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Fiji Time: 6:50 AM on Friday 18 April

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Forum participants focus on wellness

Samisoni Nabilivalu
Wednesday, May 30, 2012

FIJI'S health system has been commended for its ability to reach people through its nursing stations, health centres and sub-divisional and divisional hospitals.

However, Fiji needs to look at innovative ways to counter the challenge of the growing double burden of disease, says Ministry of Health spokesman Peni Namotu.

Double burden of disease is usually referred to as the dual burden of non-communicable and infectious diseases upon the low and middle-income countries.

In a statement from the ministry's health symposium held in Suva yesterday, themed "promoting wellness across the life-span", Mr Namotu said there continued to be an increase in communicable diseases like typhoid and sexually-transmitted infections, together with non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like diabetes and hypertension despite efforts to control them since the beginning of this century.

He said NCDs were declared a global crisis and were a topic of discussion at the United Nations General Assembly last year.

He said wellness was everyone's responsibility and the ministry recognised the need for support from other ministries, partners and the communities in order to achieve wellness for all Fijians.

AusAID counsellor John Davidson said health challenges in the region needed new approaches to manage the burden on respective health systems of ill-health, especially NCDs.

"Wellness as a concept is a state of health closely associated with lifestyle and relates to the determinants of health," Mr Davidson said.

"Each person has a responsibility to provide for such health essentials as good nutrition, proper weight control, exercise and controlling risk factors such as smoking, alcohol and drug abuse."