Evidence released for strategic intervention on Fiji’s NCD Crisis

The Ministry of Health & Medial Services will continue to work strategically to intervene on Fiji’s non communicable disease (NCD) crisis after having released evidence from the NCD Risk Factor STEPS report 2011.

This is the second STEPS survey conducted in Fiji which has revealed highly relevant data on trends and the extent of the NCD problem.

The Hon. Minister for Health & Medical Services Mr Jone Usamate said, “The outlook for Fiji is dire as the majority of the adult population is at high risk of developing NCDs and growing problems of high blood glucose”.

“All risk factors, except tobacco have shown an increase in prevalence. Lifestyle of behavioural risk factor intervention remains a key in Fiji’s fight against NCD. Our success with tobacco reduction offers hope in terms of lessons learnt through advocacy and legislation”.

STEPS 2011 has also enabled Fiji to analyse the combined risk factors of the population. 2.7% were found to be of low risk, 63.4% moderate and 34% high risk. One in three Fijian women was found to be anaemic”.

The objectives of the survey were to investigate and document the occurrence of key NCDs amongst the target population, understand the prevalence of major modifiable risk factors, and to study and compare NCDs and their risk factors according to age, gender and ethnicity.

The WHO STEPS SURVEY 2011 is another example of research collaboration between World Health Organization (WHO) and the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MoHMS) of Fiji.

 

Fiji continues to acknowledge this partnership as it creates evidence to inform strategic interventions to Fiji’s NCD crisis.

Health Ministry concerned with health status of school students

The Ministry of Health & Medical Services remains concerned with the overall health status of school students in Fiji as the Global School Based Health Survey (GSHS) Fiji reports that children’s lifestyles are generally unhealthy.

The report was launched today by the Hon. Minister for Health & Medical Services Mr Jone Usamate. “This data is now vital for the Health Ministry on areas to focus on in their school health services. The purpose of the GSHS is to establish and provide accurate data on health behaviour among students”.

The GSHS will also allow the Health Ministry to work with the Ministry of Education’s Curriculum Department Unit on how curriculum delivery could be improved to the extent where knowledge gained in the classroom translates into behaviour outside the classroom.

“An added strength of this undertaking is that the Ministries of Health and Education have collaborated on this relevant and timely undertaking”, said Mr Usamate.

Through this survey, Fiji has now extensive data on nine identified health risk factors. These include alcohol, dietary behaviours, drug use, mental health, physical activity, sexual behaviours, HIV related knowledge, tobacco use and violence and unintentional injury.

The survey suggests that a combination of issues affect student behavior. As such, effective intervention programs will require multifaceted approaches.

 

The Fiji GSHS was conducted by the Ministry of Education (MOE) and Ministry of Health (MOH) with technical assistance provided by the World Health Organization (WHO).

NCD Strategic Plan to contribute towards a healthier Fiji

The Ministry of Health & Medical Service’s Non Communicable Diseases (NCD) Strategic Plan 2015-2019 is aimed at contributing towards a healthier Fiji.

This was revealed by the Hon. Minister for Health & Medical Services Mr Jone Usamate at the launch of the NCD Strategic Plan 2015-2019 today.

“The goals and targets set in the strategic plan are to be achieved by 2019. However, we must acknowledge that the whole nation has to work together to achieve the goals of combating NCDs”, said Mr Usamate.

“Our key message is that a healthy lifestyle is the key to the prevention of premature deaths and that our individual and collective efforts are important to avert the effects of the devastating epidemic on our families, our society and our economy”.

The most recent NCD STEPS survey in Fiji has revealed alarming trends of increasing levels of risk factors, unhealthy behaviours and NCDs. There is an urgent need for a whole of system response, with strong leadership from all stakeholders.

In response to this, and in line with international and regional commitments, this NCD strategy for Fiji was developed. The strategy focuses on the prevention and treatment of NCDs, including mental health and violence and injuries.

The strategy is structured into parts tackling each of the key areas: tobacco, alcohol, diet, physical activity, clinical and public health services, mental health, injuries and violence and a more general overarching section.

Mr Usamate said, “For the first time this NCD strategic plan includes mental health and stress management which are important health problems in their own right, but also closely linked with the other NCDs”.

The strategic plan builds on the work already undertaken in Fiji to tackle the NCD crisis, learning from previous plans and approaches and seeks to provide a comprehensive prevention, treatment and management strategy for NCDs.

The strategy was developed during 3 months of consultation meetings, and included individuals from across government and civil society.