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The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) has advised members of the general public to protect themselves from the adverse effects of the prevailing weather conditions in the country.

The Association said it has noted an increase in the intensity of the harmattan, resulting in very dusty weather conditions across the country as confirmed by the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) and Meteorological Services.

“The increased dust and general dry weather condition, have seriously affected human health, possibly leading to increased respiratory conditions. People with Asthma and other chronic respiratory conditions may suffer acute attacks or worsening of their conditions. The dusty conditions also reduce visibility on the roads, especially at night. People are also predisposed to dehydration due to the increased dryness of the air. Additionally. the dry weather condition is a risk factor for outbreak of bush fires,” a part of a press release dated February 9 and signed by the President, Dr. Frank Serebour and Dr. Richard Morn, General Secretary, reads.

The GMA, therefore, advised the general public to “Wear facemasks to reduce exposure to the dust, limit outdoor activities especially for children, stay hydrated by drinking water liberally all day.”

“People living with Asthma should carry their Inhalers and take all prescribed medications. Anyone who experiences signs and symptoms of respiratory conditions. e.g. cough. painful swallowing. runny nose, chest pain, or difficulty in breathing should report to the nearest health facility immediately, Drivers are also advised to avoid over-speeding especially on dusty roads and at night,” the GMA urged.

The Association further called on the public “to avoid burning bushes and activities that lead to bush fires. Additionally. all roads under construction should be watered to reduce the dust.”