Non-communicable diseases in Fiji are taking a significant toll on the economy with over 500 million dollars.
Health Ministry Head of Wellness, Doctor Devina Nand says current estimates show NCDs and diabetes, in particular, are costing the national economy around $591 million.
She says outreach programs for NCDs need to be streamlined. as it shares similar risk factors with other major diseases in the country, in order to lessen the burden on our economy.
“Cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer share common risk factors. These are smoking, nutrition, unhealthy diets, alcohol and physical inactivity. For chronic respiratory diseases, the highest risk factor is smoking and tobacco use.”
Health Ministry Head of Wellness, Doctor Devina Nand.
Dr Nand says 20 percent of the Health Ministry’s budget is directed towards NCD’s and diabetes in particular.
She says the ministry has global targets that it aspires for the country.
These targets include a 30 percent reduction in national tobacco consumption, 10 percent reduction in alcohol consumption, 30 percent reduction in sodium intake and a 25 percent reduction in blood pressure.