Anaemia cases here up from 48 per cent to 63 per cent: Min­istry

Fiji Sun - - News - SALOTE QALUBAU Edited by Su­sana Tuilau Feed­back: [email protected]­jisun.com.fj

Two-thirds of chil­dren less than five years of age have con­trib­uted to the in­crease of anaemia cases in Fiji.

For the past 10 years, specif­i­cally from 48 per cent to 63 per cent. Min­istry of Health and Med­i­cal Ser­vices Head of Na­tional Well­ness Cen­tre and Non-Com­mu­ni­ca­ble Dis­eases Na­tional Ad­vi­sor Doc­tor Isimeli Tukana high­lighted this. He was speak­ing at the NCDs Panel dis­cus­sion at the Univer­sity of the South Pa­cific Lautoka Cam­pus on Thurs­day.

“For chil­dren in the ages five to 14, anaemia cases has in­creased from 28.85 per cent to 45 per cent and for chil­dren from 15-17 years it has in­creased from 33.2 per cent to 43.5 per cent,” he said.

Mr Tukana said par­ents needed to be more en­gaged in the di­etary choices of their chil­dren.

“It’s the par­ents not giv­ing their chil­dren iron-rich foods and veg­eta­bles. We as par­ents are not giv­ing our chil­dren iron-rich foods like tubua, bele, rourou, sai­jan and wa­ter­cress,” he said.

He said there were also other causes of anaemia among chil­dren.

“The other cause of anaemia that we have found are the worms, par­tic­u­larly hook­worms, but the big­gest one is nu­tri­tion be­cause right, when chil­dren are weaned most of them, are not given veg­eta­bles, they are given all the pro­cessed foods like bis­cuit and noo­dles,” he said.

He said anaemia cases were also recorded among adults. “Be­fore, we only thought women get anaemia, but now men are get­ting it as well and it has in­creased from 31 per cent to 32 and for ladies, it has in­creased from 35.3 per cent to 48. For preg­nant women it has in­creased from 36 per cent to 40 per cent,” he said.

He added that most adults were not liv­ing past the age of 65. “Only 3.2 per cent of Fi­jians live up to the age of 65 and 1.6 per cent are over 75 so that means there are a lot of Fi­jians dy­ing be­fore 65 and we know from the hos­pi­tal side that most deaths are caused by NCDs and it’s a gen­er­a­tional prob­lem,” he said.

Other speak­ers were USP PACE-Sd Re­search fel­low Lau Vil­iamu Iese and Umanand Prasad School of Medicine and Health Sciences lec­turer, Doc­tor Sak­iusa Mainawalal­a.

Min­istry of Health and Med­i­cal Ser­vices Head of Na­tional Well­ness Cen­tre and Non-Com­mu­ni­ca­ble Dis­eases Na­tional Ad­vi­sor Doc­tor Isimeli Tukana

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