Relocation of health facilities

Minister for Health and Medical Services Dr. Ifereimi Waqainabete meets with participants at the Fiji College of General Practitioners 27th Annual Conference awards night at Shangri-La Fijian Resort & Spa in Sigatoka. Picture: FT FILE/BALJEET SINGH

THIRTY medical facilities have to be relocated because of the impact of climate change on vulnerable communities.

Health Minister Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete said this during his keynote address at the 27th Fiji College of General Practitioners conference last Friday.

He said the medical fraternity could not ignore climate change because of its impact on health and infrastructure.

“We have 30 facilities that we have to move because of climate change,” he said.

“We have already done some in the last budget allocation and we are going to do a few more in the next budget allocation.

“Climate change is expected to alter the geographical and seasonal distribution of existing vectors and vector-borne diseases such as malaria, dengue and other diseases spread by mosquitoes.

As medical practitioners, it is incumbent on us to be on par with global community news responding to challenges brought about by climate change.

“Communicable diseases will never be completely eliminated.

“Against the backdrop of climate change and in the increasing interconnected world, we must also remain constantly alert to the threats of new emerging diseases such as Ebola, zika, chikungunya, avian influenza and the re-emergence of diseases such as measles.”

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