The battle against Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) demands more than just the construction of new healthcare facilities and the distribution of tablets.
Speaking at the three-day Health Expo in Suva’s Albert Park, Health Ministry Permanent Secretary Doctor James Fong emphasized the necessity of a comprehensive societal approach, placing the responsibility for NCD prevention squarely in the hands of the people.
Dr. Fong stresses the importance of promoting healthy lifestyles, advocating for proper nutrition, regular physical activity, the cessation of tobacco and alcohol use, and prioritizing mental health care.
“So, as I mentioned, that there has to be a lot of collaboration for us to be able to deal with NCDs. Collaborations will allow all the stakeholders to share their diverse perspectives and diverse resources and will solve a societal problem. NCD is a social issue. It is no longer just a medical issue.”
Early diagnosis, Dr. Fong says, plays a pivotal role in addressing and mitigating NCDs.
NCDs claim a staggering 1,000 lives annually in Fiji, many of which are tragically premature.
Dr. Fong highlights that 80% of deaths in the country are NCD-related, with this troubling trend on the rise.
The public is encouraged to attend the expo, where clinics and health assessments are available, along with valuable information on leading a healthier life.