Prevention is critical for decreasing diabetes rates and the risk of developing NCDs can be lowered by Fijians making healthy choices for themselves and their families.
This was highlighted by the Speaker of Parliament Ratu Epeli Nailatikau while launching the World Diabetes Day and the Diabetes Fiji 2020-2030 Strategic Plan at the USP AusAID Lecture Theater yesterday.
The theme for this year’s world diabetes day is “Family and Diabetes”. This is indeed a timely reminder of the impact that diabetes has not just on the patient, but also on the family. On the one hand, it adds to the financial and care giving burden of the family.
Nailatikau says the family plays a vital role in fighting and winning this war, such as creating a supportive environment to lead healthier lives together and providing social and emotional support to their loved ones with diabetes.
The Speaker also highlighted that there are many people in Fiji living with diabetes who may not even know it because they do not have the symptoms or that they do not even know what the symptoms are – therefore it is most important to get their blood sugar tested regularly in order to know their status.
Diabetes is now very common in Fiji and the number of people with diabetes is growing. Currently, almost 1 in every 3 Fijians is being diagnosed with diabetes that is 30% of the population.