Fiji tops world for diabetes deaths

Published: 29th Mar 2018

Fiji has highest death rate from diabetes in the world with 188 of 100,000 fatalities being attributed to the disease, the latest life expectancy world rankings show.

Diabetes Fiji project manager Viliame Qio said the ranking highlights the magnitude of the problem and the need for a more proactive approach.

Mr Qio said people were shying away from medical attention and treatment out of denial, and so when they did come forward they had more severe complications from their illness.

Many people were also turning to traditional healers for help first which further delayed effective treatment, he said.

He said there needed to be more community education about diabetes.

“We have three amputations that take place in a day in the major hospitals and the main reason is the people are presenting late, they come very late, they are not coming early,” Mr Qio said.

“So we want to get people to be educated that they have to seek medical attention first before they resort to other traditional methods or herbal methods.”

Mr Qio said diabetes is also the leading cause of disability in Fiji and people need to heed public health messages about poor eating habits and sedentary lifestyles.