30 Apr 2018

Micronesians 'slowly dying' from poor diet - Palau leader

11:29 am on 30 April 2018

Palau President Tommy Remengesau says while impoverished people around the world are dying from hunger, ironically people in Micronesia are succumbing due to overeating and bad diet.

The President of Palau Tommy Remengesau Jr.

The President of Palau Tommy Remengesau Jr. Photo: RNZI / Koro Vaka'uta

Commenting after a presentation on telehealth and telemedicine during the second day of the Micronesian Islands Forum on Saipan last week, the Palau leader said people of Micronesian descent are "dying slowly" due to dietary imbalances on the islands mostly brought about by imported food.

During the presentation, the chief executive of the CNMI's Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation Esther Muña, said telemedicine was ideal for Micronesia, but some government policies interfered with telehealth capabilities, limiting its effects in other areas.

Ms Muña's presentation also identified the leading causes of death in Micronesia, namely cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and lung disease.

She noted that unemployed fishermen were in better health than those who work in the government and in the private sector who could afford to buy imported food.