NCDs

Tonga still wants Forum Leaders to champion Pacific war on junk food

He's told the Forum partners dialogue with business leaders that participating Forum Leaders can be weighed on a regular basis, with the winner being the person who loses the most weight and those leaders who have not lost or have gained weight also being awarded a prize - they will get bicycles.

Samoa's Prime Minister Tuilaepa responded in kind to the weight loss challenge from Tonga's Prime Minister, welcoming it but noting his colleague would win it all the time - and that the challenge needed to consider those like Nauru's President who were made of muscle.

Tonga PM to promote weight loss by Pacific leaders

Tonga's Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva made the appeal in an interview with the Samoa Observer while discussing the impact of child obesity and non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in the Pacific.

Mr Pohiva said NCDs had everything to do with eating habits and lifestyle.

Pacific leaders meet and talk about the issue, yet initiatives they advocate do not have an impact, he said.

The effect in Tonga was telling, with life expectancy falling from 71 to 68 years of age, the prime minister said.

NCDs, climate change, security effects on Pacific private sector discussed

The meeting discussed actions the private sector needs to take in the Pacific region to challenge climate change, Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) and other relevant issues. 

The preparatory meeting is held annually ahead of the annual Pacific Islands Forum Leaders meeting, where Pacific Island leaders consider the recommendations from the preparatory meeting. This year, the Pacific Island Forum Leaders meeting will be held in Nauru on September 4.

USP assists Tonga Health Ministry with NCD-prevention messaging

IOE has been assisting Pacific countries to achieve quality education through its Research & Development programme, Professional Development & Learning programme, and the Waka Publications programme since 1976.

The Waka Publications programme has been publishing children’s reading books, teacher guides, and classroom resources in more than eight (8) Pacific languages over the past 40 years.

Tongan minister providing Pacific voice against NCDs

In March, Saia Piukala was appointed to the World Health Organisation's Independent Global Commission on NCDs.

Dr Piukala said the commission was compiling a report which would be presented to the WHO for discussion shortly before being released next month.

He said there would be four main areas of concern.

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Tonga shares experiences on preserving marine diversity, tackling NCDs

“Tonga attaches great importance to Sustainable Development Goal 14 and believes it can be attained through set targets and indicators,” he said, adding that Tonga looked forward to the upcoming UN conference Goal 14 as an opportunity to see where the international community stands on the Organization’s efforts to preserve this precious resource, by, among others, build on existing successful partnerships and stimulate innovative and concrete new partnerships to advance the implementation of the Goal.

Coherence between Pacific trade and health policy needed to combat NCDs

RNZ reports heart disease, cancers, lung disease and diabetes are the leading causes of death in the Pacific with most countries losing their productive citizens to NCDs.

The United Nations Development Programme's Ferdinand Strobel says health and trade interests in the region are often developed in silos and end up undermining each other’s' efforts.

He said with the right legal framework they could be made to work together to help in the fight against NCDs.

Fatty meat tax introduced in Tonga

An increased excise tax of 40 seniti, about US$0.15, a kilogram went on various foods, including chicken, mutton and turkey tails, on Tuesday.

The new law focusses on fatty meats and other food items that contribute to NCDs.

The price of tobacco is also up by nearly a third.

Pasifika Plates: promoting healthy Pacific food

The Pasifika Plates cookbook was launched in Tonga yesterday at a high-level summit examining responses to the NCD crisis in the Pacific region.

Up to 75 per cent of deaths in Pacific countries are related to NCDs, such as diabetes and heart diseases, with unhealthy diets and lifestyles seen as important contributing factors.

Role of the church crucial in the fight against NCD epidemic in the Pacific

“The role of the church and the voice of church leaders is extremely important. In the Pacific and here in Tonga, food is offered as part of hospitality. I think the issue here is what is being offered. In NZ, there was a movement in the marae for healthy kae, healthy food. We can have that here where we serve healthy cooked food, vegetables and fruits.

King Tupou VI echoed the same sentiments – laying down the challenge that without the churches co-operation, the Pacific’s push to address NCDs will be more difficult.