Heat afflictions

Doctors and fitness experts tell Ahmed Shatil Alam the ways through which Bangladeshis can beat the heat

pe1Thanks to human and natural causes,  the temperature is increasing in Bangladesh, with every year. Now the six seasons of the country can be classified  as winter, monsoon and summer. The last seems to occupy most months of any year now.
Just two years back, the whole country observed the highest temperature since 1960 at 42.7 degrees celcius on April 25 of 2014.
Although, as per the literature and calendar, February-March is supposed to be the Spring season, this has now become a part of summer.
Over past few days, the mercury has climbed mercilessly and there is no promise of rain in the next few days, according to accuweather. As per accuweather and the Met office in Dhaka, the temperature of Dhaka and some parts of Bangladesh will be near 40 degrees Celcius.
With temperature increasing, the heat-related diseases are already affecting the people. Reports of diarrhoea and other diseases are increasing to the concern of health experts.
They also pointed out that disruption in supply of power through frequent power outages will aggravate the public suffering.
According to the Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research director Mahmudur Rahman, the prevalence of typhoid and Hepatitis B has increased amid the blistering heat.
Physicians have advised people to take fresh food and pure water while avoiding the unhygienic roadside food and drink.
pe2People usually suffer from diarrhoea, blood diarrhoea, typhoid, jaundice, dehydration, heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, viral fever, influenza and other viral diseases in the summer, inform doctors.
For lack of sufficient body resistance, children and senior citizens are more susceptible to heat-related diseases. Adults, especially the eldelrly, suffer heat stroke, heat exhaustion and heat cramps as they need to stay outdoors for long, physicians point out.
Officials at the International Centre of Diarrhoeal Diseases Research, Bangladesh have said that they are already observing an increasing number of diarrhoea patients during this month.
Azharul Islam Khan, head of diarrhoeal diseases unit of the ICDDR,B, say ‘Among the patients two-thirds were children and the rest are adults.’
He advised the parents to ensure that their children take no unhygienic foods and drinks.
‘Usually after school, students love the unhygienic roadside foods near their school gate and streets…which can turn them into diarrhoea patients,’ he says.
He also suggested that people try to drink fresh and pure water during these days.
Mahmudur Rahman says, ‘People, especially children, are contracting diarrhoea and blood diarrhoea along with nausea due to the heat coupled with water shortage.’
He also informed that people should stay away from roadside food which can carry viruses.
He stressed on the need for more fluid intake. ‘I know people love to fried and oily foods. Instead they should take more fluid and fruits,’ he advises.
Physicians also advised people to maintain personal hygiene and to take fresh food and to drink pure water.
Water filters cannot purify water properly, so physicians advised people to boil water for more than 15 to 20 minutes to make it drinkable.
Azharul Islam Khan says, people should avoid taking cold water frequently.
Ibn Sina Hospital’s Paediatric Department head Anwarul Abedin asked parents of children to be more conscious about the matter as the children become easy victims tothe heat.
‘This is the time when children are affected by diseases like fever, typhoid, jaundice etc.,’ he says. ‘Children should not be allowed to wear clothes that will make them sweat, as this can be the first step towards dehydration,’ he adds.

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