As we begin to see the effects of climate change globally, Pacific Islands are amongst the places that will be impacted the most, including the island of Fiji. According to the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Fiji), “about 800 communities have been impacted by climate change. Of those, 45 villages are earmarked to relocate in the next five to 10 years” (Rubeli, 2015). These villages will have to relocate from the land where they have spent their entire lives to a new location. How will climate change affect rates of disease? “In line with recent Fijian vulnerability assessments, three of the many priority climate sensitive health risks in Fiji are an increased morbidity and mortality of dengue fever, diarrhoeal disease and malnutrition” (Morrow, 2014). How will climate change affect which crops Fijians are able to yield? “Climate change entails changes in precipitation patterns with wide implications for soil moisture and water availability, and as a result agricultural production and water supply for households and tourism” (Becken, 2005). There are obvious changes in store for the Fijian population, the effects of which are still unknown.
As Nutrition and Dietetic researchers from the University of the South Pacific, it is our mission to fully comprehend the long term physical health and nutritional effects that relocation has and will continue to affect the Fijian people. By having a full comprehension on how relocation due to climate change affects nutrition and health in Fiji, we will be able to assess the global impact of climate change and develop a research procedure for future populations. There is no precedent for many of the communities having to relocate and face new challenges. The goal of our research i...
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...ll health evaluation of the relocated Vunidogoloa villagers one month before and three months after relocation. Follow-up examinations will continue every three months for a total of two years. These tests will be performed by international doctors with advanced hospital equipment. Doctors will evaluate villagers’ symptoms and will conclude a diagnosis. If new diseases are apparent, the diagnosis will be different from pre-relocation. After each evaluation, there will be a proportional calculation of whom remained affected and unaffected posterior to the relocation. Once we have completed the two year evaluation, a full statistical analysis will be published to further compare the new diseases/illnesses encountered before and after relocation. Our efforts to discover new diseases give us further evidence and awareness of the physical health impact of global warming.
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