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NCD to get worse by 2030

April 4, 2019 4:30 pm
Health Minister Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete [Source: Fijian Parliament]

Non-Communicable Diseases will be a major problem by 2030 irrespective of where you live.

Health Minister Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete says the increase in NCDs is not unfamiliar to Fiji as this was clearly outlined during the World Health Organization 2018 November Executive meeting.

Waqainabete says the WHO is working with health ministries around the world in strengthening policies and health system in an effort to reduce the burden of NCDs.

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“If we look at NCDs and just demarcate one part of it which is diabetes, in this country diabetes prevalence was only 2% in 1970. By 2002, this has risen to 15 % and by 2011, this has risen to 16 %. So when you see the graph, it has been climbing, we seem to think that we are plateauing and that’s what we hope that we can curve the graph. As I said earlier, this is a worldwide problem.”

Waqainabete says with the 58 million deaths around the world in 2016, 71 percent were NCD related, while 40 percent of these deaths were from low-income countries and 90 percent in high-income countries.

These NCDs include cancers, cardiovascular diseases, chronic diseases and diabetes to name a few.

Waqainabete says despite the small increase noted during a Health Ministry’s 10-year health survey, it’s a major increase compared to previous decades.

He adds the government is working around the country to help reduce the increase and it’s also the responsibility of individuals to live a healthy life.

“The reduced taxes on fruits and vegetables, NCD drugs is now available throughout the Health Centres and facilities but also on the free medicine programme which was initially 40 then 60 medicine and now a 160.”

Waqainabete adds that the health ministry is also responding to NCD patients who have complication whilst on NCD medication such as eye problems, low sugar and other medical problems.

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