Silent epidemic wiping out GDP

May 19, 2022 12:40 pm

[Source: Ministry of Health & Medical Services/ Facebook]

The economic costs associated with Non-Communicable Diseases is alarming, costing the Fijian economy in the range of $248.6m to $406.4 million in 2015.

Permanent Secretary for Health, Doctor James Fong says this is equivalent to between 2.7% to 4.4% of the country’s 2015 Gross Domestic Product.

Doctor Fong says the social impact of the disease is exemplified by the terrible truth that the community in Fiji either suffers from one or more NCD’s or knows someone who does.

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[Source: Ministry of Health & Medical Services/ Facebook]

He adds NCD’s have become the biggest killer in Fiji, causing thousands of deaths every year – many of those deaths premature – and affecting the lives of many more.

“Around 80% of deaths in Fiji are caused by NCD and the potential for worsening trends will continue unless we take preemptive actions. What I am worried about is that we will used to this problem which will become part of our normal structure.”

[Source: Ministry of Health & Medical Services/ Facebook]

Doctor Fong says NCDs are not just a health issue but a whole of society issue, socioeconomic and development issue.

He adds in Fiji, NCDs have remained the leading cause of deaths accounting for over 80% of total deaths per year with an average of 5000-6000 deaths per year.

He adds now adults as young as 28 are visiting the emergency department with heart attacks.