Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

The influence of climate variation and change on diarrheal disease in the Pacific Islands.

By R B Singh, S Hales, N de Wet, R Raj, M Hearnden and P Weinstein


Freshwater resources are a high-priority issue in the Pacific region. Water shortage is a serious problem in many small island states, and many depend heavily on rainwater as the source of their water. Lack of safe water supplies is an important factor in diarrheal illness. There have been no previous studies looking specifically at the relationship between climate variability and diarrhea in the Pacific region. We carried out two related studies to explore the potential relationship between climate variability and the incidence of diarrhea in the Pacific Islands. In the first study, we examined the average annual rates of diarrhea in adults, as well as temperature and water availability from 1986 to 1994 for 18 Pacific Island countries. There was a positive association between annual average temperature and the rate of diarrhea reports, and a negative association between water availability and diarrhea rates. In the second study, we examined diarrhea notifications in Fiji in relation to estimates of temperature and rainfall, using Poisson regression analysis of monthly data for 1978-1998. There were positive associations between diarrhea reports and temperature and between diarrhea reports and extremes of rainfall. These results are consistent with previous research and suggest that global climate change is likely to exacerbate diarrheal illness in many Pacific Island countries

Topics: Research Article
Publisher: National Institute of Environmental Health Science
Year: 2001
OAI identifier:
Provided by: PubMed Central

Suggested articles


  1. (1999). A conceptual framework for adaptation to climate and sea-level change in Pacific Island countries. Prepared for the PACCLIM Workshop,
  2. (1999). Adapting to the effects of climate change in the context of development: considerations for Pacific Island Countries. In: South Pacific Regional Environment Programme.
  3. (1994). Assessment of Coastal Vulnerability and Resilience to Sea-Level Rise and Climate Change.
  4. (1998). Climate change and human health in the Asia Pacific region: who will be most vulnerable? Clim Res 11:31–38
  5. (1996). Climate Change and Human Health. Geneva:World Health Organization,
  6. (1992). Climate change and island freshwater resources; climate change and sea level rise in the South Pacific Region. Presented at the Second SPREP Meeting,
  7. (1998). Community. Selected Pacific EconomiesA Statistical Summary.
  8. (1997). Cycles of malaria associated with ElNiño in Venezuela.
  9. (1996). Dengue fever epidemics in the South Pacific: driven by El Niño Southern Oscillation?
  10. (2000). Effects of El Niño and ambient temperature on hospital admissions for diarrhoeal diseases.
  11. El Niño and diarrhoea and dehydration in
  12. (1999). El Niño and the dynamics of vectorborne disease transmission.
  13. (1993). El Niño-Southern Oscillation and vectorborne disease.
  14. (1996). environment and development: towards a Pacific paradigm.
  15. (1998). Epidemiological and Health Information Service.
  16. (1996). Global climate and infectious disease: the cholera paradigm.
  17. (1996). Global climate change and emerging infectitious diseases.
  18. (1996). How safe is the drinking water in Tonga? Pac Health Dialog
  19. (2000). Human health in Fiji. In: Climate Change Vulnerability and Adaptation Assessment for Fiji (Feresi
  20. (1999). Increased El Niño frequency in a climate model forced by future greenhouse warming.
  21. (1999). Modelling the effects of climate change and sea level rise in Pacific Island countries.
  22. (1998). Resources 1998–99. A Guide to the Global Environment: Environmental Change and Human Health, a Report. Washington, DC:World Resources Institute,
  23. (1997). Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific. Sustainable Development of Water Resources in Asia and the Pacific: An Overview.
  24. (1999). The 1997–1998 hydrological drought in western Fiji and the contribution of tropical cyclones. In:
  25. (1996). The El-Niño Southern Oscillation and the historic malaria epidemics on the Indian subcontinent and Sri Lanka: an early warning system for epidemics?
  26. (1992). The Implications of Climate Change and Sea Level Rise for the Cook Islands; Report of a Preparatory Mission. Apia Samoa:SPREP,
  27. (1996). The NCEP/NCAR 40 year reanalysis project.
  28. (1998). The Regional Impacts of Climate Change: An Assessment of Vulnerability. Cambridge,
  29. (1998). The World’s Water: The Biennial Report on Fresh Water Resources.
  30. (1996). What makes populations vulnerable to ill health?

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.