PM: NCDs cost Fiji $400m

Prime Minister and Minister for iTaukei Affairs, Sugar Industry and Foreign Affairs, Voreqe Bainimarama. Picture: RAMA/FILE

FIJI loses out on more than $400 million a year in productivity and Fijians lose more than 264,000 years of healthy living because of non-communicable diseases.

This was the word from Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama while enlisting Fiji to a new initiative – the Global Diabetes Compact – launched by the World Health Organization this week.

“Fijians suffer from diabetes well above the global average,” he said. “Knowing the risk that posed, we acted quickly to keep the virus at bay.

“It took us 30 days to contain our outbreak of COVID-19 and this month marks one full year since our last local case.”

Mr Bainimarama said NCDs were a crisis with no clear end “as it will take far longer than a single month, a single year or even a medical marvel – like a vaccine – to defeat diseases like diabetes.

“Instead, we must change hearts and minds across society by raising awareness about how we stop this disease from stealing so much from our people.

“And we must ensure those who suffer from it can access the best care possible.

“In Fiji, around 15 per cent of our population are diagnosed with a type of diabetes. The real prevalence is likely much higher.”

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