The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) has expressed concern over the intensified harmattan haze blanketing the country in recent weeks. According to the GMA, excessive dust, as confirmed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Meteorological Services Department, poses serious health risks, especially respiratory conditions.
“The dusty weather conditions have led to increasing cases of respiratory illnesses and complications as the weather dries out the atmosphere,” said Dr. Frank Serebour, President of the GMA, in a statement.
“Asthma patients and those with chronic lung disease tend to suffer acute attacks and worsening of symptoms.”
The blanket of haze has also reduced visibility on roads across the country, heightening the risk of vehicular accidents. Dehydration resulting from extreme dryness is another issue, as people lose fluids and fail to adequately hydrate. There is also an increased risk of bush fires breaking out due to the parched environment.
To mitigate the risks, the GMA has outlined a number of precautionary measures for the public.
“Wear face masks when outdoors to reduce dust exposure; limit outdoor activities, especially for children; stay hydrated; drink plenty of water daily; asthma patients should carry inhalers and strictly follow medication routines; report any respiratory symptoms like coughing, difficulty breathing, etc. to the nearest hospital promptly; drivers must avoid speeding given the poor visibility; and avoid bush burning activities,” the statement said.
Construction companies have also been urged to water roads within project sites to suppress dust. The GMA has expressed hope that citizens will take the necessary steps to remain safe amid the harsh weather conditions.
Source: A1Radioonline.com101.1Mhz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana