Vanuatu launches renewed Non-Communicable Disease and Mental Health Policies

Vanuatu has launched its renewed Non-Communicable Disease and Mental Health Policies.

Public Health Director, Len Tarivonda said, “The Mental Health Policy and Strategy 2021-2030 is a guide to ensure provision of mental health and wellbeing as an essential component of health scare and services is achieved for all people in Vanuatu.”

“We must not forget that 74% of deaths in Vanuatu is due to NCD,” he stressed. He said,” Vanuatu is committed to reducing NCD related deaths.”

Country Liaison Officer of the World Health Organisation in Vanuatu, Dr. Eunyoung Ko, said, “Globally, NCDs kill 41 million people each year, equivalent to 71% of all deaths. Each year, more than 15 million people between the ages of 30 and 69 die from an NCD; 85% of these premature deaths occur in low and middle-income countries.

“In Vanuatu, the mortality rate from NCD is estimated to account for 74% of all deaths. The NCD community screening organised in Tanna and Efate islands in 2019, which screened almost 9,000 people above 25 years age, found that 42% people suffer from high blood pressure and 165 from high blood sugar. Roughly 60% are overweight or obese.”

WHO and other partners will support NCD and metal health programs in Vanuatu, guided by the two polices and the leadership of the Ministry of Health.

The launch marked the end of Mental Health Week last week.