His Excellency the President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau today expressed his concern at the high number of people suffering from Non – Communicable Diseases (NCDs), while officiating at the inaugural Fiji Obstetrics & Gynecology Society Scientific Conference in Nadi yesterday.
The Head of State said it was alarming that people continued to neglect messages going out from the Ministry of Health.
“I am concerned, about the current non communicable diseases crisis in our country,” he said.
“Our Minister for Health Dr Neil Sharma has recently said that only 15 percent of the population will live to beyond 60 years of age.”
Cardiovascular disease and diabetes are the two most common causes of premature death in Fiji and Ratu Epeli attributed this to unhealthy lifestyles saying that many of the risk factors for NCDs are common to reproductive health.
These risk factors are smoking, poor nutrition, alcohol abuse, and the lack of physical activity.
“The NCDs do not occur overnight. They take a long time to develop and there is increasing evidence that a woman’s health pre-pregnancy, during pregnancy and immediately after pregnancy has health consequences not only for herself but also for her fetus and child,” Ratu Epeli said.
“Obesity, diabetes and hypertension cause major complications in pregnancy for the woman and her fetus. The condition of the baby at birth can have lifelong consequences for the individual.”

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