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

 


Calls for Closer Cooperation in Tackling Diabetes in Fiji

New Research Calls for Closer Cooperation in Tackling Diabetes in Fiji
For immediate release: 26/6/2013

Research supported by The Fred Hollows Foundation NZ sheds new light on the treatment of diabetes in the Pacific. The work of two University of Auckland graduate students underscores the unique challenges of providing health services to diabetes patients in Fiji. With growing concern over the rising number of diabetes sufferers in the Pacific, the research could contribute to a more coordinated approach to patient referral throughout the entire health system trying to deal with rising case numbers of Type 2 diabetes.

Billy Wu and Mai Ling Gregory will both present their findings at a University of Auckland, School of Population Health presentation on Friday the 28th of June. For Wu, whose thesis “Delivering diabetes eye care: a case study of the Pacific Eye Institute's Diabetes Eye Care Programme in Suva, Fiji”, the forum is a chance to make the case for closer integration of crucial players in the medical system.

“My participants consist of senior planners, strategists, and managers who would typically not be sitting together at a round-table to discuss their experiences and concerns,” says Wu. “They are all stakeholders in terms of delivering services to people with diabetes in Fiji.”

Wu travelled to Fiji and conducted his research with the support of The Foundation, working extensively at its eye care facility in Suva, the Pacific Eye Institute.

For Andrew Bell, Executive Director of The Foundation, the investment in research is part of a multi-pronged strategy to tackle avoidable blindness in the Pacific.

“Research is essential to our mission,” says Bell. “While we're best known for giving people back their sight and training local doctors and nurses, we need solid research and evidence to help guide our resolve.”

According to Wu, conditions in Fiji mean that health professionals are often required to be generalists given the limited to pool of specialists available in rural areas. Another recurring challenge in Fiji is the distances people have to travel to get good diabetes-related care. The high costs of travel combined with low-income communities mean that many patients do not get access to adequate services.

“The Ministry of Health in Fiji sees the need for a “diabetes hub” and is currently working towards this configuration in each of their divisional centres,” says Wu. “It’s like a one-stop shop of sorts to cater to the needs of diabetic patients, since a person with diabetes is at risk of a multitude of complications – eyes, foot, kidneys.”

Wu says that his findings will be useful in streamlining other systems across the Pacific to increase the efficiency of the international effort to address the problem of diabetes.

“In this particular case, the results of the study suggest that providing people with visual education and information about diabetes and its complications is instrumental in promoting first-contact which leads to follow-up and treatment,” says Wu.

For Bell, the research will be integrated into the long-terms plans at The Foundation.

“At the present rates of surgeries, we're hoping to dramatically reduce the cases of cataracts in the Pacific by 2020,” says Bell. “But our new diabetes centre in Suva along with research like Wu's means that we can improve our efforts in the current struggle with diabetes.”

Diabetic Retinopathy a complication of advanced Diabetes can cause irreversible blindness if left untreated. Elevated blood-sugar levels cause the delicate blood vessels around the retina to burst, diminishing and then impairing vision.

According to Bell, early intervention with laser treatment increases the chances of preserving sight.

Recent studies have suggested that nearly 25% of the population in Fiji suffer from diabetes. In 2012 there were over 5400 consultations through the Diabetes Centre at the Pacific Eye Institute in Suva.

Wu and Gregory present the findings of their research at The University of Auckland’s Tamaki Campus, Room 730-373, on the 28th June 2013 between 3:00 and 4:00pm.


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
Werewolf: Katniss Joins The News Team

From the outset, the Hunger Games series has dwelt obsessively on the ways that media images infiltrate our public and personal lives... From that grim starting point, Mockingjay Part One takes the process a few stages further. There is very little of the film that does not involve the characters (a) being on screens (b) making propaganda footage to be screened and (c) reacting to what other characters have been doing on screens. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Ko Witi Te Kaituhituhi

Witi Ihimaera, the distinguished Māori author and the first Māori to publish a book of short stories and a novel, has adopted a new genre with his latest book. But despite its subtitle, this book is a great deal more than a memoir of childhood. More>>

Werewolf: Rescuing Paul Robeson

Would it be any harder these days, for the US government to destroy the career of a famous American entertainer and disappear them from history – purely because of their political beliefs? You would hope so. In 1940, Paul Robeson – a gifted black athlete, singer, film star, Shakespearean actor and orator – was one of the most beloved entertainers on the planet. More>>

ALSO:

"Not A Competition... A Quest": Chapman Tripp Theatre Award Winners

Big winners on the night were Equivocation (Promising Newcomer, Best Costume, Best Director and Production of the Year), Kiss the Fish (Best Music Composition, Outstanding New NZ Play and Best Supporting Actress), and Watch (Best Set, Best Sound Design and Outstanding Performance). More>>

ALSO:

Film Awards: The Dark Horse Scores Big

An inspirational film based on real life Gisborne speed-chess coach An inspirational film based on real life Gisborne speed-chess coach Genesis Potini, made all the right moves to take out top honours along with five other awards at the Rialto Channel New Zealand Film Awards - nicknamed The Moas. More>>

ALSO:

Theatre: Ralph McCubbin Howell Wins 2014 Bruce Mason Award

The Bruce Mason Playwriting Award was presented to Ralph McCubbin Howell at the Playmarket Accolades in Wellington on 23 November 2014. More>>

ALSO:

One Good Tern: Fairy Tern Crowned NZ Seabird Of The Year

The fairy tern and the Fiji petrel traded the lead in the poll several times. But a late surge saw it come out on top with 1882 votes. The Fiji petrel won 1801 votes, and 563 people voted for the little blue penguin. More>>

Music Awards: Lorde Reigns Supreme

Following a hugely successful year locally and internationally, Lorde has done it again taking out no less than six Tuis at the 49th annual Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news