A total of 5700 Fijians are estimated to have lost their lives to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in 2020.
This was highlighted by Health Ministry permanent secretary Dr James Fong during the launch of a three-day 2023 Health Expo at Albert Park, Suva on Wednesday.
“These lives were ended too soon by killers like heart disease, diabetes, stroke, uncontrolled hypertension, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases and other chronic diseases,” Dr Fong said.
“We have to keep talking about these diseases, the burden they place on our society, and about what we can do together to address them because this is a societal problem that affects every community in Fiji, and saving lives depends on actions from all of us.”
Dr Fong stressed that around 80 per cent of deaths in Fiji were caused by an NCD and those numbers were growing, which was reported by the Health Information Unit for the Ministry of Health and Medical Service for the past eight years.
“In recent decades, NCDs have become the biggest killer in Fiji, causing thousands of deaths every year, many of those deaths premature and affecting the lives of many more.”
He added the onus was on the communities to take full ownership of their health and wellbeing.