Harmattan, is “a dry, dusty easterly or north-easterly wind on the West African coast, occurring, during December to February,” is here! And the dry, cold, and dusty weather can make you sick.
We should take the following necessary steps to cope with this season:
1. Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration
2. Wash your eyes regularly to avoid red eyes which is common in during harmattan
3. Cover your nose and your mouth with a mask or towel when it is dusty
4. Avoid or reduce outdoor activities, especially if you have allergies
5. Stay indoors to avoid dust inhalation of harmful particles associated with the wind
6. Wear clothes that keep your body warm
7. Go to the clinic if you have red, itchy, and watery eyes.
8. Get medical help if you have running, itchy, sneezing, and stuffy nose
9. Keep the doors and windows closed
10. Always use moisturizers to prevent dry skin and dry palms
11. Use lip balm to prevent cracked lips
This season can trigger asthma and allergies. Asthmatic patients should always keep the inhaler handy and avoid dust as much as possible.
This dry cold dusty season triggers sickle cell disease (SCD) as well. Patients should drink plenty of water and avoid outdoor activities as much as possible. During the cold weather, the oxygen content of the blood might be reduced, which can trigger attacks in sickle cell anaemia patients.
So, it is advisable to keep warm and wear layers of clothing. Also, the very cold weather can predispose children and the elderly, to hypothermia. So, a closer care and warmth should be provided to these age groups.
Humidity drops by 10 to 15 per cent during the harmattan season. Thus, regular washing of hands and body is important to remove settled dust on the skin and use of moisturising creams should also help, as noted earlier.
Please, note that harmattan is associated with increased rate of fire outbreaks; therefore, people must avoid bush burning andb careless exposure of inflammable materials.
Please lets stay safe and well informed.