Vice President Raynold Oilouch raised the issue of non-communicable disease (NCD) during the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders’ Retreat in Apia, Samoa last week.

“Palau supports fight against the NCD, “ Oilouch stated.

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According to the newly released report by the World Bank, NCDs are now the leading cause of death in most countries in the Pacific, ranging from an estimated 60 percent of deaths in the Solomon Islands to 80 percent of deaths in Fiji due to the four leading NCDs alone.

Oilouch said that NCD;s  is  one of the national priorities and issues facing Palau country and that the other leaders should also make the fight against NCD a regional priority.

The report added that  behavioral-risk factors, including tobacco use, insufficient physical activity, and unhealthy diets, are responsible for most deaths due to NCDs.

The global evidence increasingly shows that NCDs result in long-term macroeconomic impacts on labor supply, capital accumulation, and GDP growth.

During the 48th Pacific Islands Forum hosted by Palau, one  topics on the agenda for the Forum include NCD.

In this year’s forum in Samoa,  Forum Leaders and Civil Society Organizations (CSO)representatives held a dialogue where the issue of NCD’s was raised.

The leaders’ communique however did not mention NCD’s, Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Secretary General Meg Taylor said in earlier interview said the issue of NCD has not disappeared and in fact it was one of the priority issues of the Smaller Island States regional strategy.

Taylor said it is important that each nation continue to combat NCD’s in their state levels.

Villaney Remengesau was Palau’s CSO representative. [/restrict]