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Climate change is affecting our health: Vatukela

November 24, 2018 6:31 pm

Climate change may have the potential to help some diseases to spread faster says the Health Ministry.

Acting National Health Emergencies and Climate Change Advisor, Jese Vatukela, says illnesses like Dengue Fever, Chikungunya and other health issues are on the rise.

“The same vector that spreads dengue fever now also spreads chikungunya and Zika. These are two very new diseases to Fiji, we had the vector, we had the mosquito which can spread dengue fever but we did not have those pathogens that is enabling to spread it. So last year we recorded cases and we are recording cases at local level.”

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Vatukela says this is a matter of concern for the ministry.

“Directly, health is affected through heat waves, cold waves. Also during extreme weather events such as cyclones, flooding or even dry spells.”

Fiji Korea International Co-operation Agency President, Vueti May says they’re training their staff to address health issues arising from climate change.

“We have been sending officials abroad to learn about new and innovative thinking that the Koreans are doing to be able to address this issue of climate change for instance the mitigation and adaptation means in terms of addressing issues currently faced in Pacific Island Countries.”

The Health Ministry says 20 Zika cases and one case of Chikungunya were recorded last year.

They are carrying out extensive research to address these issues.

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