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Prevalence of diabetes is steadily increasing


Nov 30, 2021 02:52:39 PM

Diabetes is on the rise, and it is no longer a disease of predominantly rich nations as the prevalence of diabetes is steadily increasing in developed and underdeveloped countries alike.
Highlighting this while opening the Diabetes Self-Management Workshop in Suva today, Minister for Health and Medical Services Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete said when diabetes is uncontrolled, it has dire consequences on the health and well-being of individually.
"Diabetes and its complications impact harshly on the finances of individuals and their families and the economies of nations."
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2019, diabetes was the 9th leading cause of death with an estimated 1.5million deaths directly caused by diabetes and 48 per cent of all deaths due to diabetes, occurred before the age of 70 years.
"For people living with diabetes, access to affordable treatment, including insulin, is critical to their survival. There is a globally agreed target to halt the rise in diabetes and obesity by 2025."
"Diabetes and its effects on the people of Fiji are well documented. The burden of health costs on the individuals, families, workforce and Government is alarming."
"The International Diabetes Federation estimated that the prevalence of diabetes among adult Fijian was 15.1 per cent in 2020."
"However it is likely that many more Fijians remain undiagnosed. The Federation also estimates that 206 million adults around the world live with Diabetes and 2.3 million deaths in 2021 will be attributable to diabetes," he explained.
Dr Waqainabete said the Ministry is focussed on Universal Health Coverage and has remodelled its health services provision with a greater focus on outreach and decentralization of health services to further improve access to health services for all Fijians and ensuring that we are "Leaving No One Behind."
The Ministry is also strengthening the preventative, curative and rehabilitative services delivered to people living with diabetes so that diagnosis of the disease can be made early, and appropriate management put in place to control the disease and delay the onset of any complications.
"Fijians must also need to take full ownership of their own health and well-being in adhering to the Ministry’ advisories on prevention, early diagnosis, self-care and regular follow-up."
The theme for World Diabetes Day 2021-23 is "Access to Diabetes Care."
"Therefore, it is important that we work together and encourage one another as a community, as a nation, as a family, to work collectively through cross sector collaboration, forming alliances between individuals and organizations such as Diabetes Fiji, the Ministry, and the private sector, to achieve the effectively address the components of diabetes care for the benefit of our people who need them."
"Effective collaborations allow for sharing of diverse perspectives, experiences and resources so we can work together and solve the significant challenge and load that Diabetes has placed on our community."
He added that it is imperative that all stakeholders work hand in hand to be effective in addressing the significant diabetes burden we have in Fiji.
By Romeka Romena  

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