Solomons PM says NCDs most serious challenge

4:56 pm on 5 September 2019

Non-communicable disease is the most urgent development challenge facing Solomon Islands, Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare says.

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Photo: RNZ/Koroi Hawkins

He told a roundtable meeting on NCDs in Honiara that while climate change was a serious challenge, addressing the diseases was more urgent.

Mr Sogavare said NCDs were killing thousands of people around the Pacific every year, in numbers that far outweighed those killed by climate change.

Global projections are for NCDs to cause nearly five times as many deaths as communicable diseases by 2030, he said.

By 2050 Solomon Islands could have 216,000 people with diabetes, costing the country $US60 million dollars annually, the prime minister said.

But if the incidence of diabetes was reduced by 1.5 percent each year until 2050, the estimated cost of managing diabetes in the country would be more like $US14 million, he said.

Mr Sogavare has called for a "roadmap" to be devised to halt and reverse the NCD crises.

The roadmap needed to clearly define the roles of each stakeholder, the interventions they are responsible for, the budgets that need to be provided in their respective ministries, agencies or organisations, and the indicators to measure progress.