Not enough research on climate change impact - CARPHA official
Shermaine Clauzel, programme manager for Environmental Health and Sustainable Development at the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) in St Lucia, is stressing the need for more comprehensive research to be made available in the Caribbean, showing the linkages between climate change and health issues.
"Up until this point, I don't think we have been researching as much into the actual impacts that climate change will have on health. As we go forward, there certainly will be issues of increased temperatures which we have to pay keen attention to," she told The Gleaner following a climate and forecasting workshop that was hosted by the Caribbean Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) in Barbados.
"We will also need to focus on the vulnerable groups, which include the very young and the very old, as they will be more susceptible to diseases. These are the things we will have to take into account and plan ahead as to how we tackle these issues," she said.
She added: "There will be indirect effects as well, such as the creation of water storage and it becoming breeding sites for mosquitoes. The impact on agriculture in terms of the use of chemicals and pesticides in watersheds. The two definitely link (climate change and health)."
Clauzel, therefore, encouraged Caribbean nationals to work closely in fighting the adverse impacts climate change will have on the health sector.
"Some countries might have better collaboration, which will help to mitigate the negative climate impacts because the impact of health will be a cumulative one. I think the general complaint is, however, that we need better collaboration and much more research is needed to plan ahead as Caribbean countries," she charged.