15 Nov 2008

500 new cases of diabetes in Fiji every year says interim health minister

3:28 pm on 15 November 2008

Fiji health officials say the country registers five hundred new cases of diabetes each year.

The Fiji Times says the interim Health Minister, Jiko Luveni, has highlighted the alarming statistics at the launch of the National Non-communicable Disease Week and World Diabetes Week.

Meanwhile the World Health Organisation's officer-in-charge, Dr George Slama, has warned the Pacific had outpaced the world in mortality from non communicable diseases or NCDs.

Dr Slama says in the Pacific today, NCDs already caused 75 per cent of deaths and the incidence is rising.

Dr Jiko says in Fiji diabetes is the most common cause of adult blindness and non-traumatic amputation.

She says the majority of amputations occur in the 40 to 60 age group with 80 per cent of them being unemployed and rural dwellers.

And Dr Jiko says the emerging diet-related chronic NCDs are generally far more expensive to treat, require much longer treatment and carry highly costly implications for health systems.