Dr Lachlan McIver is a PhD scholar at the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health. Lachlan is a rural generalist clinician and public health practitioner with specialty qualifications in remote and tropical medicine. Lachlan completed the fieldwork for his PhD while on a two-year assignment with the World Health Organization South Pacific office, based in Suva, Fiji. His thesis explores the health impacts of climate change in Pacific island countries.
Pacific island countries are among the most vulnerable in the world to the impacts of climate change, including the likely detrimental effects on human health. Between 2010 and 2012, the World Health Organization South Pacific office conducted a regional vulnerability assessment and adaptation planning project in twelve Pacific island countries. This process demonstrated a variety of possible methods to determine climate change and health vulnerabilities in the context of small island developing states, and revealed a relatively long list of climate change-attributable health risks in the Pacific. These processes and findings, along with some unique features of climate change and health in Pacific island countries, will be presented along with policy priorities and recommendations for health systems adaptation in the region.