On 4th October 2022, the Australasian Epidemiological Association (AEA) and International Epidemiological Association hosted an online symposium on epidemiology and climate change. The event brought together three experts from different countries within the Western Pacific region to discuss the implications of climate change for the region and globally, with a focus on epidemiological and health issues of climate change that need to be addressed.
The first speaker, Professor Kathryn Bowne, University of Melbourne, Australia, gave an overview of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report, and state of play in terms of policy in the region:
Next, Professor Simon Hales, University of Otago, New Zealand, discussed methods used to estimate the burden of disease attributable to climate change, and why quantifying these is critical and the challenges:
The session was concluded with a presentation by Mr Timoci Naivalulevu, Fiji, who discussed insights from Watershed Interventions for Systems Health in Fiji (WISH Fiji) and how climate change has affected the burden of water-related diseases (typhoid, leptospirosis and diarrhoea):