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A medical doctor in Lagos, Dr Tunji Akintade, has advised people to drink lots of water while fasting during the harmattan season, in order to avoid dehydration and damage to the kidney.
Akintade, who is also the Chairman, Association of General and Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria (AGPMPN), Lagos State Chapter, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Lagos.
Fasting is abstinence from food and drink, especially as a religious observance. Many religious organisations use the beginning of the year to fast and pray for various blessings.
Akintade said that fasting during the harmattan season could be dangerous if not properly done.
He said precautionary measures should be taken to avoid health complications during and after fasting.
“The harmattan weather by nature is harsh; with this harshness comes a lot of adverse effect on health and well-being.
“If you are fasting during harmattan season, it is better to apply wisdom because a lot of people are getting so dehydrated and are coming down with kidney problems.
“This weather is not friendly, it dries one up. People go to their offices, stay hours inside air-conditioned rooms which leads to frequent urination because vessels in the body constrict.
“If you go out, it is double problem because you get more dehydrated, the throat is patched and everywhere is dusty.
“Dust is known to have a negative effect on health; it increases morbidity caused by diseases of the upper and lower respiratory tract,” he said.
The physician advised people to drink a lot of water before and after fasting, use Vitamin C supplements or fruits high in the vitamin and avoid fizzy drinks.
He also advised that windows should be shut to prevent dust and urged the use of masks and eye-glasses during outdoor activities.
Akintade urged parents to reposition their children’s beds from windows, as well as bathe them with warm water.
He added that people should wear appropriate clothes to reduce exposure to cold.