24 Aug 2009

Specialists and health administrators in the Pacific discuss non communicable diseases

7:34 pm on 24 August 2009

Specialists and health administrators from across the Pacific are striving to control epidemic levels of non communicable diseases in the region, in Fiji this week.

The week long Pacific Non Communicable Diseases Forum, being held in Nadi by the World Health Organisation and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, is part of a joint approach between 19 Pacific nations and territories to tackle the issue.

Dr Temo Waqanivalu, a Nutrition and Physical Activities Officer for the WHO in Suva, says the aim of the forum is to have the 50 delegates identify the challenges and discuss effective ways of tackling the diseases.

"The main four in question is cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and chronic lung cancer. The last one is a bit less, but at least those three."

He says the focus will be on addressing the main risk factors such as unhealthy diet, high blood pressure, tobacco and physical inactivity.