Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) has grown to epidemic proportion globally to become only the second health issue, apart from HIV/AIDS, to get into the United Nations agenda in September 2011.

Minister for Health and Medical Services, Hon. Ifereimi Waqainabete highlighted this while closing a seminar in collaboration with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) on “Sharing Project Experiences of Wellness System in Fiji” in Suva today.

“While as a nation we’re having our fair share of the NCDs crisis, a lot has also been done through the assistance of our partners to contain the problem,” Minister Waqainabete said.

“Global NCDs mortality data continue to increase and in 2016 alone, out of the estimated 56.9 million (71 per cent) people who died, 40.5 million of those deaths were from NCDs alone,” he added.

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“Of these, an estimated 1.7 million (4% of NCD deaths) died pre-maturely while an estimated 32.2 million NCD deaths (80%) were due to cancers, cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory diseases, and diabetes, and another 8.3 million (20%) were from other NCDs.”

Minister Waqainabete added that NCDs is a huge problem but so is communicable diseases and we must be able to see that through mobilized resources to fight the fight on both fronts to suppress both diseases.

Speaking at the event, the Ambassador of Japan to Fiji, His Excellency Masahiro Omura said “I hope the Ministry of Health and Medical Services will continue its efforts to develop and institutionalize sustainable NCDs counter measures by using what is ascertained from this project”.


“In the spirit of South-South cooperation, we will be very happy to see if Fiji can take the lead in resolving region-wide NCD issues in the Pacific,” he said.

The line ministry had partnered with JICA in 2015 for a project for Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases which will end this year.

JICA is providing technical cooperation to strengthen the capacity of government and medical institutions to oversee NCD prevention and countermeasures and to create a system for monitoring and evaluation.

The main objective of this seminar is to share the outcomes of the NCD project with stakeholders for Wellness in Fiji, share best practices and challenges for the Wellness Clinic System in the Central Division as well as Wellness activities in workplaces.