Diabetes during pregnancy increases significantly

Tongan women with diabetes during pregnancy were increasing significantly in numbers a statement from Tonga Health said.

Diabetes is a serious health problem in Tonga affecting more than thousands a year.

Tonga Health today marked the “World Health Day” with the theme “Together on  the front line against Diabetes”.

It said diabetes “puts a heavy burden” on patients and affected their financial means and affordability.

“There is also a startling rise in the number of pregnant mothers developing diabetes – referred to as Gestational Diabetic Mothers or GDMs”, Tonga Health said.

The kingdom has committed to fighting against the deadly non communicable disease and in 2006 the Tonga Diabetes Association was established.

Tonga is also one of the 21 member countries of the International Diabetes Foundation.

A study by Professor Stephen Colagiuri of the University of Sydney  found that about  15,000 people in Tonga have type 2 diabetes of which 12,000 were “undiagnosed”.

The survey said most of the population is “overweight and has other risk factors for cardiovascular disease”.

The report found that the “lifestyle-related noncommunicable disease” was key factor in causing the increase in the number of diabetic patients in the kingdom.

Tonga Health has planning and strategy in place to battle the national non- communicable diseases (NNCD) and is supported by the Government of  Australia Tonga Health.

The national health body marked the World Day today in Nukuʻalofa with the following programme:

11am, 89.5FM: Diabetic Specialist Dr. Taniela Palu throws light on the Diabetic epidemic in Tonga

11:30am. A3Z: Diabetic Specialist Dr. Taniela Palu in conversation with Viola Uluaki

2pm, A3Z: LIVE Talk-Back with Dr. Sione Tomiki and chief nurse Seilini Soakai of the Diabetic clinic, Vaiola hospital

7:30pm, TV Tonga1: An in depth conversation with nurses Kafuatu and Penisimani, which special focus on the situation pregnant mothers with Diabetes face and how to win it over.

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