Life-saving information will be provided to prevent heatstroke and dehydration, and six first aid centres will provide immediate treatment to up to 60,000 people. Photo: Harriet Knox Life-saving information will be provided to prevent heatstroke and dehydration, and six first aid centres will provide immediate treatment to up to 60,000 people.

Awareness-raising campaigns through posters, radio and social media to prevent deadly heatstroke are ready to launch as forecasts predict a heatwave to strike southern Pakistan.

Soaring temperatures of up to 50 degrees are expected in Sindh Province in the coming weeks. We’re working with Community World Service Asia to share life-saving information to prevent heatstroke and dehydration, and set-up six first aid centres to provide immediate treatment to up to 60,000 people. An ambulance will also be available in each district to take critically ill patients to hospital quickly.

Last year more than 2,000 people died in a heatwave in Sindh. Heatstroke can occur at any temperature over 40°C and people must be treated immediately or chances of survival are slim. Those most at risk are people living in poverty with little information on how to stay safe, or ways to keep themselves and their houses cool. People with jobs based outdoors may have to stop working or be at real risk from the stifling heat.

“The communities don’t have enough knowledge and awareness to deal with the heatwave on their own. The increased mortality and morbidity as a result of heatwave shall negatively impact on the lives and livelihoods of the at-risk communities. Our response combines strategies to minimise deaths through awareness-raising as well as emergency health assistance,” said Muhammad Fazal, Associate Director, Community World Service Asia.

There are a number of things that people can do to reduce the risk of heatstroke and dehydration: drinking plenty of fluids, wearing damp clothing and putting hands in cold water to lower the body’s temperature, placing fans by doors and windows to draw air from outside which is likely to be cooler, and having a lukewarm shower.

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