The five most important health check-ups to do annually

BY SUPPLIED - SEPTEMBER 27, 2016

Certain medical check-ups should be done annually to ensure your best continued health. Dr Lerato Motshudi, medical advisor at Alexander Forbes Health Management Solutions, has listed what these are and why they are important. Alexander Forbes Health offers integrated health management solutions which assess workplace health risks and provide the necessary insights for a holistic employee wellness approach.

  1. Eye test

Vision is one of our most valuable senses. Each year, take time to check your visual acuity. Testing your eye pressure is also a quick and simple way to diagnose glaucoma. Eye tests are even more important in people with hypertension and diabetes.

  1. Dental check

Teeth and gum health is often ignored until there is a problem. Seeing the dentist twice a year is highly recommended to clean out plaque (bacteria) which brushing cannot clear. Long-standing bacteria can damage teeth and gums, causing oral diseases.

  1. Chronic disease screening

At least once a year, check your Body Mass Index (BMI), blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose levels as well as HIV status. These risk factors are “silent killers” in that you can go for several years without being aware that the readings are abnormal and need treatment. Left unattended, high levels of blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol cause heart disease and stroke. These are the most common causes of death globally.

In South Africa, HIV prevalence remains significantly high and unfortunately, the greatest cause of mortality. Local policy on HIV allows any person diagnosed with HIV to receive Antiretroviral Therapy. There is no longer a need to wait for a reduced CD4 count. 

  1. Breast check

Every month, women should examine their breasts. The best time to do this, is after the menses as the body has shed its excess water and the breasts are not so tender. During your annual doctor visit, demonstrate your technique to your doctor and ask them to help you improve it. Women over the age of 40 should also have an annual mammogram.

  1. Pap smear and prostate check

Although breast cancer is the number one cancer found in women globally, in South Africa, cervical cancer remains the most common, with a high mortality rate. Every female from the age of 21 or engaging in sexual intercourse should have a pap smear annually to rule out cervical cancer. From the age of nine, children are able to receive vaccinations against the HPV virus which is a contributor to cervical cancer in later years.

Love yourself and dedicate a month in the year for your annual check-ups. The month of your birthday is a good time to go. 

Contact Franchisee Liandé Barnard
Eastern Cape contact number 086 163 6845
Eastern Cape email address exec4@ricochetpublishing.co.za