27 Jun 2011

Pacific health ministers consider declaring an NCD crisis

7:15 pm on 27 June 2011

Health ministers from around the Pacific will consider declaring the level of non-communicable disease in the region is at crisis point at a meeting in the Solomon Islands this week.

It comes just as a major international study shows there's a greater proportion of people in Pacific Island nations with diabetes than anywhere else in the world.

Dr Temo Waqanivalu from the World Health Organisation's South Pacific Office, is attending a bi-annual meeting in Honiara.

He says the region's health ministers will decide whether NCDs disease like diabetes should be treated with more urgency.

"We realise the proportion they are reaching, epidemic proportion and in the knitting there actually preparation to declaring it an actual crisis because of non communicable diseases."

Dr Waqanivalu says a United Nations summit on NCDs is taking place later this year, and it's an opportunity to put a focus on the problem and mobilise more resources.