17 Mar 2009

Samoa's government hopes to fight off lifestyle diseases thanks to community based initiative

4:17 pm on 17 March 2009

The government in Samoa hopes a new community-based health plan will help reverse the problems of lifestyle disease like diabetes and obesity in the country.

A new plan under the Health Swap Programme, which sees communities in Samoa set up an exercise programme and planting fresh crops is hoped will encourage locals to look after their health.

The strategy is funded by NZAid, AusAid and the World Bank.

The Manager of NZAid in Apia, Helen Leslie says a total of 200-thousand US dollars has been put towards the project because there's a need to reduce health problems in the country.

"Samoa plans to combat in particular lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and obesity and heart disease and so Samoa's government has developed a comprehensive strategy for health which is called the Samoan health plan 2008 to 2018."