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One Amputation Every Eight Hours: Tuitubou

Fiji has one amputation every eight hours as a result of unhealthy living, students were told yesterday This was highlighted by the Minister for Youth and Sports, Laisenia Tuitubou, at
02 Dec 2017 11:24
One Amputation Every Eight Hours: Tuitubou
Minister for Youth and Sports, Laisenia Tuitubou

Fiji has one amputation every eight hours as a result of unhealthy living, students were told yesterday

This was highlighted by the Minister for Youth and Sports, Laisenia Tuitubou, at the graduation of 303 students at the University of Fiji in Lautoka.

“Fiji has the dubious distinction of being Number Two on the list of countries most affected by non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including obesity, heart disease and cancer.

“Increasing physical activity and improving our nutrition can help to reduce NCDs dramatically.”

Mr Tuitobou said 77 per cent of Fijians who die each year die as a result of NCDs adding that NCDs were preventable which was what made it so tragic for the affected families.

“With one amputation every eight hours, mostly as a result of NCDs, the impact on the individuals, families and ultimately the economy is enormous.

“If each one of us improves our lifestyles by reducing our intake of salt, fatty and deep fried food and, of course, the size of our portions, we will all contribute to reducing the cost of NCDs to our economy.

“If we combine this with increased physical activity each day, we will not only help to reduce NCDs, but we will improve our mental and physical health, our productivity and thus our contribution to the economy.”

Meanwhile, Mr Tuitubou told the graduates that for those who do not continue their secondary or tertiary education, Government provided support through its non-formal education systems.

“We need people with doctorates who can help to drive innovation and creativity.

“We need managers, engineers, accountants, lawyers as well as medical practitioners, scientists, IT experts.

“We need a broad mix of people who will help our economy grow and who will pay tax so we can grow the safety net for those who are not as fortunate.”

He said that was why education, both formal and informal, was important to each individual Fijian.

“The National Employment Centre under the Ministry of Employment, Productivity and International Relations records over a 1000 job seekers on an annual basis most of whom were young graduates or youths that had migrated to urban centres seeking employment.

“The challenges faced by youths include inequality, which is growing in many countries and the fact that many people still live in extreme poverty.

“Remember, your generation and ours can eradicate extreme poverty and prevent catastrophic climate change.”

“Yet, too often, young people around the world are prevented from fulfilling their potential as the change agents and social entrepreneurs we need.

“This may be because globally youth are disproportionately unemployed.

“We need to empower our youth, through education, to become agents of change, to ensure environmental stability, advocate to mitigate climate change and its consequences.”

Mr Tuitubou told parents present that they needed to consider what they taught.

“We need to consider whether what we learn is right or wrong and train ourselves to think and to question and to change.

“It is thus my humble plea that you continue to train yourselves to think, to consider alternatives and new ways of doing things, to be empowered, to participate and voice your opinion in the many forums available to you.”

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedback: charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

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