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Pacific Island Public Health Group Declares Diabetes at Pandemic Proportions

Atlanta, GA (PRWEB) May 19, 2013

At a May 6th, 2013 meeting organized by the National Council of Asian Pacific Physicians (NCAPIP), the Pacific Chronic Disease Coalition (PCDC), a council of the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD), presented a newly published assessment on the status of health systems, diabetes, and non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in the U.S. Associated Pacific Islands (USAPI).

The assessment, published in the Hawaii Journal of Medicine and Public Health, highlights key recommendations to alleviate the diabetes pandemic in the Pacific, where prevalence rates of the disease range from 9% to 47.3% of the population. Nearly 50% of deaths in the USAPI are due to NCDs including diabetes. Two of the top recommendations, as concluded in the assessment include the development of standards of care for diabetes and other NCDs, and the implementation of training and continued education for physicians, nurses, and public health staff.

During the meeting, held in Washington, D.C., Dr. Dexter Louie, NCAPIP Chair said, "The rates of diabetes in USAPI are clearly at disaster levels, as a national advocacy organization of physicians, NCAPIP's charge is to be a voice in bringing these recommendations to the national level." Nia Aitaoto, PhD, an NACDD contractor and co-author of the assessment, remarked: "To address these critical problems, we need to partner with a national physician organization like NCAPIP to bring these recommendations to the national level." Dr. Richard M. Trinidad, a physician working in the USAPI added, "Diabetes is in a state of emergency here in the Pacific. I am an orthopedic surgeon, yet I must do a significant amount of diabetes care simply because of its prevalence."

The National Association of Chronic Disease Directors supports the PCDC as one of its official chronic disease councils, providing the council with organizational and technical assistance. "In 2009, NACDD made a strong commitment to the PCDC to fight chronic disease throughout the region. We are as committed as ever to that position today," said John Robitscher, CEO of NACDD.

Currently, the PCDC provides leadership in the development of a USAPI NCD Collaborative model that proactively targets integration of health care systems and expansion of community outreach efforts to improve health outcomes. Based on the widely adopted Chronic Care Model, effective NCD Collaborative teams may help advance needed policy and environmental strategies to reduce the burden of diabetes and other NCDs in the USAPI. In 2010, the Pacific Island Health Officers Association resolution declared a state of emergency due to the epidemic of NCDs and also encouraged the collaborative work necessary to combat the burden of NCDs in the region. “PCDC is taking action in regards to this declaration,” stated Ms. Augusta Rengiil, PCDC Executive Director, “the NCD Collaborative model respects the unique USAPI cultures, decision making process, and need for evidence-based healthcare; while also acknowledge the strengths, wisdom, and resources of the Pacific people. Working with the Pacific leadership, in country, we hope to positively impact health outcomes in our communities.”

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For more information, please contact John Patton, Director of Communications, NACDD at: 770-458-7400 x 222 • jpatton(at)chronicdisease(dot)org

The purpose of the National Association of Chronic Disease Director’s PCDC Council is to address the issues related to chronic diseases in the Pacific region by providing an avenue to act collectively with international, professional, governmental, community, and faith-based organizations and other non-governmental organizations (NGO) on issues that affect the successful development, management, implementation, and evaluation of chronic disease programs.

The National Council of Asian and Pacific Islander Physicians (NCAPIP) represents physicians committed to the advancement of the health and well being of diverse Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) communities.

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