NCDs alarm

Chandra Prakash Singh, Sivi Rd, Caubati, Nasinu | Saturday, June 3, 2017

INCREASING non-communicable diseases (NCDs) at an alarming rate and its preventative methods are becoming a hot topic almost every week.

Besides adults, aged people and youths, our children are becoming victims of this self-created sickness.

Since 2014, amputation figures have reached close to 2000 and this is really a sad sign to see people losing either one or both legs.

Too much talking and advertising throughout the year to control NCDs seems to make little difference.

Changing lifestyles, controlling eating habits, eating more fruits/vegetables and paying attention to outdoor activities are repeated frequently.

Fiji has the second highest rate of NCDs in the Pacific region. Are you all not feeling frightened of such alarming facts and figures relating to NCDs?

Have we taken concrete steps, become serious and are making a genuine effort to really prevent this major health hazard affecting our country?

Come on wake up people of Fiji and make this country a healthy country and not full of sickness from NCDs.

There are many questions that need to be asked, answered accurately and honestly so that NCDs are no longer a boiling issue for a small island like us with an abundance of barren land to be utilised for producing consumable items and provision of recreational facilities.

Are people taking positive steps and abstaining from fizzy drinks?

Are cooks in hotels, restaurants and at home adding the right amount of salt and oil while cooking?

How many people are avoiding sweet biscuits/jams/cream buns/ice cream/tinned food and sauce?

Are we utilising barren land and increasing production to decrease importation of consumable products?

Do we grow enough fruits and vegetables for local consumption?

Why are we exporting fruits/vegetables and creating shortage in our country?

Why are local vegetables and fruits so expensive and not easily affordable?

Can people afford to buy imported fruits and vegetables?

Is it that simple to inform people to eat more fruits and vegetables?

Are vegetables, fruits and root crops free from pesticides?

Is the Ministry of Agriculture monitoring whether the right quantity of pesticides are used by farmers?

Are people consuming moderate amount of yaqona?

How many people drink at least two litres of fresh water per day?

How many people are consuming moderate amount of alcohol?

How many people are going to health centres/hospitals for cervical, breast and prostrate cancer check-up?

Do you believe in taking precautions and prevent NCDs through early detection?

Are you setting a good example for others to adopt healthy habits?

How many people have learnt to break addictive patterns?

Seriously, how many people have quit smoking?

Is the Government encouraging and supporting farmers to plant lots of coconut trees?

Frankly how many people are avoiding bottled juice and instead preparing juice from fruits and lemon for drinking?

Schools are not allowed to sell junk food, sweets and fizzy drinks, but how many parents stop children from buying those products from other shops?

How many people are willing to break bad habits and replace it with good habits?

Can Government reduce duty on imported vegetables and fruits?

How many people really do exercise and involve in other outdoor activities each day?

How many people are doing backyard gardening and growing some vegetables at home?

Are people avoiding eating sweets that are very sugary?

Are you driving safely and avoiding accidents and injury?

How many of you are secretly smoking marijuana and can quit from today?

If you are getting signs of asthma then are you taking steps to prevent it from any further complications?

How many people are overweight and exercising to trim down?

Before cooking, do you make an effort to remove the skin and all the fat that is collected around the meat area?

Do you avoid sprinkling salt and instead add lemon juice when preparing salad? How many of you are avoiding tomato sauce, pick me up and tinned tomatoes?

Are you paying attention to advice given by medical staff on good hygienic practices?

Can Government consider imposing a ban on advertisements relating to junk food/drinks?

Are we informing people more about the effects of NCDs and not taking required action?

I have many other questions to ask, know the right answers, but it will occupy a full page of the newspaper and editors will not allow that due to space reasons.

But once you have answered all the questions in a positive manner, with a big tick and a genuine smile; then only will non -controllable NCDs become controllable in our country.

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