Another Season is Here!

The times are here again. Times when lots of caution is required if you need to smile or laugh so you don’t get your lips bleeding. Times when you need to carefully scratch your skin to avoid tearing it. We are in the times when the dry and dusty east wind blows from the Sahara desert towards the West African coast. This dusty wind is transported several kilometres out over the Atlantic sea. It is the times in the dry season that stretches from late November to late February. It is the harmattan season – a change from the just concluded rainy season. This change in weather affects the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat.
Harmattan originates due to the occurrence of a high pressure system over the central Sahara desert and blows from the Sahara into the Gulf of Guinea. The harmattan lowers the humidity of the air to as low as 15 percent at times. The dust brought by harmattan can result in the formation of haze which limits visibility. The wind is also a serious threat to health as epidemics consistently arrive with the dusty winds. This could result in respiratory tract infections (asthma attacks, flu, cough, chest congestions etc), eye infections (conjunctivitis) or skin allergic reactions (cracking of the lips, soles of the feet etc). To stay fortified in this season, it is necessary to -

  •    Protect the skin and lips by the topical application of oily creams and use of appropriate clothing to keep warm.
  •              Protect the eyes from dust by wearing sunscreen glasses and avoiding dusty places.
  •    Boost the body’s immune system by increasing intake of fruits and vegetables.
  • ·Take about 8 glasses of water daily to remain hydrated.
  • ·Maintain personal hygiene always.
Due to the increased level of dryness, it is easy for fire outbreaks to escalate. Caution should be taken to prevent fire outbreaks.

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