LTDD Causes More Deaths Than Flooding

Greater Casualties from Lifestyle Diseases Than Floods in Fiji

Fiji is witnessing a greater number of deaths from non-communicable diseases (NCDs), or Lifestyle Transmitted Diseases and Disorders (LTDD), rather than natural disasters such as floods. This insight emerged from a conference focused on climate change and health.

Fiji’s Health and Climate Change Conference

The climate change conference highlighted the stark contrast when Vasiti Soko, the director of the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO), compared the number of lives lost to LTDDs and flooding incidents.

In her address, Soko stated that between 2017 and 2019, a total of 32 people lost their lives as a result of flooding. On the other hand, health-related issues linked to NCDs claimed a staggering 85% of the population.

Soko emphasized that greater attention needs to be paid to the adverse impact of climate change on citizens’ health and lifestyle choices.

Long-Term Health Impacts of Climate Change

Apart from the immediate threats posed by natural disasters, climate change also contributes to chronic lifestyle diseases. It does so by affecting social determinants such as clean air, safe drinking water, adequate food, and secure shelters.

Fijians, especially in rural areas, are being directly affected by changes in their physical environment, which is leading to an increase in LTDDs.

Urgency for Climate-Health Policies

The need for accelerated action against climate change and prioritizing climate-health policies in Fiji was voiced in the conference. By adapting public health practices and policies to address climate change, it is hoped that more lives will be saved and that the quality of life for all Fijians will be improved.

The conference, with its spotlight on the health impacts of climate change, has brought the issue of LTDDs into focus, urging not just for disaster preparedness but for a comprehensive approach to public health and wellbeing.


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