Vanuatu is ranked sixth in the world for prevalence of diabetes.
Minister of Health, Toara Daniel confirmed this alarming news yesterday morning when he officiated the commemoration of World Health Day at Amicale Field in Port Vila.
The day’s event was celebrated with the theme “Together in the front line against Diabetes”.
Health reports revealed that at least 30, 000 people have Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) which includes sugar diabetes, and that figure represents 21% of the adult population.
Largely brought about due to lifestyle factors, this condition is on the rise affecting 347 million people worldwide.
Deaths from diabetes are projected to rise by 50% in the next 10 years making diabetes the 7th leading cause of death in the world by 2030.
Minister Daniel expressed the concerns of the government on this issue especially if people do not seriously consider its impacts.
“Diabetes causes suffering, it causes disability, adds financial and social burdens which contributes to poverty.”
The government through the Ministry of Health calls on the people to change their lifestyle of eating, particularly to make the right choices and choose the right types of food.
MP Daniel noted that diabetes is a silent disease as a report by the International Diabetes Foundation in 2015 revealed that half of the people who were part of the research were diagnosed with diabetes, but, they were not aware of it.
The good news is that diabetes is preventable and through a healthy diet, exercising regularly, avoiding tobacco, limiting alcohol and consulting with a health worker regularly.
In 2015, the Ministry of Health declared that NCD and diabetes were considered as priority issues to tackle, including making more efforts to raise awareness.