The Center for Environmental and Respiratory Health Research (CERH) at the University of Oulu organised a lecture about the effects and how to protect oneself in a cold environment to asylum seekers on 2 December. The lecture was a collaboration with the Finnish Red Cross and Vallinkorva reception centre.
CERH reseachers have followed the situation with the asylum seekers and the approaching winter in Oulu. "A special concern has been the health and performance of populations that are not adapted to the circumstances of a cold climate. For example the use of cold protective clothing may be insufficient to prevent adverse body cooling. Especially children are vulnerable to cooling and should be protected well against subfreezing temperatures." said adjunct professor Tiina Ikäheimo from CERH.
Nearly all adverse effects of cold are preventable with appropriate behaviour but requires acknowledging them.
The experts of CERH contacted the different organizations working with the asylum seekers which lead to the collaboration with Vallinkorva reception centre. The delivered lecture included information about cold exposure, it's effects on health and performance, as well as practical information about how to protect yourself from cooling for example by dressing appropriately.
This kind of dissemination of information can be developed further as an established practice, and a part of the introduction provided to asylum seekers on how to live in a cold climate. The activity is part of CERH's work as a WHO Collaborating Centre in Global Change, Environment and Public Health. An essential objective is to prevent adverse health effects of extreme temperatures.
Last updated: 4.12.2015