Medical precautions and hygienic practices that will help survival in tropical climates



Summary: Tropical climates found in regions close to the equator are characterized by hot and humid weather with excessive rainfall during the monsoon season. Survival in such diverse weather requires certain medical precautions to be taken in order to avoid disease common to tropical areas.

Tropical climates can play havoc with a body’s mechanism causing a range of disease from sunburn, heatstroke and dehydration to chills, vomiting and viral fever. The most common feature of tropical weather is its diversity in climactic conditions and wide ranges of temperature. If not careful, constant exposure to heat in extreme humidity results in heat stroke causing chills fever dehydration and fatigue.

During periods of rainfall such as the monsoons prevalent in tropical countries like India, water borne diseases are rampant and neglect can lead to fatality.  Unhygienic conditions and untreated water can cause abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and life threatening conditions such as falciparum malaria and dengue. The only way to survive in such conditions is by taking the correct medical precaution     ns that will definitely prevent disease.

Medical precautions include proper and effective sanitation methods. Observing correct hygienic measures for disinfecting supplies of food and water is of utmost importance. Washing utensils and vegetables with a light solution of potassium permanganate is a good method of disinfection.

Potable water in such regions may not be totally safe to drink. Contaminants and presence of heavy minerals need to be eradicated by using a good filtration system. In the absence of access to water filters you can always resort to bottled water which is relatively safe. Potable water can also be treated with purification tablets and solutions for disinfection prior to being consumed.

Basic Medication supplies for emergencies.

  • Paracetamol: Paracetamol is common medication in treatment of fever and should always be part of any medical kit. Fever is the most common symptom associated with most tropical disease and prevention of high fever temperatures is important to control the disease.
  • Sunscreen lotion: Applying sunscreen lotion liberally on skin when exposed to the sun for a long duration is advised to prevent sunburn. Sunburn is an uncomfortable condition causing flaking of skin pain and irritation. If not taken care of it can lead to further skin conditions.
  • Insect repellant: Use a good electrical mosquito repellant. In the event of electricity not being available outdoors using repellent creams are recommended. Citronella oil is readily available in tropical regions and is well known for mosquito repelling properties.
  • Oral rehydration Solution: ORS solutions in the form of packaged powders are available in all medical stores and should be carried as part of supplies especially on long outdoor travel. Dehydration due to humidity can lead to exhaustion fatigue, palpitations, and shortness of breath.  ORS solutions not only provide relief but are vital for replenishing the body’s loss of important salts and minerals.

Observing proper hygiene and keeping a good stock of basic medication can help one not only survive in tropical climatic conditions but also prevent catching any disease and control emergencies.