1 May 2014

SPC says behaviour change needed to fight NCDs

12:54 pm on 1 May 2014

The Secreteriat of the Pacific Community says most Pacific people understand that many changes are needed to avoid the worsening rates of lifestyle diseases in the region.

Its Deputy Director of Public Health says a recent meeting in Fiji of health officials from 20 nations shows some encouraging signs such as a reduction in smoking in some countries.

But Dr Paula Vivili says more people get diabetes despite it being preventable.

"Knowledge is I think changing for the better, attitudes as well are changing for the better, but if you're looking at behaviour but that will take a bit longer for effects to show. I mean with non communicable diseases it takes a long time to manifest any change at the population level."

Dr Vivili says a further meeting is planned for economy and health officials in July to work out a multi-sector response to the non-communicable disease crisis.