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Heat wave: Medical experts caution Nigerians against panicking

FILE PHOTO: Heat wave

Published By: Paul Dada Medical experts have cautioned Nigerians against panicking in the face of the present heat wave across the country, but rather take necessary precautions to avoid dehydration.

The experts, who spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Calabar on Sunday, attributed the heat wave to climate change.

While warning that the situation might persist in the coming days, the medical experts appealed to the people to ensure adequate intake of water to remain hydrated.

Dr Felix Archibong, Chairman, Cross River chapter, Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) and Dr Ezekiel Edino, Medical Director, General Hospital, Igbokoda, Ondo state, agreed that the heat wave might come with some ailments.

They noted that this might only occur in a situation of dehydration.

They listed elated respiratory issues and increased vulnerability to chronic conditions as the likely ailment to be caused by the heat wave.

According to the chairman NMA, Cross River, dehydration may cause headaches, fatigue, muscle cramps, and dizziness.

Archibong said “drinking plenty of water, staying in naturally humid environment like under a tree may help during this period.

“People should also ensure frequently bathing, not necessarily with soap and increase water intake”.

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On his part, Edino, Medical Director, General Hospital, Igbokoda, explained that dehydration could lead to more serious problems like heat exhaustion, heat stroke, skin infection, mental health and even death if left untreated.

He said the heat wave could also cause spontaneous abortion in early pregnancy, preterm contractions and general discomfort.

“It’s important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, especially when exercising or spending time in hot weather. If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms of dehydration, it’s important to seek medical help as soon as possible.

“To remain hydrated this time, it is important we do more fruits and vegetables intake, wear light clothing, avoid overcrowded and congested environment.”

The medical director also attributed depletion in ozone layer and environmental pollution to be responsible for the heat wave.

However, both medical experts say there have been no record of ailment associated to the heat wave in their hospitals.

NAN reports that the air temperature has hit almost 41°C over the North and 39°C over the South.


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