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 2021, there were 537 million people with diabetes. By 2030, it is estimated that there will be 643 million people with diabetes1.

  • 1 in 8 adults (206 million) are living with diabetes in the Western Pacific Region1.

1. World Statistics – The International Diabetes Federation

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.

CountryPopulationPrevalence of T2DNumber with T2D
Solomon Islands584,00018.86%110,142
Western Samoa193,00022.80%44,004
American Samoa55,00047.00%25,850
Cook Islands21,00026.80%5,628
French Polynesia228,68524.00%54,884
New Caledonia269,73619.60%52,868

Data obtained from
*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.

CountryPopulationPrevalence of T2DNumber with T2D
New Zealand4,529,0008.50%384,965
Amputation Images
Amputation necessary due to diabetes