26 Jul 2017

80 percent of Pacific deaths because of NCDs - Samoa govt

7:54 pm on 26 July 2017
Tuitama Dr. Talalelei Tuitama

Tuitama Dr. Talalelei Tuitama Photo: Samoa government

Samoa's Health Minister has reported up to 80 percent of deaths in Pacific countries can be attributable to non-communicable diseases.

Speaking at a UN forum on Economic and Social Affairs, Tuitama Dr Talalelei Tuitama described NCDs as an epidemic, and said the control and prevention of growing rates of diabetes, obesity and hypertension remained a major economic hazard for the region.

Tuitama also called on the Pacific's trading partners to ensure their exports met proper health standards.

In 2014, Pacific Ministers of health set out to strengthen tobacco control and to reduce the consumption of unhealthy food and drink.

Tuitama said Samoa was preparing to impose a 20 per cent tax on foods with high contents of sugar, fat and salt.