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Palinkas LA, O'Donnell M, Kemp S, Tiatia J, Duque Y, Spencer M, Basu R, Del Rosario KI, Diemer K, Doma B, Forbes D, Gibson K, Graff-Zivin J, Harris BM, Hawley N, Johnston J, Lauraya F, Maniquiz NEF, Marlowe J, McCord GC, Nicholls I, Rao S, Saunders AK, Sortino S, Springgate B, Takeuchi D, Ugsang J, Villaverde V, Wells KB, Wong M. Regional Research-Practice-Policy Partnerships in Response to Climate-Related Disparities: Promoting Health Equity in the Pacific. International journal of environmental research and public health. 2022 Aug 8; 19(15).
Although climate change poses a threat to health and well-being globally, a regional approach to addressing climate-related health equity may be more suitable, appropriate, and appealing to under-resourced communities and countries. In support of this argument, this commentary describes an approach by a network of researchers, practitioners, and policymakers dedicated to promoting climate-related health equity in Small Island Developing States and low- and middle-income countries in the Pacific. We identify three primary sets of needs related to developing a regional capacity to address physical and mental health disparities through research, training, and assistance in policy and practice implementation: (1) limited healthcare facilities and qualified medical and mental health providers; (2) addressing the social impacts related to the cooccurrence of natural hazards, disease outbreaks, and complex emergencies; and (3) building the response capacity and resilience to climate-related extreme weather events and natural hazards.