15 Nov 2011

Call for more radical steps to fight lifestyle diseases in Samoa

2:17 pm on 15 November 2011

The head of the Ministry of Health in Samoa says more radical measures need to be taken to address lifestyle diseases which she says are reaching emergency levels.

The latest figures from the Ministry of Health show that almost 53 percent of adults are obese, 23 percent have diabetes, and 21 percent have high blood pressure.

The Health Ministry's CEO Tupuimatagi Palanitina Toelupe says health officials need to develop stronger measures to reverse those trends.

She says it is costing nearly four and half million US dollars just to send people abroad for treatment.

"Ten million tala is allocated this year for overseas treatments and most of the overseas treatments are NCD related but at the same time the bulk of the treatments within our own country with stays in hospital and the checks and the medication, also take up a lot of money."

Tupuimatagi says they are running healthy awareness activities this week to promote the health message.