Public Health Expert Expresses Concern Over Fasting In Harsh Climate

Public Health Expert Expresses Concern Over Fasting In Harsh Climate

Dr. Bello Arkilla, a public health physician has voiced worries regarding the health implications of fasting, and as a researcher,  highlighted the potential dangers associated with fasting during extreme weather conditions.

 

According to him, the concern arises as individuals observe fasting rites in climates characterized by harsh weather patterns, this scenario raises alarms regarding the vulnerability of fasting individuals to various health risks exacerbated by challenging environmental conditions.

 

Harsh weather is known to come with its related problems like dehydration and the risk of diseases such as meningitis and measles, especially for children, along with the effects of heat stress and heat stroke,” Dr. Arkilla explained.

 

He emphasized the additional challenges faced by individuals fasting, stating, “When someone is fasting, they are exposed to the same harsh weather conditions without being able to drink or eat. This requires extra care to avoid the adverse effects of the weather on their body and health.”

 

Dr. Arkilla also outlined preventive measures to mitigate these risks, including seeking shelter, maintaining personal hygiene, wearing light-coloured clothing, and using umbrellas when necessary.

 

He also emphasized the importance of hydration and consuming fruits and vegetables rich in water content, such as watermelon, during the evening meal to replenish fluids lost during fasting.

 

Furthermore, Dr. Arkilla urged the avoidance of overcrowded spaces and emphasized the importance of immunization for eligible children to reduce the risk of diseases like meningitis and measles.

 

Similarly, a native of Sokoto state, Mr Hamza Mairuwa, has pointed out some traditional ways of mitigating the effect of scorching sun on people’s health.

 

“Those days people mostly rely on local hand fans and hats for those necessitated to work under the sun. When the sun moves from its highest point, we witnessed our forefathers pouring water on top of the sand to rest on.” Mairuwa narrated.

 

Reflecting on religious teachings, Dr. Arkilla noted, “Fasting is decreed upon us by God, but exemptions are granted to the sick, elderly, and travellers. Those who are exempted should adhere to religious teachings to avoid exposing themselves to harsh weather conditions, as it can significantly impact their well-being during the fasting period.

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