‘Act against NCD now’ – President Katonivere

President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere. Picture: FT FILE

The time to act against non-communicable diseases (NCDs) for Fiji is now, says President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere.

Speaking during the launch of the Healthy Settings program in Suva on Tuesday, Mr Katonivere called on workplaces, schools, and communities to adopt healthier workplace approaches to decrease mortality rates and ensure a productive and healthy working population, contributing to an economically sound nation.

“In the Pacific, especially in Fiji, NCDs are the leading cause of premature deaths and disability, have caused an alarming rate of deaths annually, and continue at a staggering rate.

“Over 80 per cent of our mortality is attributed to NCDs and NCD-related illnesses,” he said.

He said simple examples of holistic healthy settings included having gardens where healthy organic foods were planted and consumed.

“Gardening in its own right is a form of exercise; our people need to have access to water, sanitation, and hygiene which means access to clean, safe and hygienic water with clean and safe lavatories for all healthy settings.

“Employees in the workforce should be encouraged to engage in physical wellness activities and consumption of healthy, organic, and balanced diets.

“Settings for health can promote a healthy nation as they are vehicles to reach individuals, gain access to services, and bring together interactions throughout the wider community.”

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services, in collaboration with the World Health Organization, aims to extend the Healthy Settings program and hopes that it will be implemented in healthy workplaces, healthy faith organisations and health promoting communities.

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