Disease outbreaks, natural disasters and climate change increasingly affect the Pacific. In 2018 alone, there were more than 20 infectious disease events and 12 public health disasters in the Pacific. In addition to the loss of lives, these events often cause widespread economic and social disruption.
“These hazards threaten national and regional health security. They impact directly the health and safety of communities, and seriously disrupt health services, as responding can be both logistically and financially draining,” said Dr Kasai.
The WHO Health Emergencies Programme team in Fiji works closely with governments and regional partners to develop practical solutions and strengthen capacities to detect, assess and respond to emergencies.
“When disaster strikes, we’re ready to deploy our team of trained emergency response professionals, as well as medical supplies and other resources, to help governments and communities in need,” he said.