8 Jul 2013

WHO confirms link between climate change and Pacific disease

11:00 am on 8 July 2013

The World Health Organisation has confirmed a clear link between climate change and an increase in diseases in the Pacific.

The WHO has identified malaria, dengue fever, diarrhea, typhoid and leptospirosis among the important climate-sensitive diseases.

An environmental health specialist based in Fiji, Dr Rokho Kim, says evidence collected over more than a decade confirms that certain weather conditions are related to an increase in some diseases.

"For example in Cook Islands dengue fever and diarrhoeal disease are the main health outcomes related to weather factors but in Fiji, yes dengue fever but typhoid fever and leptospirosis are also related."

Dr Rokho Kim is urging more countries to adopt disease surveillance systems, such as those used in Fiji, Solomon Islands and the Marshall Islands.