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Toddler Is Youngest Victim Of Deadly Disease

Toddler Is Youngest Victim Of Deadly Disease
December 05
12:20 2017

The youngest reported diabetes patient in Fiji is a boy just three-years-old, and a local non-government organisation officer says it points to a much larger issue.

In another alarming revelation, Kini Marawa, project officer at Diabetes Fiji, said two diabetic teenagers tragically died last year after the disease was dismissed as something small.

“One of the things here is that the young people are stigmatised while many also lack education,” Mr Marawa, who provides counseling to diabetics, said.

“I can give you an example: the two young diabetics passed away because of neglect from the parents.”

Mr Marawa also said that his organisation found close to 400 young people under the age of 30 attending clinics seeking treatment for the non-communicable disease (NCD).

But he expects unreported cases will far exceed that number.

The three-year-old patient is currently admitted at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital after being diagnosed almost a month ago.

His family said they were focused on the health of the child, saying they are still trying to recover from the trauma.

Minister for Health and Medical Services Rosy Akbar expressed shock and concern at the report and said this was a reminder that diabetes spared no one.

“It is likely that more Fijians will be living with NCDs if changes in lifestyle are not made and this is becoming a growing concern for the nation,” she said.

Ms Akbar said the rate in which cases of Non-Communicable Diseases were being recorded in Fiji was troubling.

She said the rise in the number of youths and children found with NCDs was of great concern to the ministry.

Meanwhile, the three-year-old patient’s parents said they were eager to see their son discharged.

They also said there were no previously reported cases of the disease in their family.

According to the Diabetes Research Institute, children are more commonly developed Type One diabetes.

It says this type is associated with insulin deficiencies in the blood.

The health minister said NCDs could be controlled with due changes in a person’s lifestyle.

To help curb this, she said, the Ministry needed the support of the communities and the families.

She encouraged families to make healthy choices and exercise for at least 30 minutes a day to help keep NCDs at bay.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedback: sheldon.chanel@fijisun.com.fj

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