Diabetes a ‘growing epidemic’


THE number of deaths due to diabetes in Papua New Guinea is estimated to be 3290 per year, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The number constitutes six per cent of all deaths in all ages.
Doctor Paulinus Sikosana, the WHO officer in-charge in PNG, said more than 5500 of the deaths were attributed to high blood glucose levels.
Sikosana said among the non-communicable diseases, diabetes was a growing epidemic globally and a significant number of cases remained undetected. He said 56.7 per cent of the population was considered overweight, 25.5 per cent obese and 12 per cent physically inactive.
He said there was a need for a public health policy instrument that consisted of a series of multisector interventions aimed at the prevention and control of non-communicable disease to address unhealthy behaviour.
“One effective approach consists of a mixture of population wide and individual interventions.
“Such cost-effective interventions are already available and include methods for early detection of NCD, their diagnosis using inexpensive technologies, non-pharmacological and pharmacological approaches for modifying NCD risks and affordable medications for preventing and treating heart attacks, strokes, diabetes and cancer.”

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