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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

NiMET warns residents of Abuja, Kano, and other areas of high risk of heat stroke.

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The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) says that if safety precautions are not taken, Nigerians in Abuja, Kano, and many other northern states are likely to suffer heat strokes due to the scorching heat waves.

Heat stroke, also known as sunstroke, is a life-threatening condition that occurs when the body is unable to control its temperature.

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According to the meteorological agency, tomorrow, 6 April, residents of these states might suffer extreme heat, which would make them prone to heat-induced conditions.

In an advisory issued on Friday, NiMET classified the 36 states into 5 categories: Normal, Caution, Extreme Caution, Danger and Extreme Danger. This is based on the degree of heat waves expected.

“Heat stress sets in again. The general public should take necessary precautions,” NiMET warned.

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Abuja, Kano, Sokoto, and Kogi states were categorised under Extreme Danger, and residents were advised to take precautionary steps as they were likely to experience heat or sunstroke.

Some other states in this category are Kebbi, Katsina, Adamawa, Gombe, Bauchi, Taraba, Niger, Zamfara, Nasarawa, Jigawa, Benue, and Kwara.

NiMET also warned Osun, Ekiti, Ondo, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Delta, Enugu, Edo, Ogun, Plateau, Borno, Imo, Abia, and Cross River to be prepared for increased heat waves, although the possibility of heat stroke is less likely compared to states in the red zone.

Nigeria’s heat wave

For weeks, Nigeria has been experiencing severe heat waves, with temperatures rising to about 40°C in some parts of the country, and previous weather projections showing that the situation might persist for a while.

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NiMET, in February, predicted that temperatures would hit 41°C in the North and 39°C in the South on some days between March and May.

This, according to the agency, will result in dehydration, which could cause fainting, chickenpox, measles and heat rashes. People could also experience heat-related illnesses such as respiratory issues and increased vulnerability to chronic conditions.

Heat index over Nigeria

The recent advisory from NiMET predicts the likelihood of heat stroke, considered the worst heat-related illness.

According to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heat stroke occurs when the body’s temperature rises rapidly, the sweating mechanism fails, and the body is unable to cool down. In such a situation, the body temperature can rise to 41°C or higher within 10 to 15 minutes.

This illness can result in a permanent disability or death if an affected person does not receive emergency treatment.

Possible precautions

NiMet advised Nigerians to always stay hydrated as a way of preventing heat stroke.

In its latest advisory, the agency urged residents of states categorised under Extreme Danger to “drink lots of water” and stay in air-conditioned areas.

It also warned parents against leaving their children in closed or parked vehicles.

“For the outdoors, use a hat and sunshades. Keep infants well-aerated and hydrated.

“Wear light, breathable clothing to reduce the effect of high temperatures. Reduce strenuous physical activity during peak heat hours (Stay indoors as much as possible between 12:00 noon and 4:00 p.m.

“Public awareness campaigns and education about heat stress risks and preventive measures are essential,” the agency noted.

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