16 Apr 2007

Niue faces more diabetes and obesity

2:05 pm on 16 April 2007

Niue's Director of Health, Dr Kara Okesene-Gafa, says diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure are major health concerns.

Dr Kara Okesene-Gafa says between July and October last year the health department conducted a diabetic campaign and surveyed 796 people.

She says the survey found that 149 people had diabetes and 99 other people showed high blood sugar levels, although they are yet to be re-screened to confirm whether they really have diabetes.

A similar survey carried out between April and May 2002 showed 118 diabetes cases.

Dr Okesene-Gafa says she is trying to get Niue onboard the Pacific nutrition and physical activity strategy.

However, she says it already has one health strategy targeting young people as there has aslo been an increase in the number of young people with diabetes.

"And there is also healthy school. We have just developing a strategy around the healthy schools that we can teach the children or the students about eating healthy and staying fit."

Dr Kara Okesene-Gafa says a poor diet and lack of physical activity are the main problem.