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Heatwaves could lead to the deaths of our most vulnerable

Neelam Rahim / neelam@radioislam.co.za

2 min read
29 January 2023 / 21:35 pm CAT

Picture: Google

Picture: Google

South Africans are struggling as they are hit by heatwave upon heatwave, without any hope of cooling down as Eskom continues to raise its levels of loadshedding between Stages 4 and six. And according to research by the South African Medical Research Council, a wide group of people have been identified as the most vulnerable to death due to exposure to extreme heat.

Chief Specialist Scientist at SAMRC’s Environment and Health Research Unit, Dr Caradee Wright, shares the background of the research with Radio Islam International.

According to Dr Wright, infants, children and the elderly are most vulnerable to the heat, extending to people on chronic medication and those with pre-existing diseases, as their bodies are already undertaking strain. At the same time, there are growing concerns for outdoor workers.

She said it is essential to raise awareness to educate people on what to do in extreme heat.

“Impacts on people’s health start from at least 27/28 Degrees Celsius,” she added.

There are simple solutions in addition to drinking water which may include opening up windows and doors in the house early morning but closing everything up as the day progresses. Placing one’s hands in feet in a basin with water may also assist in cooling the body.

Listen to the Interview with Moulana Sulaimaan Ravat and Dr Caradee Wright on Radio Islam’s podcast.



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