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New Pacific Partnership aims to tackle health crisis

Matangi Tonga Online:

Wednesday, 03 September 2014

Apia, Samoa
A new Pacific Partnership aimed to prevent and control non-communicable diseases was launched in Samoa on September 2.

Hon. Tommy Remengesau, the President of Palau and current Chair of the Pacific Islands Forum, launched the ‘Pacific NCD Partnership for a multi-sector approach to Prevent and Control NCDs, at the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States.

He said the partnership aims to strengthen and coordinate the necessary capacity and expertise to support Pacific SIDS to significantly progress the prevention and control of NCDs.

“The challenge is the translation of political commitment and leadership to results on the ground. We have been busy but we are not accomplishing enough. We are trying to change the course of a cruise ship with a wooden paddle”, said Dr Colin Tukuitonga the Director-General of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC).

Crisis:

Deaths from NCDs in Pacific Small Island developing states (SIDS) are causing life expectancy to plateau or even decrease. Thousands of people have prematurely lost their lives to NCDs each year, said Dr Paula Vivili of SPC.

“In an environment where NCDs have been declared a crisis that threatens Pacific SIDS achieving their development goals, a ‘business as usual’ approach is not enough. Yes, a lot has been done but a lot more needs to be done.”

He said there were no short cuts and the journey was a long one, but with the Pacific NCD Partnership, the people of the region have a better chance of halting and eventually reversing the NCD crisis.

Partners agreeing to this partnership included the Pacific SIDS endorsed by the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders, Pacific Forum Economic Ministers and Health Ministers, Pacific Island Permanent Missions to the United Nations, Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs, the NCD Alliance, New Zealand Aid Program, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Pacific Islands Health Officers’ Association, SPC, UNDP, US Department of State, World Bank and the World Health Organization. 

Read story: Matangi Tonga Online

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