The most dreaded season is here… Almighty HARMATTAN!!!
As expected, sickle cell patients experience more frequent crisis because the weather further narrows their blood vessels and also they cut back on drinking water due to the cold. Here are some tips on how they can manage and also avoid crisis.
Wetness makes cold worse so it is advisable to avoid getting wet during this season. Of course a bath is necessary on a daily basis, with hot water if necessary and not more than once a day is prescribed. We also sometimes suggest that sickle cell patients can skip the bath completely in extremely cold days and probably just wipe sweat prone areas to get rid of body odour. Thanks to the cold season no one will probably notice that you lack a shower.
Always wear a sock as the feet is the most vulnerable part of a body which can make you catch a cold. But as sickle cell patients are sensitive to temperature change we advice you remove it once it gets uncomfortably warm. Same goes to wearing a cardigan, sweater, gloves, head warmer or jacket.
Don’t forget to drink water. Most of us forget to drink water during harmattan, because we don’t sweat that much so we don’t feel dehydrated, but it’s highly likely to get dehydrated during the cold season. To encourage drinking water eat foods that induces thirst, for example Waina (Masa), cous cousin or dambu (Grit), beans, roasted chicken, Groundnut (most fried foods) Watermelon, Sugar cane, Ridi (Sesame Seeds), Awara (Tofu) and so on.
Lastly!! Take a cup of hot tea, or beverage. This is for the tea lovers and if you’re not one, be one for the sake of harmattan. This will help keep you warm from the inside and help with blood flow.