Nepal’s month-long festive season is already here, with Dashain, Tihar and Chhath all lining up in a row. The Covid pandemic, however, is going nowhere, and thus unlike the past, we have to be extra-cautious while still being in the festival mood.
The government’s inoculation drive is also gradually accelerating but with the cases already spiking amidst the festival season public health experts suggest people to maintain complete health safety protocols. PharmaLife also urges each of our fellow Nepalese not to let your guards down during the biggest season of Nepalese celebration. Safety guidelines and social distancing should still be followed at all times, especially as we travel back to our hometowns and celebrate these festivals with our loved ones. Make sure you get your masks, sanitizer and protective medical gears from your nearest PharmaLife associated pharmacies and ensure the safety of your loved ones this festive season.
The traditional celebration of Dashain, Tihar and Chhath in Nepal involves worshipping the holy deities in temples, giving animal sacrifices and more. All these events increase the chances of transmission of Covid dramatically with increased mobility. Health experts suggest staying within your homes, worshipping and celebrating within the threshold. Alongside, as people leave the capital Kathmandu and other major cities in thousands to get back to their homes, the chances of getting contracted with Covid is also very high. Experts urge the public to get their jabs administered before these travels. Further, wearing masks, and maintaining social distance can prove crucial in protecting oneself from the deadly virus.
Although, Covid imposes as a serious public health threat, there are numerous other health concerns especially during the festival season. Dashain, Tihar, Chhath and other festivals are celebrated with various food items and alcohol, in many cases. Consuming large amounts of unhealthy food is a common site during these festivals. The yummy delicacies during Dashain and Tihar are surely a delight for the tongue, however most of these food items are unhealthy.
Dashain and Tihar and never complete without everyone’s favourite ‘masu-bhat’ – rice and mutton for the non-vegetarians. Vegetarians also enjoy dairy products and various desserts as a way of celebration and merry-making. All these different dishes are often cooked in extra oil and spices, which can lead to some serious health issues. “During and after the festive season, gastrointestinal issues including vomiting, gastritis, stomach ache, diarrhoea and food poisoning are common in almost all health facilities.”, says Dr. Binod Poudel, senior medical officer at Western Regional Hospital, Pokhara.
According to health experts, many serious issues including rise in blood glucose level, blood pressure, cholesterol, and uric acid is a routine during the month-long festivities. Patients with chronic conditions like hypertension, gout, diabetes, liver problems often aggravate their issues due to unhealthy diet and alcohol consumption. People without any underlying condition too can develop serious medical issues if they consume extra-oily and spicy food or alcohol for nearly a month. Eating too much meat can also prove harmful as meat takes more time to digest.
With such many health issues arising just because of our unhealthy dietary consumption during the festival season, PharmaLife is here to help you take care of your health with these simple tips, as suggested by public health experts:
- Cook Properly
Raw food, especially meat, poultry and dairy products may contain many harmful microorganisms. Similar is the case with fruits and vegetables. Hence, cooking meat and vegetable items thoroughly is important to get rid of any microorganism. Cooking these items well over 70 degrees will kill almost all viable microbes. The World Health Organization (WHO) also suggests giving special attention while cooking minced meats, rolled roasts, large joints of meat and whole poultry.
Further, experts suggest refrigerating left-overs to prevent contamination and eating only after re-cooking these items.
- Eat Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables, although low in calories, are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and fibres. They even help increase your metabolism and properly digest meat and other products. Substituting other dishes with some green leafy vegetables and fruits will ensure good health and vitality, all the while boosting your immune system.
- Avoid Alcohol
In many households, alcohol is a way of merry-making and celebrations. However, alcoholic beverages can seriously deteriorate your health. Alcohol can be the reason for various health issues concerning your kidneys, liver and pancreas. Moreover, it can prove fatal in people with chronic disease conditions. Therefore, avoid any sort of alcoholic beverage this festive season. Also, other sugary beverages, like cold drinks, energy drinks should be avoided too.
- Follow Your Diet
Cheating yourself on a meal is not worth your health. If you are on a diet, keep following it. Follow your dietary habits, especially if you are having issues like hypertension, diabetes, gout, etc. These conditions require minute care and curbing off the dietary habit can bring along some serious issues. Check your calories, do not consume too much sugar, salt or spice.
A little bit of exercise is always fruitful. Make sure you keep yourself active, whether it be jogging, yoga, stretching or just walking. With people consuming a lot of calories during the festival season, exercise is a must. Alongside, treating your tongue, also treat yourself and spare some time to burn a few calories each day.
Festivals are that time of the year when you, with your loved ones, make the greatest of memories. Make sure you don’t miss out on this festival season, now that you know how to save yourself and your family from Covid, and the festival-bloating with PharmaLife’s special festive-read. Happy Dashain, Tihar and Chhath to everyone from our family at PharmaLife.