NCD battle can be won: Clark

HELEN Clark has never shied away from a fight. As New Zealand’s first woman Prime Minister she fought against the odds to lead the nation.Now she is fighting to become the first woman to he of the largest global organisation – the United Nations.

There will be challenges – some of them from very powerful political and industrial lobbies – in this battle but Clark has not and will not step down. So if this woman says that the Pacific can win the battle against Non-Communicable Disease, she knows it can be done and has a plan in place.

“The NCD crisis is surmountable and reversible,” Clark told regional leaders at the inaugural Pacific NCD Summit in Nuku’alofa, Tonga last month. “What we have to gain are not just longer lives and more sustainable economies. It is the enjoyment and pride we take in nurturing new generations to lead healthier lives and in celebrating unique cultures and environments.”

The response from delegates was immediate, warm and positive. Fijian Health Minister, Jone Usumate indicated that his government believed measures could be put in place to reverse NCD trends and ensure a healthier Pacific. “But we need to stop talking about the issue and do something practical to change the situation. 

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