5 Jun 2012

Fiji surgeon says worsening diabetes prompts more amputations

3:34 pm on 5 June 2012

A surgeon at one of Fiji's largest hospitals says the rate of diabetes-related amputations in the country has almost doubled over the last five years.

Dr Josese Turagava from the Colonial War Memorial Hospital says 700 diabetes-related amputations were carried out across the country last year - an average of one operation about every 12 hours.

Dr Turagava says figures from 2007 reported one in six people aged 25 to 64, or 76,000 people, had diabetes and this figure has been growing.

"Just the head count of all the amputations over all these three years, it has increased. Even over the last five years it has nearly doubled -the rate of amputations that we are doing. At the end of the day, the amputations are just a small measure of the problem diabetes has to offer for Fiji."

Dr Josese Turagava says public health initiatives have failed to reduce the incidence of diabetes.