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The people of the Pacific Island region have some of the highest rates of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). These diseases include cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, cancers and chronic respiratory diseases.

NCDs are the leading cause of death in the Pacific region accounting for 60 to 75% of mortalities. Premature death, disability and reduced productivity from NCDs pose heavy burden on governments, communities and families. This creates a ‘human, social and economic crisis’ and challenging to achieving Healthy Island Vision and Sustainable Development Goals.

NCDs are preventable through effective interventions that tackle share risk factors. A risk factor is any attribute, characteristic or exposure of an individual that increases the likelihood of developing a disease. NCD risk factors are tobacco use, unhealthy diets, physical inactivity and harmful use of alcohol.

We know how to prevent NCDs, but this crisis will worsen unless we take urgent actions now. SPC’s NCD programme supports member countries and territories to scale-up the prevention and control actions recommended in the Pacific NCD Roadmap, and mobilises a sustained ‘whole of SPC, whole of government and whole of society’ approach to turning the tide on the NCD epidemic in the Pacific.

Our main strategic objectives

SPC’s NCD programme, together with other SPC programmes and partner agencies, actively provides technical support to Pacific Island countries and territories to:

  1. Strengthen top-level political leadership of action to address NCDs
  2. Improve healthy public NCDs policy and legislation in all relevant sectors
  3. Increase multi-sectoral engagement to address NCDs more effectively
  4. Build capacity for effective implementation of national NCD plan
  5. Establish accountability mechanisms to assess countries progress on NCD actions

SPC is engaging with political and sectoral leaders to positively influence policy dialogue and build increased awareness of the role of different sectors in responding to the NCD crisis, including reducing smoking and consumption of unhealthy food and drink including alcohol; and improving physical activity through policy, legislation and evidence based interventions, and ensuring best value for health spending.