WHO says diabetes is stabilising in Pacific

A World Health Organisation official says Pacific rates of diabetes are two to three times the global average.

RNZI reports non communicable diseases officer Wendy Snowdon said in the Pacific the overall the prevalence of diabetes is stabilising but there won't be a noticeable reduction in numbers for some time.

She said a lot was being done to ensure people did not develop diabetes but also said once people had the disease there was not a lot that could be done.

"If we can stop the new cases coming in and support those who are already diabetic then over the next 20 years we may be able to see a reduction in the levels. But obviously the people who are already diabetic now, are going to stay diabetic so we won't be able to reduce the actual prevalence in the short term"

Wendy Snowdon said the Pacific region was taking the threat of non-communicable diseases seriously but the statistics would not be fixed overnight.