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Fiji Time: 6:59 AM on Thursday 17 April

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Diabetes in rural rise

Repeka Nasiko
Monday, October 21, 2013

THE Foundation of Rural Integrated Enterprises and Development of Fiji has revealed about six to ten people living within communities they assist are living with diabetes.

The non-government organisation recently launched a month-long blue ribbon campaign to address this worrying trend.

FRIEND Fiji associate and medical director Dr Jone Hawea said the preventative measure campaign involved programs that they had set up to encourage people to be more physically active.

"In every community that FRIEND is helping, there is an average about six to ten diabetic within each community," he said.

"Although we haven't done a baseline survey as yet, we have seen a growing number of diabetics within our community which is something that we are trying to address with this campaign called the SMILE campaign.

"With the programs that we set up, we identify specific needs that go according to each community and we go according to the strengths that we find that would involve physical exercise."

He said they facilitated programs that could be incorporated into what each community already had.

"If they already have sporting clubs like netball, volleyball or rugby then we also incorporate that into our programs and facilitate that with community members who are not involved in these activities."

He said the group would also target a select group of people to be more involved in the programs.

"One particular group that we want to involve is the older generation.

"The 60s age group is a group that we want heavily involved in these programs because this is the age group that is affected by diabetes."

He said for diabetics they came across, specific measures had been implemented to help them.