SUVA, Sept. 30 (Xinhua) -- Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD) is one of the common causes of deaths among 5 to 29-year-olds in Fiji and there are about 60 deaths in total annually.
According to Fiji Broadcasting Corporation (FBC), this was revealed on Wednesday by Sainimere Boladuadua, the project lead for the Rheumatic Heart Disease Prevention and Control Program within Fiji's Ministry of Health.
Boladuadua said there are approximately 60 RHD-related deaths every year in Fiji.
While marking the World Heart Day in the Fijian capital Suva on Wednesday, Fiji's Acting Permanent Secretary for Health James Fong stressed the need to invest in healthier lifestyles.
RHD is a serious heart condition that occurs following an attack of Acute Rheumatic Fever.
There has been a rise in admission in the number of people diagnosed with an acute coronary syndrome or heart diseases in the last few years in Fiji, adding pressure on the already struggling health system as it increases their requirement for appropriate tests, treatment, medicine and their rehabilitation process, Fong said.
In Fiji, 82 percent of premature deaths are related to Non-Communicable Diseases, he said, adding that there is a rise in the number of cases of diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases and cancer in the country like many other countries.
According to Fong, there were 502 admissions in 2015, 700 in 2016 and by 2018 there were 1,279 admissions and out of this, about 12 percent of them had major heart attacks and of these about 10 percent had died within 24 hours. Most of these people with heart disease were smokers, had unhealthy nutrition, obesity and a general lack of physical activity.
Fong said the ministry wants to focus a lot more on reaching the people who need the service and has also reiterated that there is a need to get parents and school children on board so that they are more health-conscious earlier.