26 Oct 2015

Climate change a factor in resurging Pacific diseases

8:10 pm on 26 October 2015

A health conference in Fiji has heard how climate change is fuelling the re-emergence of infectious diseases, putting pressure on already strained health systems.

Extreme weather events as a result of climate change compromise food and water sources, increasing the range and number of vector borne diseases.

The acting permanent secretary for Health and Medical Services in Fiji says a growing body of research shows a clear link between climate change and infectious diseases such as typhoid, dengue fever, and malaria.

Dr Meciusela Tuicakau says the re-emergence of these diseases is putting an extra burden on hospitals

"We have to adapt ourselves in terms of our service delivery to our people which means strengthening the surveillance, strengthening health information systems, strengthening the whole of health system in order to adapt ourselves to these changes as a result of climate change."

Dr Meciusela Tuicakau, who spoke at the Strengthening Climate Change Resilience conference in Nadi.