The health risks and impact of non-communicable diseases on the nation continue to grow by the day, putting more Fijians at risk.
Shaheen Ali, Permanent Secretary for Commerce and Trade, says there are babies and toddlers either diagnosed with NCDs or, worse, passing away prematurely.
Ali says it also affects the segment of the young, productive population, limiting their labour and productivity.
He adds that people tend to forget the intricate relationship between health and development.
The Permanent Secretary says NCDs have become a serious deterrent to realizing and unlocking the full potential.
The NCD toll is increasing at an unacceptable rate.
He adds that if we were to put a price on it, we’re looking at an estimated $406 million spent on a battle that we can easily prevent.
He adds that the utmost challenge we face, as a nation, is the ripple effects of an unhealthy workforce.