Heatwave: Everything You Need to Know

For many Nigerians, cold water and AC powered cars have been seen as lifesavers due to the unbearable heat across the country.

While the “dry season” in Nigeria is known to bring with it extreme temperatures, this year’s heat seems to be on a different level. Well, that is because what we are experiencing is more than just heat. We are experiencing what is called Heatwave.

What is Heatwave?

A heatwave can simply be defined as the period of heightened temperature or hot weather which may be accompanied by high humidity. With increasing hotness of the atmosphere, it becomes unbearable with profuse perspiration.

In addition to Heatwave increases body temperature which affects the central nervous system and circulatory system causing exhaustion, fainting, and heat syncope. This article covers the risk factors, health implications and ways to manage it.

Risk factors of HeatWave

There are are several risk factors associated with the heatwave. Some of the most prevalent ones are discussed below:

  • People who are most vulnerable to heatwave are children and the elderly
  • Urban dwellers with a sedentary lifestyle and no access to air condition are also vulnerable
  • The poorly ventilated apartment is a risk factor
  • Medical condition such as high blood pressure could also be a risk factor for a heatwave
  • Patients on drugs such as diuretics and anti-psychotic drugs are at a risk and could suffer severe health implications.

Health Implications of HeatWave

A heatwave can cause several health implications especially when they are associated with the risk factors described above. We cover some of these health implications below. We even added a worst-case scenario for good measure.

  • Dehydration: This goes without saying. When you suffer from the heatwave, you are most likely to suffer from dehydration. In the most adverse effect, dehydration can lead to death.
  • Prolong exposure to sunlight is very dangerous: While it is understandable that people need to move around despite the heatwave, it still comes with a lot of danger. With the emission of ultraviolet rays which has been implicated in rising cancers such as skin tumors, breast tumors, etc. the sun should be avoided during this heatwave for Nigerians.
  • Psychological stress: Another health implication people are likely to face is the psychological stress attached to this heatwave. When the heat becomes unbearable, people are likely to feel perplexed and anxious.
  • Heat rashes: This is also referred to as prickly heat and while it can affect anyone, children are most susceptible to it. This could be attributed to their soft skin tissue. Heat rashes are categorized by red soreness on the skin and rashes.
  • Heat syncope: This is also known as orthostatic dizziness. It refers to a fainting episode that someone can experience in high heat and this case – heatwave. It is considered a mild form of heat illness and it results from the body is too hot.
  • Death: This is a worst-case scenario but very possible. When a culmination of everything described above comes together, chances are that it could lead to death.

How to manage Heatwave

Now that we have covered heatwave and its health and risk factors, it is time to show you a few ways to manage it.

This is especially important since we are in the season. Listed below are quick tips to implement to protect yourself and your loved ones.

  • Stay under shades of trees for hawkers and outdoor business owners
  • Bathe regularly
  • Drink enough water ≥3L per day (minimum)
  • Fruits, vegetables, cucumber, watermelon, tomatoes and spicy food (peppery food) are advised. They increase the heat receptors in the body hence produce cold heat that counters the hot body.
  • Frequent blood pressure check
  • Sun lotion and sunshade are helpful
  • Encourage tree planting. It is an inevitable way for a lasting solution to global warming and climate change

Conclusion

A heatwave can be managed. Kindly ensure that you protect yourself and your loved ones. Note the risk factors associated with the heatwave and also take note of the management tips we provided.

You now have a good understanding of what heatwave is and how to detect it. If you have further questions, don’t hesitate to contact us for a FREE consultation. Simply call our Toll-Free number to talk to me or any of our doctors on duty. We are available 24/7.

Toll-free means you will not pay a single naira for calling us – whether you speak for 5mins or 45mins. Our toll-free number is 08000HEALTH (08000432584)

Justice Nwaghor

General Physician at Health Connect 24x7
A medical doctor who is passionate about compassionate healthcare delivery to patients
Justice Nwaghor

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