An assessment of non-communicable diseases, diabetes, and related risk factors in the Federated States of Micronesia, State of Pohnpei: a systems perspective

Henry M Ichiho, Robina Anson, Elizabeth Keller, Kipier Lippwe, Nia Aitaoto
Hawai'i Journal of Medicine & Public Health: a Journal of Asia Pacific Medicine & Public Health 2013, 72 (5): 49-56
Non-communicable diseases (NCD) have been identified as a health emergency in the US-affiliated Pacific Islands (USAPI).1 This assessment, funded by the National Institutes of Health, was conducted in the Federated States of Micronesia, State of Pohnpei and describes the burden due to selected NCD (diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, stroke, chronic kidney disease); and assesses the system of service capacity and current activities for service delivery, data collection and reporting as well as identifies the issues that need to be addressed. Findings reveal that the risk factors of poor diet, lack of physical activity, and lifestyle behaviors lead to overweight and obesity and subsequent NCD that are significant factors in the morbidity and mortality of the population. Leading causes of death were due to heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and hypertension. Population survey data show that 32.1% of the adult population had diabetes with a higher rate among women (37.1%) when compared to men (26.4%). The data also showed that 73.1% of the adult population was overweight or obese. Other findings show significant gaps in the system of administrative, clinical, data, and support services to address these NCD. There is no overall planning document for the prevention and control of NCDs or diabetes. There is evidence of little communication among the medical and health care providers which leads to fragmentation of care and loss of continuity of care. Based on some of the findings, priority issues and problems that need to be addressed for the administrative and clinical systems are identified.

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