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Minister Focuses On NCDS And Health

Minister Focuses On NCDS And Health
Minister for Health and Medical Services Jone Usamate with some women in Tavua last Friday. Photo: Evelyn Mani
September 14
12:03 2015

With the significant increase of non-communicable diseases  (NCD) at epidemic proportions across the nation, the Minister for Health and Medical Services, Jone Usumate, is challenging everyone to take charge of their respective health.

He made the comment while opening the the Nagatagata Nursing Station outside Tavua Town last Saturday.

The minister said the epidemic has not spared Nagatagata either with around eight per cent of the population diagonsed with NCDs.

“Also of importance are those who are suffering but are yet to be screened as we have concluded in the last National Step Survey that 30 percent of our adult population is at risk,” Mr Usamate said.

He added that this month the ministry was focused on physical activities.

“We want people to become fitter and to move your bodies. Take charge of your health, choose healthy foods and ensure you exercise regularly,”

He added that the nation also celebrated National Suicide Prevention Day last Thursday.

“Suicides are more prevalent in Fiji than those dying in road accidents. We have an average of 120 suicides every year and less than 60 road deaths every year,” he said.

He added the ministry was making a special effort to address mental health by training more than 500 staff around the country on mental health gap awareness, so that issues can be picked up and addressed.

“We all need to play a part in creating an environment in which mental issues can be freely discussed—and where there is minimal stigma attached to it. We need to see mental health as just one other normal part of health. A mental issue is just like any other health issue. It needs to be identified and treated. If it is not treated, it will fester, grow bigger and bigger and can eventually lead to suicide,” Mr Usamate said.

He added that all of us need to work to create an environment in our own homes, communities and in schools a climate where mental issues are discussed and addressed.



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