The El Nino phenomenon is expected to become more extreme with an increase in temperature and a reduction in the amount of rainfall throughout the country this year following the global warming factor that the world is currently facing. Simply put, the El Nino phenomenon involves changes in atmospheric pressure and ocean temperature, especially in the Pacific Ocean. When it happens, the sea surface temperature rises in the eastern part of the Pacific Ocean which is in the waters of Columbia, Ecuador and Peru due to the influx of warm currents from the central and western part of the Pacific Ocean. Typically, El Niño lasts for 6 to 18 months. It usually forms in the middle of the year, peaks at the end of the year and weakens towards the beginning of the following year. El Nino has hit Malaysia 12 times since 1951-1952 and the worst phenomenon was in 1997-1998 with the highest temperature of 40.1 degrees Celsius recorded. at the Chuping Meteorological Station, Perlis on April 9, 1998. However, it does not mean that we can look at it quietly because although it is not as bad as it has happened before, we still feel the heat.
Among the health risks that are often associated with El-Nino include organ failure due to body core temperature exceeding 40°C (heat stroke), fatigue and lethargy, fainting or fainting and muscle cramps. If these early symptoms are not given immediate attention and serious, as well as appropriate treatment then the risk of death is very high. WHO (World Health Organization) suggests public health effects related to the El-Nino phenomenon are such as an increase in respiratory diseases among children and groups at risk (asthma, pneumonia , sore throat, sore eyes, cough and flu). Do not postpone treatment or recovery related to heat stress because it can also cause the body’s internal organs such as kidneys, heart and liver to fail to function normally.
El Nino is a global phenomenon that cannot be avoided. However, preventive measures can be implemented at the individual level as well as the community collectively. Protect yourself by making an assessment and control of body temperature (health record) on your own. For parents, it is your responsibility to constantly monitor and take appropriate action when children are affected by dehydration problem. Immediately consult and seek advice from a medical expert if you have symptoms related to heat stress/heat stroke. Try to reduce activities outside the permit/home and follow the current instructions and health alerts issued by the Ministry of Health or any agency given responsibility by the government.