Prevention of high temperatures on health begins

Prevention of high temperatures on health begins

Archive image of a heat wave in the Canary Islands. / Juan Carlos Alonso

It is aimed at the entire population, especially the most vulnerable groups such as children, the elderly and the chronically ill.

CANARY ISLANDS7 The Gran Canarian palms

Preventive Action Plan for the Effects of Excessive Temperatures on Health will remain active from today, Wednesday June 1, until September 15. This includes the necessary measures to
reduce health effects associated with excessive temperatures and coordinates the Canarian institutions involved, through the emergency care health system. The Ministry of Health of the Government of the Canary Islands, through the General Directorate of Public Health, has been in charge of launching the program.

The truth is that Public Health established the epidemiological surveillance system for the impact of high temperatures on the health of the population, coordinated with the assistance and emergency centers of the Canary Islands, as well as the warning system for said centers and the municipalities affected by exceeding threshold temperatures. Since 2004, it has also coordinated the Preventive Action Plan.

It will also offer information to the media, in order to provide useful advice and practical measures to prevent the effects of exposure to high temperatures. All the information available will also be disseminated through all the social networks of its digital channel.

With these actions it is intended
increase prevention capacity coping with the heat by applying measures that are easy and accessible. The plan is aimed at the entire population and specially designed for the groups most vulnerable to intense heat, such as
the elderly, children and people with chronic diseases.

From a social point of view, marginalization, isolation, dependency, disability, living conditions of people with fewer resources, add risk factors that make even more vulnerable groups that, precisely because of their socio-economic conditions They should be more supported.

Specifically, all the hospitals and the Canary Islands Emergency Service (SUC) have staff designated and specially trained to effectively deal with and coordinate services in the event of a possible
heat waveas well as the communication channels established.

Temperature thresholds and risk levels

In order to be able to speak of a health risk warning due to heat in the strict sense, some maximum and minimum temperatures must be reached simultaneously. This is what is known as temperature thresholds, which are set each year by the State Meteorological Agency. For the two Canary provinces the temperature threshold is
32 degrees maximum and 24 minimum.

The Plan for the Prevention of the Effects of High Temperatures on People's Health establishes four different levels of health risk warnings, depending on the expected temperatures and their duration over time:

-If the expected maximum and minimum temperatures do not reach the established threshold, it corresponds to the
LEVEL ZERO or absence of risk (which is represented by
green color).

-Activate the
LEVEL ONE or low risk (yellow color) when weather forecasts point to temperatures equal to or greater than 32 maximum and 24 minimum (in the case of the Canary Islands) for one or two days.

-Activate the
LEVEL TWO or medium risk (orange color)if the expected duration is 3 or 4 days.

-Activate the
LEVEL THREE or high risk (red color)if the expected duration reaches 5 days or more than expected duration.

Other preventive plans in the Canary Islands

In a situation of maximum temperatures, the Government of the Canary Islands can activate this Prevention Plan for the Effects of High Temperatures on People's Health, with a health risk warning, as well as its Specific Plan for Civil Protection and Emergency Care. Emergencies of the Autonomous Community of the Canary Islands for Risks Due to Adverse Meteorological Phenomena (PEFMA), by declaring an alert due to a risk situation for the population, property and the environment.

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