Republic of Korea assists Pacific fight NCDs

[Suva, Fiji] Pacific Islands Forum Leaders have expressed alarm that 75 per cent of all adult deaths in the Pacific are due to Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).

NCDs, commonly known as ‘lifestyle’ diseases, include heart disease, stroke, cancer, asthma, diabetes and chronic kidney disease, among others.

It was against this backdrop that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Republic of Korea (ROK) and the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Secretariat this week signed a Memorandum of Understanding to renew the ROK-PIF Cooperation Fund.

A grant of US$300,000 from the Republic of Korea will support a regional training programme for primary healthcare workers to support the prevention and treatment of NCDs.

“On behalf of the Secretary General and Members of the Pacific Islands Forum, I wish to thank the Republic of Korea for their generous and most appropriate support to assist the Pacific tackle NCDs,” said Acting Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Mr Feleti Teo.

Throughout the region, incidences of NCDs have reached epidemic proportions as declared by Health Ministers in their Honiara Communiqué on the Pacific Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) Crisis issued by Health Ministers on 30 June 2011.

The intense four-week training programme will be implemented jointly by the Seoul National University Hospital and the Fiji School of Medicine. The Fiji School of Medicine will be providing administrative and logistical support, and the Seoul National University Hospital will be providing technical expertise. The training programme will commence in October and will be held at the Fiji College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Services in Suva.

The ROK-PIF Cooperation Fund which has been established to support regional training programmes from 2011 to 2013, and is administered by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.

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For more information please contact the Forum Secretariat’s Communications Officer, Mue Bentley Fisher, via email mueb@forumsec.org.fj or Programme Implementation Officer, Vuki Buadromo on email: vukib@forumsec.org.fj; telephone: (679) 3312600 / 3220333