Minister for Health Dr Ratu Antonio Lalabalavu says 80 per cent of Fiji’s annual deaths are attributed to Non-Communicable Diseases, while 65 per cent of our people are overweight or obese.
Dr Lalabalavu highlighted this in Parliament today, while responding to the President Speech at the Opening of the 2023-2024 Session of Parliament.
He said that the 2018 Economic Burden Report noted that each year, Fiji loses $406 million due to major NCDs.
“Our people are sadly dying early due to NCDs, and it is also costing Fiji a lot. Food Balance Sheets over the years have shown the composition of dietary intake (kcal per person/day) is shifting away from the traditional root crop based diet to cereal based.”
The Minister said that this impacts on the health of the nation through increased NCDs and obesity, but also through food imports (which are recorded as relatively high at 7 per cent of Fiji’s GDP – approximately $793.2 million.
“As a result, NCD and its complications are reaching crisis levels with the high numbers of health diseases, stroke, blindness and amputations in our communities,” he added.