Fiji Time: 1:36 PM on Tuesday 9 February

Fiji Times Logo

/ Front page / News

NCDs top death list

Luke Rawalai
Monday, May 26, 2014

NON-communicable diseases are responsible for four out of every five deaths in the small island states of the Pacific region.

Speaking at the recent World Health Assembly side meeting on NCDs in Geneva, Health Minister Dr Neil Sharma told representatives in some of the Pacific's small island states, the prevalence of tobacco use was over 80 per cent.

Dr Sharma said these NCDs were affecting Pacific peoples earlier in life, robbing them of many of their most productive years and creating complex health needs that were expensive to treat.

He said the same Pacific islands that the world considered "paradise" were also home to some of the highest rates of NCDs in the world.

"Their small size, geographic isolation and widely dispersed populations make them particularly vulnerable to the impact of NCDs as many of the factors contributing to the rise of NCDs are, unfortunately, outside of the control of respective island governments," he said.

"These diseases are having an increasingly devastating impact on the health of the people of the region and are major barriers keeping us from achieving not only the health-related Millennium Development Goals, but also some much broader vision of health in sub-regions like healthy islands for the pacific. Subsequently it hinders economic progress.

"For a long time, many of us working in public health were focused on communicable diseases — and rightfully so."

Dr Sharma said diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis and pandemic influenza were pressing priorities.

"NCDs simply did not receive the attention they deserved but changes over the past few decades-particularly rising urbanisation, an increasingly sedentary lifestyle, and the aggressive marketing of foods unnaturally high in fat, salt and sugar — have shifted the focus.

"NCD is a health and economic crisis and in 2011 upon the recommendation of the 9th Pacific Health Ministers meeting called for urgent action to mitigate the crisis.

"Since then, efforts to prevent and control NCDs have been scaled up regionally with development of National NCD Strategies and the operational Crisis Response Plans (CRP) in each country with key milestones to target."








Fiji Times Front Page Thumbnail

Kaila Front Page ThumbnailFiji Times & Kaila Frontpage PDF Downloads

Use the free Acrobat Reader to view.

Westpac
Code Inward TTs Outward TTs
CAD 0.65570.6367
JPY 55.161052.1610
GBP 0.32590.3179
EUR 0.42090.4089
NZD 0.71710.6841
AUD 0.66690.6419
USD 0.47340.4564

from

$0.00

Exchange Rate updated on 9th February 2016

Today's Most Read Stories

  1. Angry 7s fan smashes TV screen
  2. Ryan: Sunshine ahead
  3. Investigation as nurse falls with baby
  4. Police action
  5. Media exec, lecturer take up MP roles
  6. Tuwai ready to cement spot in the team
  7. System slow moving
  8. CORRECTION
  9. Outage disrupts sitting
  10. FLOTSAM AND JETSAM

Top Stories this Week

  1. 49-year-old man arrested at Nadi airport Wednesday (03 Feb)
  2. Sevens changes Friday (05 Feb)
  3. Fiji picks up the pieces Thursday (04 Feb)
  4. Need speed Monday (08 Feb)
  5. Running brawl part of journey to Rio Wednesday (03 Feb)
  6. Rape victim speaks out Wednesday (03 Feb)
  7. No tattoo on rape suspect Thursday (04 Feb)
  8. Legal row Friday (05 Feb)
  9. NZ 7s final refereeing charade an embarrassment Monday (08 Feb)
  10. $6m proof Wednesday (03 Feb)