ONE hundred and sixty-eight people had their legs or feet amputated at Labasa Hospital last year as a result of diabetes.
Divisional medical officer northern Doctor Pablo Romakin revealed the statistic at the launch of the World Diabetes Day in Labasa yesterday.
While health officials don't actually know why people suffer from non-communicable diseases, they know for sure what or who was driving people to endure such diseases.
"NCDs are caused by poor lifestyle or habits. It's not caused by germs and we can't contract it by direct contact with an infected person," Dr Romakin said.
"We can get NCDs through the way we live our lives such as eating unhealthy foods, heavy alcohol or grog consumption, lack of exercise and excessive smoking. All of these factors are avoidable."
He said one out of three people who visited the Labasa Hospital suffered from non-communicable diseases.
"NCDs develop due to risk factors and the first group is those we can't change. These are having a blood relative with NCDs like either or both your parents have diabetes or hypertension over the age of 30 years old.
"The second group is the behavioural risk factors that can be controlled like smoking, consumption of alcohol and grog, physical exercise and maintaining a healthy diet," he said.