Health Ministry gears up to fight summer heat, issues advisory

By DECCAN CHRONICLE | DC Correspondent

1 March 2023

The ministry directed state health departments to keep available essential medicines, intravenous fluids, ORS

Hyderabad: In the light of the day temperature increasing, the Union Health Ministry on Tuesday issued a public health advisory designed to protect the people, especially the vulnerable population including infants, pregnant women and elderly or sick people, from the impact of heat..

It said that exposure to high temperatures could induce heat stress and lead to heat-related illnesses. This would include mild to severe heat rash, heat oedema – swelling of hands, feet and ankles — heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Heat stress may also exacerbate chronic diseases like cardiovascular, respiratory and kidney diseases.

The ministry directed state health departments to keep available essential medicines, intravenous fluids, ORS and other equipment in addition to making accessible sufficient drinking water and cooling appliances to the people.

It advised the departments to arrange for uninterrupted electricity supply and increase the capacity of medical officers, health staff, grass-root level workers on heat illness, its early recognition and management.

The Centre said it would conduct daily surveillance of heat-related illnesses under National Programme on Climate Change and Human Health (NPCCHH) in the states and on Integrated Health Information Platform (IHIP) in districts.

Do’s and Don’t precautions for heat wave


Stay hydrated: Drink sufficient water, even if you are not thirsty. Carry drinking water when travelling; drink ORS, homemade drinks, fruit juices with some added salt; consume seasonal fruits and vegetables with high water content.

Stay covered: Wear thin loose, cotton garments preferably light coloured; cover the head; wear footwear

Stay alert: Stay alert for weather news updates including on the IMD website

Stay indoors: Block direct sunlight; close windows and curtains closed during the day, especially on the sunny side of the house, open them at night to let cooler air in. Limit outdoor activity.


• Avoid going out in the sun, especially between 12 noon and 3 pm

• Avoid strenuous activities when in the sun

• Do not go out barefoot

• Avoid cooking during peak heat hours. Open doors and windows

• Avoid alcohol, tea, coffee and carbonated soft drinks or drinks with large amount of sugar

• Avoid high-protein food

• Do not leave children or pets in parked vehicles.

• Elderly or sick people living alone should be supervised and health monitored daily.

• Try to remain on lower floors.

• Use fan, damp cloth to cool down body

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