Ministry of Health advises Malawians on heatwave safety measures

As many parts of the country are experiencing excessive high temperatures, the Ministry of Health and Population has issued safety measures for the public to follow.

Heatwave poses a public threat to people, especially the young and senior citizens who are urged to stay hydrated and indoors.

The Ministry of Health advises the public to keep their living space cool  below 32°C during the day and 24° C during night.

“This is especially important for infants or people who are of 60 years of age or have chronic health conditions.

“Use the night air to cool down your home. Open windows and shutters during the night and the early morning when the outside temperature is lower (if safe to do so).

“Reduce the heat load inside the home. Close windows and shutters of those facing the sun during the day.

“Turn off artificial lighting and as many electrical devices as possible and hang shades, draperies, awnings or louvers on window that receive morning or afternoon sun.

“Hang wet towels to cool down the room air. Note that the humidity of the air increases at the same time.

“If your residence is air conditioned, close the doors and windows and conserve electricity not needed to keep you cool and ensure that power remains available to reduce the chance of a community-wide outage.

“Electric fans may provide relief, but when the temperature is above 35° C, they may not prevent heat related-illness and it is important to drink fluids.”

The ministry continues to advise people to keep out of the heat and to move to the coolest part of the room in the home, especially at night.

“If it is not possible to keep your home cool, spend 2-3 hours of the day in a cool place, such as an air conditioned public building.

“Avoid going outside during the hottest time of the day and avoid strenuous physical activity if you can.

“If you must do strenuous activity, do it during the coolest part of the day, which is usually in the morning between 4am and 7pm.”

MoH is also advising schools to adjust starting and ending time for lessons to avoid peak hours of hotness and/or to utilize shades or open fresh air lessons where possible.

“Where possible working shifts should be adjusted to shorter working hours. Do not leave children or animals in parked vehicles.”

In order to keep the body cool and hydrated, MoH says people should take cold showers or baths and alternatives should include cold packs towels, sponging and foot baths.

“When outside, wear light and loose-fitting clothes of natural materials and wide-brimmed hats or caps and sunglasses.

“Use light bed linen and sheets and no cushions to avoid heat accumulation.

“Drink fluids regularly, but avoid alcohol and too much caffeine and sugar.”

It also asks the public to keep constant check on family, friends, and neighbours who spend time alone.

“Vulnerable people (such as persons with disabilities) might need assistance on hot days. Discuss extreme heat-waves with your family.

“Everyone should know what to do in the places where they spend most of the time and if you know anyone who is at risk, help him or her to get advice and support.

“Elderly or sick people living alone should be visited at least daily. If a person is taking medication, ask the treating doctor how it can influence thermo regulation and the fluid balance.

“If to have a health problem, keep medicines at a cool place (below 25°C) or in the refrigerator and read the storage instructions on the packaging.

“Seek medical advice from your nearest health facility or health worker if you are suffering from a chronic medical condition or taking multiple medications.

“Try to get help if you feel dizzy, weak, anxious or have intense thirst and headache and move to a cool place as soon as possible and measure your body temperature.

“Drink some water or fruit juice to rehydrate,” says the statement released by Dr Dan Namarika, Secretary for Health and Population.

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4 years ago

One important thing has been left is how many times should we have sex coz ukamaliza the whole body limakhala ngati ukuchoka mu shower educate us please

4 years ago

One point which has been left is kusoka should we minimise it ma round angati coz ukamasoka swearting too much as if ukuchoka mu shower

Mangochi Kabwafu
Mangochi Kabwafu
4 years ago

Leave windows open during the night. Eeeh, koma akubawo. It’s bad enough with closed windows, nde otsegula tsegula kale?

4 years ago


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