2 Jul 2012

Diabetes leading cause of death in Marshall Islands

11:09 am on 2 July 2012

The Ministry of Health in the Marshall Islands says diabetes is the number one cause of death and of hospital admissions in the Marshall Islands.

In its quarterly report to the United States, the Ministry also says this has been the case since 2008.

It says 90 percent of all Marshallese who have relapses of tuberculosis or TB are diabetic patients, and co-infection of diabetes and TB is increasing.

The Ministry of Health's Mileen Langinlur says they see the numbers rising every year.

She says the Ministry is looking at declaring a national public health emergency on the control and prevention of diabetes

"The effort and all of the intervention from all levels will be strengthened, the health curriculum in the schools can be implemented, more areas for exercise for people to have access to."

Mileen Langinlur says diabetes care now accounts for more than 50 percent of the Health budget.