Climate change ‘worsens existing challenges’

Dr Colin Tukuitonga. Picture: FT FILE

CLIMATE change simply worsens the health consequences that are not new or unexpected.

This was a comment made by the Pacific Community’s (SPC) director-general, Dr Colin Tukuitonga, while delivering a presentation on the “Hidden Health Impacts of Climate Change” at the University of the South Pacific (USP) Laucala Campus in Suva last week.

“I call it the ‘effect multiplier’; by that I mean most of the health consequences that we see are not new or unexpected,” he said.

“Climate change simply makes worse or aggravates existing challenges that we have.”

Dr Tukuitonga said access to clean water was an example of how climate change worsened health consequences.

“For example, if you look at the access to clean water, we are not doing so well as a region and climate change simply makes it worse,” he said.

“Climate change affects the entire determinants — the social, economic, environmental and the cultural determinants of health.

In other words, the food we eat, the water we drink and the weather we experience.”

He added it would be even harder to experience other aspects of life that would not be affected by climate change.

More Stories