March 27, 2019

Harmattan don come o! – Emeka Nwolisa

Harmattan don come o! –  Emeka Nwolisa

Harmattan has landed… and with it comes wahala; or a double of it. Forget what they call it in the abroad; it is not winter.


Stop the forming…we do not have winter in Nigeria. Winter, according to Wikipedia, is the coldest season of the year in the polar and temperate zones.


Winter does not occur in most of the tropical zone and perhaps you don’t know, Nigeria is in the tropics.



That settled right? Let’s talk about our own Harmattan. As you all know, the Harmattan period is usually cold, dry and dusty, and associated with poor visibility, especially in the morning.


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There are so many health challenges one could face during this period because of the cold and dust. They include cracked lips, dry skin, catarrh and cough.


The dust can trigger a lot of allergic conditions and respiratory diseases. Diseases involving the respiratory system like Asthma, Pneumonia and tonsillitis are common during this period.


For those who have Asthma, this is their worse time of the year because there is the heightened risk of attacks and complications that may be fatal.


The dust and dry air are major trigger factors. The cold weather can be particularly harsh on the skin as well.


The skin of most people get dry and may become whitish and scaly; and sores or cracks often break out.


The eyes are exposed to the dust particles carried by the dry, cold and dusty wind leading to itching, redness and severe discomfort. This is the period of seasonal conjunctivitis, the one we commonly referred to as ‘appollo’.


Often, intensely important is that this period coincides with the onset of diarrhea disease in children.


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In places where there is poor water supply, at this time water sources like streams dry up and contamination is high, increasing the risk of infection.


In addition, it has been suggested that due to the recurrent winds which carry dust and other microscopic particles, bacteria and all sorts of germs are carried more easily and these settle on water and food.


To prevent challenges posed by this period, proactive actions are needed.


The skin can be kept healthy by application of oily creams and wearing of appropriate clothes.


Proper eye hygiene should be maintained by rinsing with clean water and reducing the exposure to the dust by wearing protective spectacles.


Asthma patients should not trifle with their drugs and regular follow up visits to their doctor. Those using inhalers should have then always handy.


The use of lip gloss is encouraged to prevent lip cracking while hand washing should be prompt and adequate.


But then the Harmattan is a wonderful period for some ladies, especially in these days of ‘makeover’.


The makeover talk is one for another day but suffice it to say that they don’t have to worry about heat melting and destroying the foundation and super structure built on the face.


On a serious note though, Harmattan has come. Take care of your health. Life no get duplicate.



Lilian Osigwe Editor

A Creative and Versatile Writer.  
Currently writes for SabiNews Media

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