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N/R: Public Health Specialist advises public to protect themselves against respiratory diseases as harmattan season approaches.

As the harmattan season approaches, the general public is advised to protect themselves against respiratory diseases. A Public Health Specialist at the Tamale Teaching Hospital (TTH) Alhaji Tahiru Mustapha in an interview with Zaa news explains that respiratory diseases like Catarrh and sneezing are the most common and can occur also as symptoms of a cold.

Explaining further, Alhaji Tahiru said acute Hemorrhagic Conjunctivitis, popularly known as Apollo seems to be prevalent this season, and this is marked by swelling of eyes, redness of one or both eyes, water discharge, sensitivity to light and gritty sensation in the eye.

Once the year comes to end, around late November up to February, there prevails the dry cold wind originated from the Sahara Desert in North Africa toward the West African countries called harmattan. The harmattan season has adverse effects on human health and comfort. There is a wide spread of airborne diseases coupled with the dryness of human skin.

Small children are mostly dehydrated. Here is Alhai Tahiru Mustapha speaking to Zaa news. Dry air he noted takes away moisture from the skin leaving the body rough and so to avoid this, he recommended the use of water-retaining creams and oils, adding that frequent bathing is also helpful for washing off dust and dirt carried by air.

‘’We expect everyone to apply pomade the can soften the skin and prevent it from drying and exposing it to this skin diseases. The use of face mask will help in this season. We also need our environment very clean, it is going to help us, because once the  environment is littered and the air blows it around , we are most likely to get these air borne diseases’’, he noted.

He said it is advisable that people wear thick or layered clothing to keep themselves warm and especially to cover themselves at night, saying it is also important to wear nose masks or use clean handkerchiefs especially when it is windy.

‘’We are approaching harmattan and the way we dress should change, we should wear dresses that fits the weather. Those who start getting itches of the eye should also report to the nearest clinic at the right to be taken care of.’’ he advised.    

By: Lilian D. Walter/zaanews.com/Ghana

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