18th FEMM Ministers Group photo. Photo credit: PIF.

18th FEMM Ministers Group photo. Photo credit: PIF.

Forum Economic Ministers can make a significant difference to address non-communicable diseases in the Pacific, says Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo.

Forum Economic Ministers and Pacific Health Ministers this week, committed to taking proactive actions against the growing health and economic impact of Non-Communicable Diseases in Pacific Island Countries.

In their joint meeting in Honiara, the Ministers endorsed a joint statement with concrete actions to address NCDs in the Pacific.

In his remarks at the 2014 FEMM, Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo said, the Ministers have the opportunity to make a significant difference to address NCDs.

Meanwhile, in support of the statement, Finance Minister Rick Hou said around seventy-percent of all deaths in the Pacific are caused by NCD-related cases and respiratory diseases.

The Finance Minister adds, the Joint meeting is a demonstration of a leadership effort to face the serious situation of NCD in Pacific Island Countries.

The Minister for Health and Medical Services Charles Sigoto said Non-Communicable Diseases drains societies through economic costs, and on families.

Minister Sigoto said, more than ever before, Pacific Islanders must deal with the premature death of loved ones or a disability related to these diseases.

He said it’s vital for Pacific Governments to act now and stop this in its tracks.

He said the Non-Communicable Diseases Road Map is a recommended set of actions to tackle the issue in a financially sustainable way.

The NCD Roadmap Report provides more than 30 actions countries can implement with key suggestions being around improving preventive measures.

These measures include increasing taxation and regulatory control to reduce consumption of tobacco and food and drinks that are high in fat, salt, and sugar – and that can lead to obesity, heart disease and diabetes.

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