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Mauritius gathers new data on non-communicable diseases
  • Mauritius gathers new data on non-communicable diseases

Copyright: Nasseem Ackbarally

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  • The new survey is the sixth to be conducted since 1987

  • The 2009 study showed increased cases of diseases such as diabetes

  • An expert says periodic data on NCDs could boost evidence-based health policies

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[PORT-LOUIS, MAURITIUS] Mauritius has conducted a new survey to gain insights into non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
 
About 6,000 randomly sampled people who are at least 18 years old took part in the survey, says Anil Deelchand, the acting director of health services at the Mauritius Ministry of Health and Quality of Life, adding that the study is being conducted by his outfit and the Australia-based Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute.

“Although the standard of living has improved during the last four decades, the Mauritian population has adopted unhealthy lifestyles, resulting in a high cases of NCDs.”

Anil Deelchand, Mauritius Ministry of Health and Quality of Life

 

According to Deelchand, data collection for the study ended last month (24 August).
 
This 2015 survey is the sixth to be conducted since the first one in 1987. Deelchand says the last survey in 2009 showed that the prevalence of type 2 diabetes in those aged 30 to 74 years was 26.9 to 28.0 per cent in men and 25.8 per cent in women.
 
 Deelchand observes that although the standard of living has improved during the last four decades, the Mauritian population has adopted unhealthy lifestyles, resulting in a high cases of NCDs.
 
“The findings of the 2015 survey will help in disease prevention, adequate allocation of resources, improving health care delivery, educating the population about healthy lifestyles and preparing [the country] to face the challenges threatening the health care system,” Deelchand says.
 
Dianna Magliano, the head of diabetes and population health at Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, tells SciDev.Net: “Carrying out regular NCDs surveys makes the data very reliable and consistent, while the accompanying policy decisions are timely and appropriate.”
 
Magliano says the findings of the new survey could serve as a model for other countries.
 
Theeshan Bahorun, a researcher and the head of the Centre for Biomedical and Biomaterials Research at the University of Mauritius, is working on ways to stop the progression of NCDs.
 
Bahorun says that a study he and others have conducted in Mauritius shows that green tea can reduce blood glucose levels while fermented papaya has chemicals that reduce damage due to oxygen in the body and help fight blood pressure.
“Green tea regimen could form part of a healthy lifestyle that might ameliorate features of metabolic syndrome [a group of risk factors that increases one’s risk for heart disease] and subsequent risks for diabetes and its complications”, Bahorun and his team wrote in the journal BioMed Research International on 7 August 2013.
 
“This is interesting because high blood pressure linked to diabetes is an explosive cocktail for cardiovascular [heart-related] diseases,” Bahorun tells SciDev.Net. “Three cups of green tea daily can play an important role in the prevention of NCDs.
 
This article has been produced by SciDev.Net's Sub-Saharan Africa desk.

References

Naushad Ali Toolsee and others Effectiveness of green tea in a randomized human cohort: relevance to diabetes and its complications (BioMed Research International, 7 August 2013)
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