thyroid.
It is essential that a person have regular medical, eye and dental checkups if they want to live a long and healthy life as doctors are able to spot issues early on as well as offer practical advice on healthy living.
According to physician Belinda Tshumba, people are encouraged to have regular medical checkups for cervical smear tests (Pap tests) for women, blood pressure tests, cholesterol level checks, Body Mass Index (BMI) and obesity tests and diabetes check, among others.
Dr Tshumba says regular medical checkup is critical for the benefit of general well being and overall health.
She notes that routine checkups will provide doctors with a way to spot any health issues early on as it incorporate several tests, including preventative screenings and physical examinations, to check patients’ current health and risks.
“If any problems are found, your doctor will provide information on treatment plans and ways that you can prevent health issues in the future.
All you need to do is just visit your doctor regularly. It can be quarterly or twice a year.
This would help you to detect any possible or upcoming health issues to be diagnosed and treated properly. Moreover, they also help to diagnose the disease at an early stage, when the chances for treatment and cure are higher and better’’, Dr Tshumba said.
She stated that the right health checks taken in time helps one to increase the chances of a longer and healthier life.
“Your health, age, lifestyle choices, and family history, along with other crucial factors can influence the type and frequency of medical checkup.
Regular medical checkup also helps to save a good amount of money in the long run. This is because it mitigates the risk of potential health ailments that can be life threatening.
This also reduces the risks of surgery or any other more serious medical care in near future.
If you have any more specific health concerns, then your doctor will be able to advise you on these and conduct the proper checks”, she explained.
While doctors’ checks will help spot any issues early on, one can also follow a few steps to support a healthy lifestyle and to complete a number of health checks at home.
It has been said that women should frequently check their breasts for lumps, while both men and women should study the skin for changes in moles or freckles.
In addition, they should have a nutritious and balanced diet, exercise regularly, and maintain a healthy weight range.
If they notice anything unusual, they should schedule a doctor’s appointment as soon as possible.
Kelvin Shipilo a resident of Ndola says stakeholder in the health sector should encourage checkups which could in the foreseeable future save people plenty of money in the long run.
Smart Choongo, noted that the Government through the Ministry of Health should come up with a deliberate policy to encourage people to value the importance of regular checkups especially in rural areas where people are reluctant to visit hospitals but opt for traditional medicines when they fail sick.
With the political will shown by President Edgar Lungu, there is need for people in the country to take some time to go for regular checkups.
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