14 Feb 2011

Some gains being made as "Healthy Islands" vision revitalised

5:53 am on 14 February 2011

The World Health Organisation says some gains are being made in the fight against a Pacific-wide epidemic of lifestyle diseases.

The comment follows a steering group meeting in Fiji aimed at strengthening efforts to implement the WHO's Healthy Islands vision throughout the region.

However the WHO's Dr Temo Waqanivalu of the Pacific Technical Support division says some improvements are being made:

"Look at Nauru for example. They used to rank second highest in the world for diabetes at one point with 40 percent of their population having diabetes. In the last survey it's down to 16 percent. Their behaviours have begun to change. I mean, a big part of that is probably the decline in economy in terms of phosphate but also I think coupled with that is some works that have been done recently."