Have a birthday coming up? A full body checkup may be the best gift you can give yourself. It’s not something you only do as you approach middle or old age. It should start as early as you can, because in this era of lifestyle-related ailments, early detection and prevention is the best way to combat them. So what exactly does a full body checkup entail?
Full blood work: this means checking your blood group, blood sugar and blood urea amongst other things. At your request, you can do a HIV test as well.
A urine and stool test
ECG (electro cardiogram, a test for your heart)
Exercise Stress Test
Stress Screening by Psychologist
Gynaecologist Consultation and Pap Smear Test (for women)
Prostrate exam (for men)
Ultrasound screening for abdomen and uterus
Depending on the hospital, you can also get additional tests, such as liver and kidney function tests, Ear Nose and Throat tests, a swell as CAT scans and ECGs. The best place to begin is a consultation with your doctor, who will then, based on your personal and family history, age and general well being, recommend certain tests.
Locally, the major hospitals have wellness packages.
At the Nairobi Hospital, They have the Well Woman and Well Man clinics that offer a full wellness package, at a cost of Kshs. 22,000.
At the Aga Khan, The Wellness Clinic costs Kshs. 16,500, and that includes a pap smear, ultrasound, full haemogram (blood work), function tests for the liver and kidney, urinalysis and blood sugar. They also have an option of a doctor’s consultation for Kshs. 3,400 and you then pay for each test individually, depending on what the doctor recommends.
The Karen Hospital recommends you start with a baseline checkup, which is very comprehensive. At a cost of Kshs. 44,000 you get an ECG, a stress test (which involves some twenty minutes on a treadmill to check your heart functions), a pelvic ultrasound, cancer markers, nutritional tests that include blood sugar tests, kidney and liver tests, pap smears and mammograms. Thereafter, you can get annual checkups whose procedures will depend on your age bracket: below 35 years costs Kshs. 10,000; between 35-50 years costs Kshs. 12,000; and above 50 years costs Kshs. 17,000.
Full checkups are costly, and most are not covered by insurance, but they are a worthy investment for your health. If you have a family history of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease or cancer, it is especially recommended by health professionals.