14 Feb 2012

New approach to soaring Marshalls diabetes

4:14 pm on 14 February 2012

Health officials in the Marshall Islands are taking a multi-pronged approach to try to reverse crippling levels of diabetes.

The project director for the Emergency Comprehensive Health Initiative at the Wellness Centre, Robert Revercomb, says diabetes is the Marshall Islands' number one cause of death.

He says it is also the main cause of hospital admissions and surgeries, with estimates that 80 percent of the population has the disease.

Mr Revercomb says they've been providing health screenings, and encouraging healthier lifestyles and food consumption, but are now focussing on young people as their tastes and habits are forming.

"The health and the science teachers, we have a curriculum that they are following. We have a physical education component that is showing them it is not just diet, it is s combination of diet and physical activity and in addition it is paying attention to ones body composition. So it is an equation that we are addressing."