News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Research highlighting diabetes epidemic welcomed

The Fred Hollows Foundation welcomes new research highlighting diabetes epidemic

For immediate release

AUCKLAND: March 1st 2013

The Fred Hollows Foundation welcomes new research released by the University of Otago today which draws attention to the diabetes epidemic and its devastating consequences, including eye disease and vision loss.

The research, which revealed that 20 per cent of adult New Zealanders are facing the prospect of developing diabetes, also highlighted the distressing fact that Pacific Islanders are almost three times more likely to develop diabetes than their New Zealand European counterparts.

“We welcome this research as it backs up our own findings in the Pacific Islands where incidence rates of diabetes are amongst the highest in the world,” says Andrew Bell, Executive Director of The Fred Hollows Foundation NZ.

“Research undertaken by The Foundation in 2009 revealed that more than 40 per cent of adults aged 40 years and over in Fiji have the disease. Rapid urbanisation and industrialisation have been identified as major contributors, and in Fiji there is also evidence of a predisposition to the disease in the Indo-Fijian population.”

Here in New Zealand, the high rates of diabetes in Pacific Island communities can likely be attributed to the same causes.

“The situation here and in the Pacific needs urgent attention,” says Mr Bell. “While people living in the Pacific are much more likely to suffer from vision loss caused by diabetic retinopathy, we are also very concerned about the impact of diabetes on the eye health of all New Zealanders.”

Diabetic retinopathy can cause irreversible vision loss and The Foundation recommends that all Kiwis get their eyes checked regularly, especially if they already have diabetes. Eye examinations can also help with detecting undiagnosed diabetes and other conditions like glaucoma.

“What many people don’t realise is that a staggering 80 per cent of diabetes deaths worldwide occur in low and middle income countries, including the Pacific Islands, where the risk of developing complications such as blindness, amputation and kidney failure is significantly higher than here in New Zealand,” says Mr Bell. “In fact, the Fiji Ministry of Heath predicts that as many as one in four people will go blind from the disease unless they receive timely treatment.”

“The reality is that developing world health systems are simply not equipped to deal with the magnitude of the epidemic,” he continued. “Having said that, it is also very important to consider the long term impact of the epidemic on our own health systems here in New Zealand.”

The Fred Hollows Foundation has recently stepped up its efforts to combat diabetes related eye disease in the Pacific. To find out more visit www.hollows.org.nz

ENDS

About The Fred Hollows Foundation NZ

The Fred Hollows Foundation carries on the work of a very special New Zealander, the late Professor Fred Hollows (1929-1993). Fred was an internationally acclaimed eye surgeon and social justice activist who championed the right of all people to high quality and affordable eye care. The Fred Hollows Foundation shares Fred’s vision of a world where no one is needlessly blind and works in more than 29 developing countries across Asia, Africa and the Pacific. In the last five years alone, The Foundation has performed nearly one million sight-restoring operations and treatments, and trained more than 38,000 local eye health workers.

The Fred Hollows Foundation NZ works predominantly in the Pacific Islands, Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste where 4 out of 5 people who are blind don’t have to be. Often their sight can be restored with a simple 20 minute operation costing as little as $25 in some countries. The Fred Hollows Foundation NZ is funded by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. Find out more at www.hollows.org.nz


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Super Rugby: Parade To Celebrate Highlanders’ Win

The Dunedin City Council is urging people to come along on Monday to congratulate the team on its win in Wellington tonight. The Highlanders will leave from outside the Dental School at midday. More>>

ALSO:

Album Review: Donnie Trumpet And The Social Experiments: Surf

Chance the Rapper is one of my favourite rappers of the last couple years. He bought a uniquely fucked up, acid sound with his debut Acid Rap which has demonstrably influenced others including ILoveMakonnen and A$AP Rocky. It’s remarkable that, at such a ... More>>

Photos: Inside The Christchurch Arts Centre Rebuild

Lady Pippa Blake visited Christchurch Arts Centre chief executive André Lovatt, a 2015 recipient of the Blake Leader Awards. The award celebrated Lovatt’s leadership in New Zealand and hisand dedication to the restoration of the Arts Centre. More>>

Running Them Up The Flagpole: Web Tool Lets Public Determine New Zealand Flag

A School of Design master’s student is challenging the flag selection process by devising a web tool that allows the public to feed their views back in a way, he says, the current government process does not. More>>

ALSO:

Survey: ‘The Arts Make My Life Better’: New Zealanders

New Zealanders are creative people who believe being involved in the arts makes their lives better and their communities stronger. Nine out of ten adult New Zealanders (88%) agree the arts are good for them and eight out of ten (82%) agree that the arts help to improve New Zealand society. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Reprieve For Te Papa Press

Following its review of the role of Te Papa Press, Te Papa has committed to continue publishing books during the museum’s redevelopment, Chief Executive Rick Ellis announced yesterday. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news