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Focus on reducing NCDs

Mere Naleba
Sunday, June 22, 2014

THE Ministry of Health will soon roll out a program focused at reducing the number of people dying or in the high risk zone of non-communicable diseases, especially those suffering from high blood pressure, high sugar level and high cholesterol.

The Package of Essential NCD (PEN) program was launched at the Makoi Health Centre yesterday and proposes a method where people who cannot control their blood pressure, sugar and cholesterol level can access information from a doctor, nurse, dietitian and a physiotherapist.

National adviser for non-communicable disease Dr Isimeli Tukana said the PEN program was practised in about 180 countries.

He said the program was an initiative of the World Health Organization which, if taken seriously by patients, would enable them to move from the high level risk area to the low risk area.

"The key in the PEN package is to try and bring sugar and blood levels back to normal," he said.

"The three biggest problem is high blood pressure, high sugar and high cholesterol, the key about the PEN model is now we are changing the system in all health centres across Fiji, we are trying to see that not only a doctor and a nurse could see a case but also include a dietitian and a physiotherapist to see these cases."

The Makoi Health Centre is the first health centre to adopt the program which will soon be rolled out to other health centres and divisional hospitals.

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