The Fijian government has done a lot over the years to address and contain the crisis of non-communicable diseases.
Health Minister Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete says over the years, the government has increased taxes on alcohol and Tobacco, reduced taxes on fruits and vegetables, increased development in specialist care specifically in cardiology, nephrology, eye and surgery to name a few.
Dr Waqainabete highlights the 2002 and 2011 WHO NCD Risk Factor STEPS survey for Fiji indicated diabetes and Tobacco have been declining, however, the major challenge captured by the survey is in the major risk factors especially overweight, obesity and high blood pressure.
Non-communicable disease national advisor Dr Isimeli Tukana says Fiji’s NCD mortality rate is incredibly high.
“NCDs are estimated to account for 84 percent of all deaths in Fiji. That’s the latest statistics we have everywhere our focus is on NCD prevention and control”.
The Ministry of Health is currently conducting a consultation on the Public Health Protection Bill and regulations such as marketing regulations on unhealthy foods and non-alcoholic drinks to children.