Solomon Islands PM urge world leaders to wage war against NCDs

Solomon Is Prime Minister Rick Houenipwela. Picture: RNZ

NEW YORK, 28 SEPTEMBER 2018 (SIG) – Solomon Islands Prime Minister Rick Houenipwela has called on World Leaders to take charge and lead the fight against the Non-Communicable Disease (NDC) epidemic.

Prime Minister Houenipwela has described NCDs as a serious economic crisis.

“The global community must prioritise the fight against NCDs,” he said.

The Prime Minister was speaking at the High-Level Dialogue on NCDs at the 73rd United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York today.

The Prime Minister said health and well-being of the people must continue to dominate the global agenda.

“The NCD crises is happening under the watch of current world and Pacific leaders, yet no one is doing anything about it. Decisions made by today’s political leaders will shape the nature of the NCD crises globally and in the Pacific. The current trend of NCDs can be slowed. It can be reserved. For the Pacific, the NCD Road map outlines the strategies to halt and reverse the NCD crises. We Leaders must take responsibility of leading the fight to halt and reverse the NCD crises – the single largest killer of our people today,” the Prime Minister said.

Prime Minister Houenipwela also shared some staggering statistics with other World Leaders on the seriousness of NCDs especially in the pacific region;

He said:

  1. NCDs currently account for 70 per cent – 80 per cent of all deaths in the Pacific. Many of these deaths are preventable.
  2. Nine of the ten most obese countries in the world are from the Pacific.
  3. Fifteen of the top 20 countries with the highest prevalence of diabetes in the world are from the Pacific.
  4. Pacific countries have a higher prevalence of ‘tobacco use’ than the global average.
  5. The Pacific has been described as the ‘epicentre of the global diabetes epidemic’ and the world’s capital of NCDs.


The Prime Minister said NCDs have reached epidemic levels globally.

“ NCDs are projected to cause nearly five times as many deaths as communicable diseases worldwide by 2030, particularly in low-medium countries. This is an extremely worrying trend. It falls on us, the current generation of Leaders to take charge and lead the fight to combat, and reverse the NCD epidemic – which in itself is an economic crisis,” he said.

Prime Minister Houenipwela said NCDs are the leading cause of death in most Pacific island countries.

He said NCD-related disabilities are also increasing, resulting in rapidly rising health sector expenditures in most of the countries.

Prime Minister Houenipwela said NCDs not only rob the countries of their intellectual capacity but it also undermine the quality of performance of each country’s economic engine through declining labour force performance, resulting from NCD-related disabilities.

“We must encourage every country that has not yet done so, must declare war on NCDs. We strongly believe the global community must prioritise the fight against NCDs,” he said.

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