Social Indicators Research

, Volume 91, Issue 2, pp 171–187 | Cite as

Some Aspects of Communicable and Non-communicable Diseases in Pacific Island Countries

  • Azmat GaniEmail author


This study provides an overview of the incidence of the communicable and non-communicable diseases in Pacific Island countries. Available health statistics confirms that children continue to die annually due to neonatal causes, diarrhoeal diseases, pneumonia and measles. The adult population in several countries reveals presence and emergence of communicable and non-communicable diseases. Among the communicable diseases is the prevalence of HIV/AIDS among the 15–49 years old age group, it is considered to be less than 0.1% in several countries but in Papua New Guinea (PNG), it is about 0.3%. Marshall Islands, Tuvalu, Kiribati, PNG and Solomon Islands reveal high prevalence of tuberculosis while PNG, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu are the three Malaria prone countries. In terms of non-communicable diseases, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of mortality in several countries with Nauru recording highest incidence followed by Tuvalu, Marshall Islands and Fiji. People in several countries are in the pre-hypertension category with a high risk of developing hypertension. Several countries have serious obesity problems and in the Cook Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Samoa and Tonga; more than 60% of population is obese, and in all countries females are more obese than males. Diabetes is prevalent in all countries and Nauru has the highest percentage of prevalence of diabetes while in Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands and Micronesia, approximately 8% of people aged 20 and above suffers from diabetes. Fiji, Nauru, PNG, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu reveal high incidences of cigarette smokers while the consumption of alcohol is high in Niue and in the Cook Islands.


Pacific Island countries Mortality Diseases Tuberculosis and malaria 



This project is supported by the University of Canterbury’s Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies Research Scholarship awarded to the author. The author gratefully acknowledges this financial support. The author is responsible for all errors and omissions.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Economics, Faculty of Business and EconomicsThe University of the South PacificSuvaFiji

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