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Fiji Time: 11:03 AM on Thursday 17 April

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Diabetics top NCDs kill list

Luke Rawalai
Friday, November 16, 2012

OUT of the 82 per cent who have died from non-communicable diseases in the last nine years, 16 per cent had diabetes.

Divisional medical officer northern Doctor Pablo Romakin said there was an increasing trend in the number of people being diagnosed with diabetes.

Dr Romakin said there was also an increasing trend of people with diabetes who suffered from complications such as diabetic foot sepsis and amputation, blindness, stroke and heart attack.

"There is not much change in people's behaviour with regard to risk factors in developing diabetes and other NCDs such as smoking, overweight or obesity, harmful use of alcohol or kava and physical inactivity," said Dr Romakin.

"We have a campaign team that will be visiting communities in the north to do screening tests targeting people over the age group of 30.

"For awareness purposes, we are targeting the seven cohorts of life which includes babies, infants, toddlers, children, mothers, teenagers, schools, communities, adults and senior citizens," he said.

Dr Romakin said they needed to target the young population since it took 10 years or more for people to be engaged in these different risk factors before they would actually develop the disease.

"Young people are receptive to learn new things and easy to influence and modify their behaviour," said Dr Romakin.

"We are targeting parents as they have the authority within homes and mothers since they are the ones preparing food for the family, and if healthy diets are prepared at home, children will adopt these habits and values when they grow up.

"Parents should also serve as role model to their children," said Dr Romakin.