77 per cent Fijians die prematurely from NCDs

Police officers while officiating during the Fiji Police Force Remembrance Day at the Police Special Response Unit in Nasinu on Monday, September 29, 2020. Picture: ATU RASEA

Fijian lives continue to be prematurely cut short by non-communicable diseases.

A United Nations (UN) Pacific Socio-economic Impact Assessment of COVID-19 in Fiji has uncovered that 77 per cent of deaths in Fiji were related to NCDs.

According to the report, by the end of 2020, the total prevalence of diabetes could, in the worst-case scenario, be at 30.3 per cent of Fiji’s population and this would significantly raise healthcare costs.

The report stated NCDs were causing premature (under 70 years of age) deaths in the country and research had found that since 2000, populations with lower socio-economic status were at an elevated risk of developing NCDs mainly diabetes, stroke, heart attack and cancer.

In addition, the report stated according to the World Health Organization, Fiji had reached crisis levels of the NCD burden before the onset of COVID-19 and it was critical to mitigate COVID-19’s impact both for health and economic reasons.

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