Posted by News Express | 22 April 2019 | 730 times
Some parts of Nigeria have been sweltering through extreme heat precipitated by an upsurge in temperatures in the past weeks, spiking fears of outbreaks of diseases such as meningitis, cholera, among others.
The worst hit states, according to Daily Trust investigations, are Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Kebbi, Sokoto, Zamfara, Katsina, Kano, and Jigawa.
The temperatures began soaring since March, hovering between 38 and 43 Celsius in most of the states, sending waves of discomfort.
According to the Nigerian meteorological agency (NiMeT), these soaring temperatures will continue up to May.
The agency has predicted temperatures “above normal” in most southern, central and northern cities in its “Temperature Outlook and Warning Advisory” for April and May.
“This period is largely expected to be the warmest in the year because of the diurnal and periodic surge in the incursion of the southwesterly trade winds which will invariably accentuate the potential latent heat capacity of water vapor, an important contributor to urban heat quotient,” the official advisory said.
The hot weather which lasts for several days, often referred to as ‘a heatwave,’ according to NiMet, “can have a significant impact on our health. The impacts of heatwaves can be great and sometimes catastrophic.”
Some of the health challenges that may arise from the surging temperatures include heat rash, heat syncope, heat edema, heat cramps, life-threatening heatstroke, heat exhaustion, the agency said.
Findings by our reporters have shown that the poor supply of electricity across the country has worsened the situation. The situation was so intense that many states don’t even have potable water to drink or shower as advised by NiMet.
“Some of the consequences of this heatwave include the issue of meningitis, then kidney problem and heat stroke,” Dr Kabir Sada of the Federal Medical Centre Gusau told Daily Trust.
“Heat stroke is the situation whereby someone collapses as a result of high temperature or excessive heat. Even though heat stroke is very much common in Arabian countries where the temperature is much higher, therefore, people must be careful not to be exposing themselves to high temperatures,” he said.
What to do to stay safe
Health experts have warned residents to take precautionary measures against the heat wave that bites harder by the day.
A medical doctor, Dr Mohammad Sulieman Usman, said first and foremost is for a person to keep himself hydrated with at least taking at least 3-4 litres of water per day.
He said people should try and avoid the peak period of the sun between 12-3 pm by minimising movements. He said people should try as much as possible to stay in well-ventilated areas because heat and lack of ventilation lead to so many epidemics.
“People diagnosed with hypertension and diabetes is a period that they should pay attention to drugs and regular visits to the hospital for checks,” he said.
Dr Shehu Sambo said to avoid diseases such as meningitis and cholera, people should avoid sleeping in the overcrowded room as well as insist on taking clean water.
Dr Tijjani Ammani said it’s advisable that people should use light clothes and sunglasses during the day to avoid sunlight, to help filter out the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays to protect the eyes.
•Excerpted from a Daily Trust report.
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