FINDING the link between Climate Change and Health would be one of the core focus of experts and academics currently attending a three-day symposium at the University of Fiji's Saweni campus in Lautoka.
The symposium, which has brought together academics, scholars, medical students and climate change researchers, provides a platform for the participants to discuss climate change and its effect on health in Fiji and the Pacific region.
UniFiji vice chancellor Professor Mahendra Kumar said it was the university's corporate responsibility to provide a platform for scientific and technical discussions on these important issues.
"Tropical cyclones, storm surges, flooding and drought have both short and long term effects on human health including drowning, injuries, increased disease transmission, decreases in agricultural productivity and an increased incidence of common mental disorders," Mr Kumar said.
He said outbreaks of climate-sensitive diseases could be costly in terms of lives and economic impacts.
"An outbreak of dengue fever in Fiji coincided with the 1997/1998 El Nino cycle, out of a population of approximately 856,000 people, 24,000 were affected with 13 deaths," Mr Kumar said.
"The epidemic cost $US3million ($F5.33m) to $US6million ($F10.66m). Neighbouring islands were also affected."