6 Apr 2010

Gloomy picture of Pacific's climate change reality at health officers' conference

9:37 am on 6 April 2010

Health officials attending the Pacific Islands Health Officers Association conference in American Samoa have presented a gloomy picture of the reality their islands are facing because of climate change.

Representatives of the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia say climate change is no longer a theory in their islands.

They say it's a reality that's creating social and health problems through drought, unsafe drinking water, frequent storms, unreliable power, and increasingly warm weather.

The acting secretary of the Marshall Islands' Ministry of Health, Dwight Heine, says his country's experiencing water shortages.

"For the past couple of months we've experienced dry season in the country and as a result of that we've had low shortage and low supply of safe drinking water. The health impact of that is we're seeing increased cases of typhoid fever. To date we've seen 20 cases and the first case seen or detected in January."

The acting secretary of the Marshall Islands' Ministry of Health, Dwight Heine.