23 Jun 2010

Conference on non-communicable diseases underway in Fiji

9:25 am on 23 June 2010

Twenty two countries from the Pacific are in Suva this week to look at strengthening their efforts to prevent and control non-communicable diseases.

The three-day Pacific NCD Forum has been organised by the World Health Organisation and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, and started yesterday.

One of the organisers, Dr Temo Waqanivalu, says many Pacific nations now know that 75 per cent of their people die of a non-communicable disease.

He says they also know that 93 of the adult population in the region are obese and that in some countries, more than 40 per cent of people smoke.

Dr Waqanivalu says the aim now is to try to stop so many people dying before they reach 60.

"And the crux of the forum in these three days, is try to continue to stress the importance of monitoring and evaluation and surveillance to make sure that we don't just use evidence based from other countries but we begin to generate evidence practices from the Pacific."

Dr Temo Waqanivalu from the Pacific NCD Forum.