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

 

EPMU: Fourth Anniversary

Representatives of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union are proud to stand with the Pike River families to mark four years since 29 men lost their lives. More>>

ALSO:

'Kindara': Unusual Ginger Coloured Kiwi Chick Released To Taupo Creche

A cute little kiwi chick with an unusual ginger tinge to its feathers has just been released to Wairakei Golf & Sanctuary Kiwi Creche in Taupo after hatching at Rainbow Springs' Kiwi Encounter. More>>

Werewolf: The Complicatist : Bob Dylan Himself, And By Others

Bob Dylan is about to release a six CD version of the entire Basement Tapes sessions he recorded with the Band 40 years ago. To mark the occasion, I’ve rustled together some favourite cover versions of Dylan songs, and a few lesser-known tracks by the great man. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: Gone Girl : The Trouble With Amy

Philip Matthews: Three words to describe the David Fincher film Gone Girl: cynical, topical and ridiculous. Ridiculous isn’t a negative. More>>

ALSO:

11/11: Armistice Day Peace Vigils

On Armistice Day 2014, the second in the series of peace vigils that will take place three times each year during the World War One centenary will be held in Hokianga, Whangarei, Auckland, Tauranga, Otaki, Lower Hutt, Wellington and Takaka. More>>

ALSO:

Te Papa: Rick Ellis Appointed New Chief Executive

The Board and Chairman of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa are pleased to announce the appointment of Rick Ellis as the new Chief Executive for the museum. More>>

Couture: New All Blacks Jersey Gets Team’s Seal Of Approval

More than two years in the making, adidas has today unveiled the most technologically-advanced and blackest All Blacks jersey ever, four days before the highly anticipated match against England. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news