There are increasing rates of respiratory disease in Pacific communities, especially amongst children in Fiji and the Solomon Islands. In partnership with Fiji National University, University of Queensland, Queensland University of Technology and the University of Oxford, UNSW has deployed air quality monitors to measure airborne particle concentrations. This data will be supplemented by data from school children who will wear personal air quality monitors. These measures will assist in determining concentrations of air pollutants within wet and dry seasons with implications. This work will inform policy responses to address respiratory issues in Fiji and the Solomon Islands.
Lead researcher: Dr Andrew Dansie
Project partners: UNSW, World Health Organisation, The Fijian Government, Fiji National University, University of Oxford, Queensland University of Technology
Identified Research Need:The increased incidence and unknown cause(s) of respiratory health illness in Pacific Island populations, most prevalent in children, reported by WHO and both the Fijian and Solomon Island Ministries of Health and discussed in Suva in September 2018.
Research Goal:To monitor air quality and reduce the occurrence of respiratory illness and disease associated with various sources of airborne particulates and compounds in the Pacific.
Methodology: To install a monitoring network for airborne particulates in Fiji (2019) and across the Pacific (2020-2025) that measures air quality in urban, non-urban environments and in relation to regional air quality. To then compare this data with existing health and mortality data to develop a risk and impact framework for total environment health and air quality in Pacific Island Countries.