Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) has grown to epidemic proportion globally to become only the second health issue, apart from HIV/AIDS, to get into the United Nations agenda in September 2011.

Minister
for Health and Medical Services, Hon. Ifereimi Waqainabete highlighted this
while closing a seminar in collaboration with the Japan International
Cooperation Agency (JICA) on “Sharing Project Experiences of Wellness System in
Fiji” in Suva today.

“While
as a nation we’re having our fair share of the NCDs crisis, a lot has also been
done through the assistance of our partners to contain the problem,” Minister
Waqainabete said.

“Global
NCDs mortality data continue to increase and in 2016 alone, out of the
estimated 56.9 million (71 per cent) people who died, 40.5 million of those
deaths were from NCDs alone,” he added.

“Of
these, an estimated 1.7 million (4% of NCD deaths) died pre-maturely while an
estimated 32.2 million NCD deaths (80%) were due to cancers, cardiovascular
diseases, chronic respiratory diseases, and diabetes, and another 8.3 million
(20%) were from other NCDs.”

Minister
Waqainabete added that NCDs is a huge problem but so is communicable diseases
and we must be able to see that through mobilized resources to fight the fight
on both fronts to suppress both diseases.

Speaking
at the event, the Ambassador of Japan to Fiji, His Excellency Masahiro Omura
said “I hope the Ministry of Health and Medical Services will continue its
efforts to develop and institutionalize sustainable NCDs counter measures by
using what is ascertained from this project”.

“In
the spirit of South-South cooperation, we will be very happy to see if Fiji can
take the lead in resolving region-wide NCD issues in the Pacific,” he said.

The
line ministry had partnered with JICA in 2015 for a project for Prevention and
Control of Non-Communicable Diseases which will end this year.

JICA
is providing technical cooperation to strengthen the capacity of government and
medical institutions to oversee NCD prevention and countermeasures and to
create a system for monitoring and evaluation.

The
main objective of this seminar is to share the outcomes of the NCD project with
stakeholders for Wellness in Fiji, share best practices and challenges for the
Wellness Clinic System in the Central Division as well as Wellness activities
in workplaces.

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