Parliament

Climate change is health issue affecting humanity

Minister for Health and Medical Services, Hon. Jone Usamate today spoke on the impact of climate change on the health of the people in Fiji. Hon. Usamate said two significant challenges face us all as a small island nation: non-communicable diseases climate change. These two things we believe to be the greatest health challenges currently […]

Peni Shute

February 11, 2016 2:12 pm

Minister for Health and Medical Services, Hon. Jone Usamate today spoke on the impact of climate change on the health of the people in Fiji.

Hon. Usamate said two significant challenges face us all as a small island nation:

  • non-communicable diseases
  • climate change.

These two things we believe to be the greatest health challenges currently facing us, it might not face us today but will also face the generations that follow us, after us.

Climate change is something that we’ve discussed a long time, people are very familiar with it, but I would like to establish some of the basic background behind it, long-term climate change is something that can happen over decades, it can happen over centuries and some can even say it can happen over millions of years. It involves the shift is the climate, the change of the climate in a specific location or a region or even the planet itself and we are very familiar that this is something that is happening in the world.

Minister Usamate said climate change is caused by nature and humans due fossil fuels we burn and this is a plain fact that impacts the health of the people that live in the country.

In summary, climate change can be regarded as changes in average weather conditions and also a change to how much the weather varies itself, these things have an impact to all of us.

Minister Usamate said the recent heat wave experienced last week affects the lives of people, the heat he said increases the presence of pollen which affects people with respiratory problems especially those who have asthma. He said the increase of Natural disasters led to more people getting injured and sick from poor health and sanitation.

Minister Usamate said government, has identified 40 communities that have to be relocated as a result of climate change.

Climate is now affecting humanity, it is a health issue, and right now it is something that has an impact to the future, it is impacting health right now. So it’s something that we need to be serious to attend to. Climate change will inevitably affect the basic requirement to maintaining health which includes clear clean air and good water for all of us, sufficient food and adequate shelter.

Minister Usamate said data showed a massive increase in temperature both in the day and night.

The minister said around the world every year 2.2 million deaths have occurred due to diarrhoea caused by insufficient water supply and sanitation and this he said the Fiji government is targeting very strongly.

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