The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), has warned Nigerians and health officials to take adequate precautions with a view to mitigating the prevailing warmer-than-normal temperatures across the country.
NiMet, while giving the advice in its 2018 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction (SRP), predicted that the warmer-than-normal temperature prevailing over most parts of the country would persist till April.
It said that while the cold season dominated in January and February, hot season was predicted to dominate the months of March and April.
It stated that greater parts of the country were expected to record near average temperatures these months, while some places would experience hotter than the average seasonal temperature.
According to NiMet, temperature prediction for January shows an obvious warmer –than-normal daytime temperatures over many places, while others would experience warmer-than-normal temperature in February with severity in March and April.
The health implication of this warmer-than-normal condition during the forecast period according to NiMet “is that cerebrospinal meningitis and other heat related diseases as well as human discomfort are likely’’.
It explained that diseases such as heat rashes, dehydration and airborne disease outbreak such as measles, chicken pox, avian influenza and general human discomfort were expected to be rampant during the period.
NiMet, however, urged health workers to make adequate preparation to contain any outbreak.
It added that the period also coincided with peak of the dry season when there could be shortage of drinking water leading to high chances of consuming contaminated water that might result in typhoid fever.
“State and local governments are hereby advised to sensitise their communities on the need to drink from clean and hygienic sources during this period.
“Other precautionary measures may include general increase in water intake, avoid overcrowding, avoid moving around during the peak of the hot temperature during the day.
“Onset could be associated with vector borne diseases such as malaria and dengue and also water borne diseases such as cholera, diarrheal diseases and typhoid enteritis.
“On the vaccination against preventable diseases, health workers are advised to improve surveillance to detect cases of disease outbreak early,’’ NiMet said.
According to the agency, the populace should improve their drainage system to avoid breeding of mosquitoes and ensure that they sleep under long lasting insecticide nets.
It also advised that doors and windows should be properly closed in the evening; protect and improve water supplies by providing potable water as well as boiling water before drinking. (NAN)