BY LYNTON AARON FILIA
THERE are more reported cases of females with non-communicable diseases than men in the Solomon Islands, it is reported.
Solomon Islands is currently facing a ‘double-disease burden’ with high prevalence of communicable diseases and high growth in non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
The Ministry of Health and Medical Services Health Core Indicative report 2017 states Solomon Islands has an increased number of NCD cases particularly diabetes and hypertension (high blood), from 2016 to 2017.
Females with diabetes in Solomon Islands is at 17 percent compared to men who are at 8 percent, from 15-49 years old.
According to the report, the number of patients screened for diabetes and hypertension rose significantly in 2017 with 94 percent screened for diabetes and 41 percent measured for hypertension.
In 2015 the MHMS and World Health Organisation (WHO) conducted a STEPS survey to assess risk factors attributing to NCDs in the Solomon Islands.
The report revealed 37 percent of the country’s population aged from 18-69 reported daily smoking (56 percent men and 21 percent female), and approximately 88 percent reported consuming less than five combined daily servings of fruit and vegetables.
32 percent of males reported consuming alcohol within the past 30 days, and approximately 36 percent of 18-69 years old were overweight and 23 percent were obese, according to the MHMS report.
While the total number of people living with NCD in Solomon Islands is unknown, data collected through the HIS Monthly Health Facility reporting offers insights into the distribution of disease.
It is noted that hypertension and asthma and chronic chest condition are the two most common reasons for presenting to a health facility for an NCD check-up (32 percent and 25 percent respectively).
The high number of people classified as having other chronic diseases (15 percent) is a cause for concern as this would be affecting reliability of the data if one disease is being systematically misreported as another.