NCDs causing COVID complications

January 25, 2022 10:37 am

The Ministry attributes 5,700 deaths in 2020 to complications related to NCDs.

The Ministry of Health has today highlighted that a predominant contributor to severe outcomes in all the waves of COVID 19 in Fiji has been non-communicable disease-related comorbidities.

Permanent Secretary for Health, Doctor James Fong says these include heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes, obesity, and hypertension.

The Ministry attributes 5,700 deaths in 2020 to complications related to NCDs.

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In addition, Doctor Fong says NCDs place an additional heavy burden on the Fijian society in the form of lost hours of work and healthcare needs.

He says given the severe negative health effects of overconsumption of sugar, sugar-sweetened beverages, and sugar-filled processed foods, the Ministry wishes to advise the public to curb sugar consumption and promote healthier alternatives, such as the use of natural honey.

He adds the promotion of a healthy diet, regular exercise, and maintaining optimal control of the NCD through appropriate medications needs to be an integral part of building resilience against diseases for the vulnerable in our communities.

Doctor Fong says employers and community leaders can help to mainstream the support system for vulnerable persons.

They are being asked to create a list of vulnerable persons in their communities, provide support to help them secure good access to medical care, and ensure they are tested early when they develop flu-like symptoms.

The PS says in this way, we are working together to protect the most vulnerable, and to direct health care service towards those who need it most in our community.

The Ministry in its latest COVID-19 update has recorded 11 deaths. Of these 11 a four-month-old from the Western Division is the youngest victim of COVID-19.