UVI researchers to discuss public health challenges associated with climate change on WTJX

Courtesy: http://myhealthwhatsclimategottodowithit.com/

Part if my life’s mission is to strengthen the research component at the University of the Virgin Islands, my alma mater, so, I am always excited when I see updates on what professors and investigators are doing in improve the public’s health. About two years ago, the university received a NIMHD grant to study the links between climate change and public health challenges and to increase public awareness of said challenges. Through this effort, the lead researchers at UVI, Drs. LaVern Ragster and Gloria Callwood will, present a program “Climate & Health: New Challenges for the Virgin Islands” on Sunday, March 6 on WTJX.

Part of the project objective is to reduce health disparities in the Virgin Islands. According to the website:

“With a population that is 76 percent African American/African Caribbean and 14 percent Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, the Virgin Islands is recognized as an area with a “vulnerable population”, in which numerous health disparities exist. The project specifically aims to: (1) Research and develop information supporting communications and strategies to address links between climate change and increasing public health challenges, specifically dengue fever and ciguatera (fish poisoning), and (2) Develop an effective educational outreach program focused on the prevention and mitigation of health problems associated with dengue and ciguatera.

I hope anyone living within viewing range of WTJX will tune in to hear what the researchers have to say, encourage more pubic health research in the Virgin Islands and share their thoughts on best practices for communication health and climate information to the public.

To learn more about the project, visit their website at http://myhealthwhatsclimategottodowithit.com/

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EPA to study air quality near HOVENSA on St. Croix

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has installed air monitoring equipment in three areas near HOVENSA oil refinery on St, Croix. This is in response to community concerns about the health impacts of chemical releases into the air.

Image courtesy of caribbeanbusinesspr.com

According to the full article, the study “will provide information to EPA and local residents on whether air quality near the monitoring locations poses health concerns and to guide the strategies for reducing local air pollution. EPA will use the information gathered in the study to help determine next steps, which could include additional monitoring or enforcement actions where appropriate. The goal is to protect public health by preventing exposure to pollution from the facility.”

The article goes on to say that “once monitoring is complete, the results from all of the locations will be analyzed to evaluate the potential for health concerns related to long-term exposure to these pollutants. The preliminary monitoring data is expected to be made public by late spring and a final report should be completed by the summer.”

The full article is available here http://www.caribbean360.com/index.php/news/us_virgin_islands_news/238984.html