Diabetes concern for Fiji

Published: 09th Aug 2016

THE rise in cases of diabetes has sparked the need for clinics that specifically cater to foot care for diabetic patients.

While opening a new foot clinic in Rakiraki yesterday, Health Minister Jone Usamate explained the rapid increase of diabetes in the country.

“In 1980, the rate of diabetes mellitus was 10 per cent,” he said.

“In 2011, the rate increased to 30 per cent, an increase of 1 per cent per year.

“Complications of diabetes have also increased.

“As many of you know, the amputation rate now in Fiji is one in every eight hours instead of 12.5 hours.”

He said this was a clear indication that there was a need for an alternative measure to contain this avalanche.

“It is also necessary for people living with diabetes to take ownership and be actively involved in the management of their health.”

He said Government had a number of strategies in place to reduce the rate of non-communicable diseases, including the increase of taxation on sugar sweetened beverages.

“This is apart from ensuring NCD medications are always available and the pharmacy opening hours are extended.

“In line with the Ministry of Health and Medical Services’ NCD Strategic Plan, Diabetes Fiji has embarked on a four-year project that targets a holistic approach to the prevention and management of diabetes with a special focus on foot care.

“The creation of diabetes community peer groups worldwide has shown to be an effective and successful tool for communities to be empowered.