Diabetes scare

ACCORDING to the July 20 article, “Diabetes scare in Fiji”, 80 per cent of people dying of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) were in developing countries.

ACCORDING to the July 20 article, “Diabetes scare in Fiji”, 80 per cent of people dying of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) were in developing countries.

That is partly because caring for diabetics is very expensive and only prosperous countries can afford to pay for it.

With frequent visits to a doctor, at least daily blood sugar monitoring, and expensive medications, diabetics can live about as long as non-diabetics.

Even so, it is a drain on finances in any country.

Daily blood sugar monitoring requires an instrument and test strips which many people cannot afford.

Because monitoring reduces medical costs, it would make sense to subsidise the cost of blood sugar monitoring instruments and test strips.

Caring for people with NCDs is a drain on the economy which is best prevented by more healthful living.

Simply telling people to live more healthfully will not work; they already know how.

The problem will not be solved without implementing programs to provide adequate encouragement and motivation.

Every health care centre, surgery, and fire station should have a scale which anyone could walk in and use.

Everyone seeking health care should be weighed and shown where he falls on the height/weight scale.

There should also be photographs which clearly indicate how overweight people and people of healthy weight look.

Health insurance companies should subsidise memberships to gyms and health clubs.

Churches could sponsor exercise classes and classes on preparing healthful meals.

Neighbourhood walking and running clubs could be formed.

With adequate thought, imagination, and willingness to do something different, the NCD problem could be reversed, but simply repeating what has already been found to be ineffective is wasted effort.

FRANK R EGGERS

Albuquerque, US

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