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Home / Health

Why regular health tests are crucial

 Dr Peter Kimathi of Riruta Health Centre.

The best gift you can offer yourself this year is planning on your health. This means getting a number of medical exams and screening done as the new year rolls on.

According to Dr Peter Kimathi, of Riruta Health Centre, an appointment with your doctor for health evaluation will save you some impending agony that might pop up at a very crucial time in your life.

“Regular health exams and tests can help in identifying some health problems before they start manifesting and probably get them resolved before getting into lethal and advanced stages,” he says.

When someone gets to adulthood, they might think that their immune system is strong to withstand any disease.

However, Kimathi says when an adult moves to a new environment for purposes of work or travels to a new place, medical examination helps to keep them safe alongside the people they mingle with there.

Thus, health requirements like immunization are very crucial in such circumstances especially if done earlier.

“A number of people are not aware that some health requirements like immunizations are not just for children. Even adults need to be immunized since protection from some childhood vaccines can wear off over time,” says Kimathi.

In adulthood, immunization for diseases like yellow fever can save one’s life when they are planning to visit a new place.

Further, those at higher risk of contracting diseases that come as a result of the nature of their job, lifestyle, travel, or health conditions might require some immunization.

“In some instances, adults need seasonal flu vaccine at least once in a year especially for pregnant women in their 27th all through to their 36th week period, those with chronic diseases and even older adults also require it,” Dr Kimathi says.

The medic also recommends adults receive ‘Tdap’ vaccines to protect them against pertussis or whooping cough at least once in their lifetime.

Those working in risky environments or have been cut somewhere in their body also need the tetanus, diphtheria (Td) shot to boost their health.

Cancer screening is also necessary at this time when the disease is becoming a top killer.

“Some of these tests after all, are free, quick, and painless especially in government institutions. They should be undertaken based on the guidelines relating to personal medical history, family history, and lifestyle and behavior choices,” he says.

Kimathi says pap smears and pelvic exams, if done regularly at least every two years from the age of 21 - or earlier for sexually active women, can help identify any possible abnormalities in their reproductive system which could turn out to be cancerous.

Cholesterol tests are also recommended, at least after every five years, starting from the age of 20 to get the ideal level and it should be more regular for those said to be more vulnerable to some diseases like diabetes.

“This screening is important for decreasing your risk of heart disease. It involves drawing a blood sample and only requires a finger-prick,” he says.

The medic also recommends blood pressure screening, diabetes screening, dental and eye screening saying these taking these preventitive measures may just prolong one’s life.

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