A Medical Doctor at the Royal Natural Health Clinic, Dr Bright Kwewu, has urged expectant mothers to limit their exposure to extreme heat from fire as it has the tendency to cause miscarriage and other birth defects of the unborn baby.
According to him, women who usually work closely with fire on a daily basis such as chop bar operators, palm oil manufactures, bakers, those who fry yams, chips or roast plantains, among others, are largely at risk.
“The body was unable to expel excess heat and this gives rise to some of these complications,” he explained.
In an interview with The Mirror, he said, “extreme heat exposure can cause miscarriage in the first trimester, low birth weight and birth defects such as cleft lips, cleft palates, heart defects, neural tube effects and cause stress in babies.
“The body is unable to efficiently expel the excess heat and so victims also tend to experience dehydration, rapid pulse, muscle cramps, headaches, weakness and fatigue”.
Additionally, he explained that due to the nature of the complications, most of the victims often faint or experience confusions.
He said extreme heat exposure was likely to progress into heat stroke which was likely to result in brain damage.
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He added that the kidney, heart and liver could all be affected.
Heat stroke is a fatal illness caused by being exposed to excessively high temperatures.
Dr Kwewu explained that excess heat gets trapped in the body, hence it was necessary to reduce heat by taking in enough water during the day, fruits and avoid too much activities in the sun and alcoholic drinks.
He advised that expectant mothers should reduce their exposure to extreme heat to avoid any future and birth complication.
Similarly, he cautioned against too much exposure to smoke from firewood as it had the potential to damage cells, affect lungs and trigger cancer or even death.
Inhaling smoke for a short time could cause immediate effects as it’s irritating to the eyes, nose, throat and its odour may be nauseating.
In cases where individuals are unable to avoid exposure to smoke, he advised that they limit their activities around it.
“Smoke from firewood may contain harmful substances that can cause blockage, swelling and irritation in the lungs leading to lack of oxygen supply to the body and brain.
“In as much as we work hard to make a living, we need to take precautions and put safety measures in place to reduce the risk of being exposed to the hazards in our working environment,” he said.