Africa Eco News Magazine

$10 – $15 / Week

UNICEF: Heatwaves and high temperatures threatening young lives in South Asia

A child stands outside the UNICEF TLC in Basti Shahnawaz Chang GPS Mud Haji Haibton, District Rajanpur, Punjab province. UNICEF/Juan Haro.

By DUKE TSUMA

newshub@eyewitness.africa

Three-quarters of children in South Asia are already exposed to extreme high temperature compared to only one in three globally, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has said, urging authorities to do more to help them beat the heat.

UNICEF estimates that 76 per cent of children under 18 in the region – 460 million – are exposed to extreme high temperatures where 83 or more days in a year exceed 35° Celsius.

July was thehottest monthever recorded globally, raising further concerns about a future where children, including those living in South Asia, are expected to facemore frequent and severe heatwaves, largely due to climate change.

“With the world at global boiling, the data clearly show that the lives and well-being of millions of children across South Asia are increasingly threatened by heat waves and high temperatures,” said Sanjay Wijesekera, UNICEF Regional Director for South Asia.

The world’s hottest city  

According to UNICEF’s 2021 Children’s Climate Risk Index (CCRI), children in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Maldives, and Pakistan are at ‘extremely high risk’ of the impacts of climate change.

“We are particularly concerned about babies, toddlers, malnourished children and pregnant women as they are most vulnerable to heat strokes and other serious effects,” added Mr. Wijesekera.

In parts of Pakistan’s southern Sindh province, including Jacobabad, the world’s hottest city in 2022, temperatures were in their 40’s in June, exposing 1.8 million people to severe short- and long-term health risks.  

The scorching heat came less than one year after the devastating floods which left most parts of southern Sindh underwater in August 2022.

Life-threatening risks  

Even in the rainy season, the heat can exacerbate the situation for children. Since children cannot adapt quickly to temperature changes, they are not able to remove excess heat from their bodies.

This can cause symptoms and illnesses such as higher body temperature, rapid heartbeat, cramps, severe headache, confusion, organ failure, dehydration, fainting and coma, in young children; poor mental development in infants; and developmental setbacks such as neurological dysfunction, and cardiovascular diseases.

Early contractions, hypertension, seizures, high blood pressure, preterm births and stillbirths are risks for pregnant women, who are particularly susceptible to heat.  

For young children, ice packs, fans or misting with water can help lower their body temperature, while cold water immersion can help older children.

Share this post:

Related Posts
Radio Africa Eco News
Africa Eco News TV

KENNY ROGERS: AWARD-WINNING MUSIC MAESTRO

BUYU LA HISTORIA: PABLO ESCOBAR

Pablo Escobar: The Colombian Drug Baron

Dock Workers Union 21-day ultimatum

Mombasa court finds six foreigners guilty of trafficking heroin worth Ksh 1.3b

New mention date for visas scam suspect

12
1...2
Next
loading
Photo Gallery
Category

Be among the first ones to know, Signup for our Newsletter