April 3rd, 2016 – Unstable Power Supply & Heat Wave In Nigeria: Medical Experts Say Nigerians At Risk of Kidney Disease & Dehydration
Nigeria is currently experiencing excessive heat wave at the moment. This makes citizens uncomfortable, especially urban dwellers. This situation has somehow been compounded by the erratic electricity supply in the country at present.
The hot weather, heat and ailments associated with it have made life miserable for people. With the dry conditions and dusty environment, many, according to medical experts, are likely to come down with dehydration, heat rashes, respiratory ailments, and other illnesses allied with heat.
A community medicine and public health expert, Prof. Bayo Onajole, however, said in Nigeria, people are used to relatively high temperature. For one to die of heat wave, the person, he said, must have had dehydration, that is, loss of body water, which is not very common in this part of the world.
“If you are in a position where you lose a lot of body water and this water is not been replaced, it could lead to adverse health effect but if not treated because a lot of the body fluid is made of water, it may lead to something very serious.
“The other effect could be inability to sleep well, insomnia, because of the heat not been comfortable, couple with the fact that electricity is not regular and also a situation where houses are built close to each other.
“It could also lead to more accident on the road, when they are not patient for one another.” Another resident doctor at the department of family medicine, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology Teaching Hospital, Osogbo, Osun State, Dr. Lekan Bello, added that there were many health risks associated with hot weather.
He, however, happed on the need for measures to be taken to ameliorate the situation in the country. For Dr. Ipede Victor, a general medicine practitioner, heat wave comes occasionally, and at times the temperature could rise, but Nigeria, he insisted, is so blessed that there has not been extreme weather in recent times. “I don’t think we are suffering heat wave in Nigeria;we are only going through the process of no rain.
I was in the United States last December and I was there in 2005, so I know what heat wave means. A consultant family physician, Dr. Sodipo Oluwajimi, also admitted that there is an increasing heat wave globally, which is affecting Africa as well. But, because traditionally, Nigeria has always had two basic periods, the harmattan and the heat period, the country sort of is used to this.
“So, what has happened because of the global phenomenon of global warming is that things are becoming more serious and we have seen higher temperature than what we used to see before and of course, this has a lot of health implication.
Another community doctor and publisher, Dr. Onyebuchi Lawrence, emphasised that when he told Saturday Telegraph that though anyone at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others.
For instance, infants and young children, he said, are sensitive to the effects of high temperatures and rely on others to regulate their environments and provide adequate liquids.
Also, older people, according to him, may not compensate for heat stress efficiently and are less likely to sense and respond to change in temperature. “Drink plenty of clean water, even if you do not feel thirsty.
Your body needs water to keep cool. “Reduce the intake of caffeinated or alcoholic beverages because they dehydrate the body. Seek medical advice if you or a family member has a medical condition.
“If you notice any change in your health, please seek medical advice immediately.”