Environmental News from Pakistan:
- Jacobabad in Pakistan hits 51 Celsius (124 Fahrenheit)
- Women are especially vulnerable to extreme heat – studies
- Pregnant women are at even higher risk, scientists warn
Heavily pregnant Sonari toils under the burning sun in fields dotted with bright yellow melons in Jacobabad, which last month became the hottest city on Earth.
Her 17-year-old neighbor Waderi, who gave birth a few weeks ago, is back working in temperatures that can exceed 50 Celsius (122 Fahrenheit), with her newborn lying on a blanket in the shade nearby so she can feed him when he cries.
“When the heat is coming and we’re pregnant, we feel stressed,” said Sonari, who is in her mid-20s.
These women in southern Pakistan and millions like them around the world are at the searing edge of climate change.
Pregnant women exposed to heat for prolonged periods of time have a higher risk of suffering complications, an analysis of 70 studies conducted since the mid-1990s on the issue found.
For every 1 degree Celsius temperature rise, the number of stillbirths and premature deliveries increases by about 5%, according to the meta-analysis, which was carried out by several research institutions globally and published in the British Medical Journal in September 2020.
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