Climate change exacerbates public health problems in Tarawa and throughout Kiribati.
The incidence of ciguatera poisoning, diarrhoeal disease, malnutrition, and vectorborne diseases, such as dengue fever, rise as a result of increased temperatures and changes in rainfall.
Increased rainfall will likely result in a reduction in the overall rate of diarrhoea due to improved water quality and availability (though flooding may also lead to groundwater contamination). Decreased rainfall—particularly if it resulted in an increase in droughts—would increase the incidence of diarrhoea, as water shortages exacerbate sanitation problems.
However, the projected rise in temperature may increase the incidence of diarrhoea, primarily by increasing the likelihood of spoiled or contaminated food. Sea level rise could also increase the incidence of diarrhoea by decreasing the size of the freshwater lens, exacerbating overcrowding conditions, and disrupting sanitation and water supply.