The Horrible Statistics

Diabetes is the leading cause of amputations in the South Pacific

The leading cause of amputations and toe loss in the South Pacific is Type 2 Diabetes. Because diabetes is a lifestyle-related disease, it has become a bigger challenge than leprosy!

Thirty years ago leprosy led to toe loss and amputations. Today, as a result of dietary and lifestyle changes, diabetes is even more dangerous.

In 2017, there were 371 million people with diabetes. It is estimated that by 2035, there will be 592 million people with diabetes. World Statistics – The International Diabetes Federation.

  • There are already 30 million people with diabetes in the Western Pacific Region.
  • 1.4 million people with diabetes in the territories of the South Pacific Division.
  • 1 in 4 Pacific Islanders (Adult) is a diabetic.
Diabetic related amputations in the South Pacific
  • 30,000+ amputations per year.
  • 560 amputations per week.
  • 80+ amputations per day.
  • 1 amputation every 20 minutes.

There are large numbers of people with silent, undiagnosed Type 2 Diabetes damaging their bodies. The reason for this is many people don’t display symptoms.

Type 2 Diabetes is commonly diagnosed at a later age. Signs are sometimes dismissed as a part of ‘getting older’. In some cases, by the time Type 2 Diabetes is diagnosed, the complications are already well underway.

Symptoms include:

  • Being excessively thirsty.
  • Passing more urine.
  • Feeling tired and lethargic.
  • Always feeling hungry.
  • Having cuts that heal slowly.
  • Itching, skin infections.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Gradually putting on weight.
  • Mood swings.
  • Headaches.
  • Feeling dizzy.
  • Leg cramps.

Source: Diabetes Australia

A tsunami of suffering across all borders, genders and ages.

Country Population Prevalence of T2D Number with T2D
Solomon Islands 584,000 18.86% 110,142
Fiji 892,000 16.60% 148,072
Tonga 106,000 21.90% 23,214
PNG 7,619,000 17.65% 1,344,754
Western Samoa 193,000 22.80% 44,004
American Samoa 55,000 47.00% 25,850
Cook Islands 21,000 26.80% 5,628
Vanuatu 265,000 24.00% 63,600
Nauru 10,000 28.90% 2,890
Tuvalu 10,000 23.10% 2,310
Kirabati 112,000 22.00% 24,640
Tokalau 1,276 33.60% 429
French Polynesia 228,685 24.00% 54,884
New Caledonia 269,736 19.60% 52,868
Niue 2,000 26.40% 528
24.88% 1,903,813

Data obtained from www.who.int/diabetes/country-profiles/
*Statistics correct as of August 2018

Note the comparison between Pacific Island countries, Australia and New Zealand. In the Pacific Islands, health care is not readily available. Similarly, people are frightened to go to the doctors, so they put it off. Diagnosing Type 2 Diabetes early, and educating people on how to manage their diabetes can save lives and limbs. The ultimate goal, above all, is to prevent, arrest and reverse Type 2 Diabetes.

Country Population Prevalence of T2D Number with T2D
Australia 23,969,000 7.30% 1,749,737
New Zealand 4,529,000 8.50% 384,965
Amputation Images
Amputation necessary due to diabetes