October 2, 2022

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Weather warning: Yellow heat code for most of the country

Weather warning – Yellow heat code for most of the country. photo: ILLUSTRATIVE

The National Meteorological Administration (ANM) issued, on Sunday, a code yellow warning aimed at a heat wave affecting almost the entire country, except for the central area.

According to ANM, on Sunday, the heat wave will persist in most of the country, and on Monday and Tuesday it will narrow towards the southern and eastern regions.

Locally in the plain areas there will be heatwave, high thermal discomfort, and the temperature-humidity index (ITU) will exceed the critical threshold of 80 units.

Maximum temperatures will generally be between 32 and 37 degrees.

At the beginning of next week, the weather will gradually become unstable, on Monday especially in the west and northwest of the country, and on Tuesday also in the north, northeast, center and southwest.

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How extreme heat affects pregnant women and how dangerous it is for babies

As the world warms, scientists are seeing an increase in premature births as well as underweight babies.

As in many other parts of the world, heat waves are becoming more frequent, more intense and longer, even becoming a real danger for pregnant women. Such acute heat is a particular problem for pregnant women, who are more vulnerable to it.

National Geographic interviewed pregnant and new mothers, their family members, health workers and community leaders in Kilifi to understand how extreme heat affects maternal and newborn health. A health worker told them that more birth complications and more premature births were seen.

A growing body of scientific research supports this observation, suggesting that higher-than-usual daytime temperatures and warmer nights may lead to an increase in adverse outcomes for pregnant women.

These range from higher risks of stillbirth – when the baby is stillborn after at least 20 weeks’ gestation – to higher chances of premature birth, where the baby is born before 37 weeks instead of the full term of 40 weeks.

Some studies suggest that warmer temperatures have led to more low-birth-weight newborns, which can lead to health complications for the baby. A recent analysis of 70 studies in 27 countries, including the United States, China, several European countries and sub-Saharan Africa, found that for every 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit increase in temperature, the risks of preterm birth and stillbirths deaths increase by 5 percent.

Impact of extreme heat on pregnancy

Although scientists have not been able to identify the times during pregnancy when extreme heat poses the greatest risk, exposure to acute heat appears to cause problems in both the early and late stages.

What complicates all these studies is that there are no unique signatures (such as a specific mutation) that can link an individual stillbirth or preterm birth to an extreme heat event, says Lyndsey Darrow, an epidemiologist at the University of Nevada, Reno. .

The researchers used long-term data sets to match pregnancy durations and dates with temperature data to understand how much and what aspects of the heat – its intensity and or duration – harm this vulnerable segment of society.

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