Harmattan, defined as “a dry, dusty easterly or north-easterly wind on the West African coast, occurring from 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:
- Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration
- Wash your eyes regularly to avoid red eyes which is common in during harmattan
- Cover your nose and mouth with a mask or towel when it is dusty
- Avoid or reduce outdoor activities, especially if you have allergies
- Stay indoors to avoid dust inhalation of harmful particles coming with the wind
- Wear clothes that keep your body warm
- Come to the clinic if you have red, itchy, and watery eyes.
- Get medical help if you have running, itchy, sneezing, and stuffy nose
- Keep the doors and windows closed
- Always use moisturizers to prevent dry skin and dry palms
- 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.
By Philip Eappen, Chief Administrator, AUN Clinic