From Typhoid to Tsunamis: Samoan Children in a Changing World (pp. 447-458)
Authors: Graeme Lindsay, Teuila Percival, and Alistair Woodward
Abstract: Samoa consists of two main islands, has a tropical climate and is located in the Southwest Pacific. The objectives of this paper are to give an overview of climate change in Samoa; outline what health means from the Samoan perspective as this is important when discussing the possible impacts on child health from climate change; discuss adaptation and mitigation initiatives and potential implications for child health. We will use a case study of the devastating 2009 Tsunami to outline impacts of natural disaster on child health in rural areas. While climate change is likely to bring new challenges to Samoan children, many of the problems that are projected to affect Samoa’s children such as diarrhoeal illnesses, water insecurity and dengue fever are already on hand. However, they do have the potential to be exacerbated in a changing world. Adaptation in many areas is already underway in Samoa, but much remains to be done. Little is known about aspects that affect rural children in particular, although that they are likely to be more susceptible to water insecurity, cyclones and other extreme coastal events. Baseline data on health conditions has been identified as an area that needs strengthening as part of adaptation measures.