About retweets and living well.


It is a fine Saturday evening. After a long day of doing chores and running errands, you settle down to a steaming hot plate of rice and fish gravy. You cannot eat without watching something or pressing your phone so as your custom is, you open the bird app and begin scrolling. You expect to see TL banter and gist but instead you’re greeted with a trending hashtag; a young man on the timeline is appealing for funds for his liver transplant, he was a chronic drinker. Out of sympathy, retweet some of those posters even though you know you won’t contribute money. I mean, retweets count as support too, right?

Data from the World Health Organization (WHO) reveal that Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) are the number one cause of death and disability worldwide, killing 41 million people each year. If you’re lost, NCDs are simply diseases that are not passed from person to person. They include, cardiovascular diseases (heart attacks and strokes), cancers, diabetes, kidney and some liver diseases. Now, 41 million people die from these diseases globally each year. For some context, Ghana’s population stands at 32.83 million – so imagine every Ghanaian in Ghana dying (God forbid), and then some more.

Smoking, excessive alcohol intake, unhealthy diets and physical inactivity all increase the risk of getting and dying from an NCD.  If we are going to stay healthy this year, it will take a good amount of consciousness and intentionality. As young people with so much energy and years ahead of us, it would be a disaster to die prematurely or have a reduced quality of life because of our unhealthy habits. Here are some tips to help:

Quit smoking (cigarettes, shisha and its variations), that thing is extremely dangerous, protect your lungs.

Reduce salt/sodium intake. Excessive salt intake may cause hypertension which can lead to several other NCDs.

Reduce alcohol consumption; your liver will thank you for this.

Stay physically active to protect your heart and other organs.

Drink lots of water and eat healthy.

Finally, get a full body checkup at least once a year. The truth about these NCDs is that, some may be present for months and years without symptoms until later, when it may be too late. These checkups help you detect any abnormality in time for action to be taken.

Dear young men, lifting weights alone will not guarantee a healthy body. You can lift all the weights and have a failing liver because of your excessive alcohol intake. Balance is key.

Another time, we may have the conversation about the communicable diseases especially Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)- Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Syphilis, HIV and others. For now, I will say whenever you get the chance to get tested for these, please do not hesitate. The rule for most diseases is always early detection saves lives. Get tested, stay faithful to one partner, protect yourself and of course, Abstain.

Here’s to a healthy 2023 and to you enjoying your Twitter TL banter and gist.

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