Assessment of climate-sensitive infectious diseases in the Federated States of Micronesia

McIver, Lachlan, Hashizume, Masahiro, Kim, Ho, Honda, Yasushi, Pretrick, Moses, Iddings, Steven, and Pavlin, Boris (2015) Assessment of climate-sensitive infectious diseases in the Federated States of Micronesia. Tropical Medicine and Health, 43 (1). pp. 29-40.

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Background: The health impacts of climate change are an issue of growing concern in the Pacific region. Prior to 2010, no formal, structured, evidence-based approach had been used to identify the most significant health risks posed by climate change in Pacific island countries. During 2010 and 2011, the World Health Organization supported the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) in performing a climate change and health vulnerability and adaptation assessment. This paper summarizes the priority climate-sensitive health risks in FSM, with a focus on diarrheal disease, its link with climatic variables and the implications of climate change.

Methods: The vulnerability and adaptation assessment process included a review of the literature, extensive stakeholder consultations, ranking of climate-sensitive health risks, and analysis of the available long-term data on climate and climate-sensitive infectious diseases in FSM, which involved examination of health information data from the four state hospitals in FSM between 2000 and 2010; along with each state's rainfall, temperature and El Niño-Southern Oscillation data. Generalized linear Poisson regression models were used to demonstrate associations between monthly climate variables and cases of climate-sensitive diseases at differing temporal lags.

Results: Infectious diseases were among the highest priority climate-sensitive health risks identified in FSM, particularly diarrheal diseases, vector-borne diseases and leptospirosis. Correlation with climate data demonstrated significant associations between monthly maximum temperature and monthly outpatient cases of diarrheal disease in Pohnpei and Kosrae at a lag of one month and 0 to 3 months, respectively; no such associations were observed in Chuuk or Yap. Significant correlations between disease incidence and El Niño-Southern Oscillation cycles were demonstrated in Kosrae state.

Conclusions: Analysis of the available data demonstrated significant associations between climate variables and climate-sensitive infectious diseases. This information should prove useful in implementing health system and community adaptation strategies to avoid the most serious impacts of climate change on health in FSM.

Item ID: 41085
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1349-4147
Keywords: infectious diseases, climate, Federated States of Micronesia
Funders: Government of Japan, Government of Korea
Date Deposited: 27 Oct 2015 03:04
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1103 Clinical Sciences > 110309 Infectious Diseases @ 50%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111715 Pacific Peoples Health @ 50%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920407 Health Protection and/or Disaster Response @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920405 Environmental Health @ 50%
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