Climate change and health in the Caribbean: A review highlighting research gaps and priorities

Elsevier, The Journal of Climate Change and Health, Volume 8, 2022, 100126
Nina Rise, Chris Oura, Jonathan Drewry

Climate change is a reality in the Caribbean that will continue to have a significant impact on human health and the health sector. The health impacts are exacerbated due to the vulnerabilities inherent in populations residing in tropical Small Island Developing States. A review of original research studies related to health and climate change in the Caribbean was conducted using online academic databases. The aim of the review was to synthesize evidence around the nexus between climate and health in the Caribbean, thereby presenting a more concise understanding of the current impact on vulnerable low-lying and coastal communities. Twenty-seven original studies published between 2006 and 2021 were identified. These studies were grouped into categories by health issue. The synthesis of existing Caribbean evidence on climate change and health outcomes will facilitate the prioritization of mitigation and adaptation efforts, support novel proposals for health and climate financing and identify gaps in the research agenda. In most categories a limited amount of research exists, especially when considering the increasing impact from climate on Caribbean life and well-being. In addition to the health impacts noted, gaps in research include reaching vulnerable populations, national application of health mitigation/adaptation strategies and efforts to increase climate and health research capacity.