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Heatwaves could become a silent killer in African cities

Kampala Uganda street scene

Heatwaves are one of the more easily predicted weather phenomena and can cause mass fatalities in vulnerable groups such as the elderly, young children and outdoor workers (e.g. construction), but heat is often a ‘silent killer’.

In Africa, heat is commonly seen as ‘normal’ and the general perception is that people are well adapted to cope with it. One reason for this, highlighted by a recent discussion at the Adaptation Futures 2018 conference, is that elderly people may not see themselves as ‘old’ and therefore don’t recognise their increased risk to heatwaves.

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