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Wellington Event: Global health in the era of climate change

Monday 4 November 2019

The University of Otago, Wellington, is hosting the Otago Global Health Institute’s annual conference on Wednesday 6 and Thursday 7 November.
This year’s conference has a focus on Pacific research, including the threat that climate change poses to global health.

Speakers include:
• Dr Colin Tukuitonga, Director-General of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Noumea, New Caledonia. Dr Tukuitonga will speak about the two greatest threats to health in the Pacific – the huge burden of non-communicable diseases and the negative health impacts of the climate crisis. He says the Pacific is “playing catch up” on both crises, and needs a more decisive and effective game plan.

• Professor Diana Sarfati, Interim National Director Cancer Control and University of Otago, Wellington, who will discuss the growing burden that cancer poses for Pacific Island nations as the region struggles with inadequate cancer surveillance, geographically isolated small populations, vulnerable ecological and economic situations, insufficient resources, poor access to screening and treatment, and overburdened health-care systems.

• Professor Jo Sharp, Professor of Geography at the University of St Andrews, Scotland and Visiting Fellow in Geography at the University of Otago, Dunedin. Professor Sharp is an expert in zoonosis, the transmission of disease from animals to humans. She is currently leading research on zoonotic disease transmission in Tanzania, East Africa, where bacterial infections with pathogens such as Leptospira, Coxiella and Brucella account for 11 times more hospital admissions for fever than malaria.

The programme for the conference is at this link:


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