According to the 2020/2021 Health Department’s Annual Report, nearly 20% of our population are living with some form of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as type 2 diabetes, chronic kidney disease, or hypertensive disorders.
Minister Tongatule told the Fono that he specifically requested that these figures be included in the report because of the concerning numbers.
The high numbers are also concerning in terms of costs for healthcare with the government footing the bill for medications and general healthcare needs of the local population.
According to the report a total of 296 people are living with type 2 diabetes, 151 women and 145 men. More than half of the people living with diabetes on the island are aged 50 to 69 – that’s a total of 167 out of a total of 296.
The report showed that more people suffer from hypertensive disorders or high blood pressure, a total of 312. Most people living with high blood pressure are women with 180 and 132 are men.
By age group and like the diabetes figures, more than half of these people are those in the 60- to 79-year-old age group with 182 of them living with hypertensive disorders.
A very high number of our people are living with chronic kidney disease or renal impairment with 334, most are men with 187 and 147 women are living with chronic kidney disease.
According to the health report 172 people on the island are living with Gout. Men outnumber women with 143 compared to 29 women living with gout.
In his statement Minister of Health Hon. Sauni Tongatule said that he hopes for a national conversation on these figures.
The Minister said that he wants the youth to think wisely about their lifestyle and food consumption habits and change for the better before it is too late, and they too will end up as one of the high numbers of people suffering NCDs on the island.
BCN news will bring you more stories on the Health Department 2020/2021 annual report in later bulletins.