Heat wave, wrinkles and dogs in health practice

THE heat wave of the past few weeks nearly persuaded some of us to auction our blankets, what with street weatherman already predicting a warm winter and swearing by some graves somewhere that winter is likely to be moved, or cancelled altogether.  

For a night or two, the temperatures dropped and we became comfortable in our own skins, literally!

I am no health expert but the prolonged high temperatures cannot be good for our health, I hope the wrinkles I saw on some youth, barely out of their teens, has nothing to do with the heat wave. It could be the cosmetic industry uMzo contends, what with all sorts of interventions on the market where people change their faces, their busts, their bums and many other sensitive areas, the cosmetic industry is redefining beauty in a manner that has never been seen before, and eating away a huge chunk of the domestic budget, only to stash the cash on the behinds!

Like I said, I have never seen the inside of a health school but my sixth sense tells me some of these treatments are not good for our health.

I hear some of the chemicals in many of these under-the-table treatments cause ailments that include cancer. You see, there are traditional healers that will tell you of the origins of cancer as being some rodent-like creature and also claim to treat it. What I am not sure of, is how they treat the disease.

Earlier this year, some guy of Malawian descent was caught with a bulky snake in a commuter omnibus in Harare.

The guy claimed that he wanted to transport the creature back to Malawi, and that he had already taken two others there since he was tired of looking after the snakes. He also claimed that he inherited the creatures and that they assisted him in his healing missions.

You can almost picture the snake checking your pulse and writing out your prescription!  At the time I thought this was some silly excuse by the guy caught with the creature. But it seems the guy could be part of some pioneering work in the field of disease detection and treatment using animals!

In his case, the snake simply swallows the rodent (cancer) . . . and problems disappear!

Just this past week there were scientific reports of a breakthrough in which some medical expert is training dogs to detect cancer! The dogs, they say, are trained so well they can literally smell cancer cells in your body and advise accordingly.  But our Harare guy knew this all along . . . what a groundbreaking outcome of joint research by man and his best friend.

The health expert at the centre of the research actually has her dog to thank for picking her cancerous cells somewhere on her chest. She was doing research on cancer but the dog kept complaining over something in her chest and when she was tested the results came out positive for cancer, that was still in its early stages, just a lump.

That was to become the genesis of this exciting research.

Of late Zimbabweans are being found with all sorts of strange pets . . . it is my hope that these pets and their owners are seized with serious research that will solve many of our health problems.

We shall not kill these creatures until we get the full story, lest we eliminate scientific brains unknowingly.

Staying with matters of health, a visitor to South Africa tested positive for the Zika virus. This is uncomfortably too close to home. I shall not spread alarm and despondency but it is quite useful information for Zimbabweans whose spouses work across the border. And to think I was eyeing Mamelodi Sundowns cheerleaders this week!

We hear mosquitos in this part of the world are Zika-less, and quite different, even in their feeding patterns. While our mosquito enjoys blood for dinner, this central African mosquito takes blood as a lunch washdown, or something like that.

Ever since the Zika broke out, my friend Mzo and I have been taking stock of the number of mosquitos that we kill each day but we have since moved from the clap tactic to repellants. How I looked forward to receiving a surprise Valentine’s present of a mosquito repellant or insect killer, so I reserve the blood for NBSZ!

Talking of surprises, the President marked his 92nd birthday last week and staff in his office organised a ‘‘surprise’’ birthday party! His Excellency quipped that the surprise was so routine he was no longer surprised. In any case, how does one surprise a President? We need a new and more inclusive meaning of the word ‘‘surprise’’ that recognises there are different levels and types of surprise. Surprise, surprise Happy Birthday!