Harmattan: Wear facemasks- GMA warns


The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) has advised Ghanaians to stay safe during the recent harsh weather conditions.

In a press release, the association mentioned that the intensity of the harmattan has contributed to very dusty weather conditions across the country.

“The Ghana Medical Association has noted an increase in the intensity of the harmattan, resulting in very dusty weather conditions across the country, as confirmed by the Environmental Protection Agency and Meteorological Service”.

According to them, the increased dust and generally dry weather conditions have seriously affected human health, leading to increased respiratory issues.

In the statement, they advised that some safety measures be taken and put in place to protect the health conditions of citizens, especially people with underlying health conditions.

The association advised that the general public perform the following during this dry weather period:

  1. Wear a facemask to reduce exposure to dust
  2. Limit outdoor activities, especially for children
  3. stay hydrated by drinking water all day
  4. People with underlying health issues like asthma should carry their inhalers and take all prescribed medications.

Their advice also comes on the back of recent reports which projected Ghana’s capital, Accra as the major city with the poor air quality.

The index puts the air quality in Accra as almost twice as polluted than the next city on the ranking – Delhi, India – with an AQI of 196.

According to the index, the main pollutant in Accra’s air is PM2.5 with a concentration that is currently 63.1 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value.

It is estimated that 39% of Accra’s PM2.5 concentrations come from road transport, which is a result of inadequate public transport infrastructure.

With approximately over seventy percent of the public commuting by public transports known as ‘trotro’ the GMA also advised that drivers limit the level of speed they drive at, especially on dusty roads and at night.