Minister of Health and Medical Services, Ratu Atonio Lalabalavu says one of their major focus is to tackle the burden of non-communicable and endemic communicable diseases in Fiji.
Speaking in Parliament yesterday, Minister Responsible Dr Lalabalavu said the increase in excise tax on alcohol and tobacco by five per cent, and the increase in excise duty for carbonated and sugar sweetened to 40 cents per litre is much welcomed, and indicates Government ‘s intent to tackle the current NCD crisis in Fiji.
Dr Lalabalavu said NCD remains the number one cause of sickness and premature mortality in our population and addressing the risk factors for our population is a necessary step forward towards halting this silent epidemic.
“The allocation for NCD in the Ministry’s budget has also been increased substantially to $350,000 from the $150,000 allocated in this financial year, for the implementation of crucial NCD programs.”
“This increase is important to ensure that we are able to implement our action plans for non-communicable diseases, as well as engage effectively with our health partners who are supporting us in this battle,” he said.
Dr Lalabavu added that the Health Protection Division is responsible for prevention and protection against acute threats to public health including from communicable diseases, environmental hazards, and health emergencies.