The health minister of Palau, Dr Stevenson Kuartei, has called for action to fight chronic diseases in the region as care costs threaten budgets.
Dr Kuartei made the call in American Samoa at the opening of a meeting of the Pacific Island Health Officers Association.
He says amid rising sea levels, extreme weather conditions and emerging infectious disease such as dengue fever are affecting the lives of people in the region.
And he says chronic diseases should be tackled.
"Why haven't we declared health emergency on chronic illness, why haven't we mobilised integrate and move on to deal with chronic illnesses, like we did with H1N1? Why is it taking so long when the data is available?"
The health minister of Palau, Dr Stevenson Kuartei