6 Jun 2012

Tonga fails NCD Millennium Development Goal

2:26 pm on 6 June 2012

The Tongan government has told a United Nations meeting it is not on schedule to achieve the Millennium Development Goals to reduce the extent of non-communicable disease.

About 80 percent of deaths in Tonga are due to NCDs, such as diabetes and heart disease.

The Minister of Inland Revenue, Fe'ao Vakataa, told delegates at a Bangkok meeting that the numbers of Tongans affected is increasing, and he says it's due to them not eating healthy meals.

Meanwhile, Radio Tonga reports that a cook book focussing on healthy Tongan food has been presented to the acting director of Agriculture, Dr.Viliami Manu.

The book was drafted by an Australian volunteer, Sarah Meiklejohn, in collaboration with Tongan communities and the staff of the Community and Women's Development Unit.

Ms Meikeljohn says it is important for Tongans to include vegetables in meals.