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Harmattan and How Best to Protect Yourself

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It’s that time of the year again when harmattan invades the environment, and it could get ugly if you are not careful. Mrs Rotkang Okunlola, a Pharmacist, advised the public to stay warm during this period to prevent health issues which may include, eye and skin disease, and pneumonia.

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Mrs Okunlola, the Chief Pharmacist at Dilimi Central Pharmacy in Jos, disclosed to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the unrelenting weather carries a pack of health implications and people should know when to avoid.

According to her, “The season is unusually characterised with foggy mist which has dust particles; and such particles can cause irritation to the eye and the respiratory system”.

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She also said, “In most cases, the eyes are the most affected because they are exposed to the dust particles carried by the dry, cold and dusty wind which can lead to itching, redness and allergies”. Adding that, “the dust and cold weather also causes respiratory diseases such as a cough, catarrh, sore throat diseases and bronchitis, an inflammation of the bronchial tubes characterised by coughing, and chest pain”.

Mrs Okunlola notably advised that asthmatic and sickle cell patients to be more proactive in keeping themselves warm during this period, being that the dry and cold wind usually aggravates crises in the individual.

She further listed other challenges linked with the harmattan wicked touch which may include cracked lips, dry skin and cracks on the sole of feet, and she also strongly recommended the use of skin care products which moisturises the skin.

Okunlola advised that it’s best people wear cardigans, head warmers, socks, leggings and hand gloves to aid in staying warm. Emphasising the importance of keeping children warm as they are easily prone to cold which could lead to pneumonia if it goes out of hands.

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