KARACHI: The holy month of Ramadan has started amidst the scorching heat of the summer. Pakistan is set to witness some of the highest temperatures ever recorded this summer. The heatwaves will have a particularly devastating effect on the population, many of whom are fasting from dawn to dusk.
Secretary-General, Pakistan Medical Association (Centre), Dr S M Qaisar Sajjad, advised people to adopt the following preventive measures to protect themselves from the heatwave. He suggested that people should avoid going out unnecessarily during the day from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. If it is necessary to go out, then go through the route that is not under direct sunlight. Make sure that you do not stay longer in sunlight. If you go out, cover your head with a cap or a wet cloth. Do not go out barefoot instead wear light shoes. Drink more water or home-made solutions. It is advised to drink 12 to 15 glasses of water or fruit juices between Iftari and Sehri time.
People have been further instructed not to play any game in open areas under the sun. Wear lightweight, light-coloured, loose-fitting clothing to stay cool. Children and the elderly are advised to practice more caution during the heatwave. Owing to low immunity they are likely to be affected more severely as compared to young adults. Avoid greasy food and opt for light home-cooked meals instead. Avoid eating fried items like samosas, rolls, and pakoras at Iftari and Sehri and use less salt especially at Sehri time so that one may not feel thirsty throughout the day. Finally, always use boiled water.
Dr Qaisar Sajjad said that people suffering from high blood pressure (hypertension) and diabetes should not discontinue or gape into their treatment during Ramadan. He advised that people addicted to tobacco and betel nuts have a good chance to quit it in the month of Ramadan. The government should strictly ask K- Electric to avoid load-shedding during these days and the KWSB should continuously supply water at all times.
He explained that the symptoms of heat-stroke include: itching, weakness, headache, rapid pulse, low blood pressure, nausea, vomiting, muscular pains, and unconsciousness. The First-Aid for heat-stroke is to move the person to a shady place and ensure that he or she is breathing well. Give them clean drinking water but in case of unconsciousness do not put water or any edible into the mouth. Cool the person’s entire body by sponging or spraying cold water, monitor the pulse and blood pressure of the patient, and shift the patient to a hospital urgently.