| || || Oli, Kelera Salusalunitoba|
| || || The variability of dengue incidence in three localities in Fiji in relation to climate variability and change|
Author:Oli, Kelera Salusalunitoba
Institution: University of the South Pacific.
Subject: Dengue -- Fiji, Climatic changes -- Health aspects -- Fiji
Call No.: pac RA 644 .D4 O452 2013
Copyright:20-40% of this thesis may be copied without the authors written permission
Abstract: The capacity of climate change to alter ecological systems has been observed to have the potential in favouring disease transmission. Dengue is identified as one of the four climate sensitive diseases in Fiji. Consequently, this study explored the variability of dengue incidence in three localities in Fiji in relation to climate variability and change from 1996-2010. Confirmed dengue cases in Ba, Lautoka and Nadroga were collected from hospital registers and the Patient Information System. Monthly data of minimum and maximum temperatures, rainfall and relative humidity were collated from the Fiji Meteorology Services of Fiji. The association between dengue incidence and climate variables was explored. Questionnaires, key informant interviews and observational surveys were conducted in the three case study areas to assess possible impacts of non-climatic variables on dengue incidence. There were 1,279 confirmed dengue cases for the period 1996-2010 in Ba, Lautoka and Nadroga. Three outbreak episodes were recorded within the studied period yielding a total of 1,209 cases. The results showed that the relationship between dengue incidence, temperature and rainfall is statistically significant. In Ba, dengue incidence is significantly correlated to temperatures (minimum and maximum), whereas the correlation of dengue and maximum temperature is statistically significant in Lautoka and the correlation of dengue incidence and rainfall is statistically significant in Nadroga. However, analysis of the questionnaire, observation and key informants’ interview showed that the correlation between the incidence of dengue as surveyed and the non-climatic variables are not statistically significant. This study reveals that the risk of dengue transmission increases with climate variability and change if the non-climatic factors of mosquito control and surveillance are poor. Climate projections for Fiji have shown that the country’s climate will continue to change. The temperature in Fiji will continue to rise by at least an estimated range of 0.4-1.0°C by 2030. There will be more very hot days and warm nights and a decline in cooler weather. It is predicted that extreme rainfall days are likely to occur more often in Fiji. Therefore, it is essential that the public health infrastructure is strengthened to combat the threat of climate variability and change and its impact on dengue incidence.