Wake Up! Project: The youth from the Solomon Islands is taking the lead on NCDs prevention through art
Did you know that Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) represent one of the most serious challenges to the health and wellbeing of youth in the Pacific region?
In the ‘Pacific Youth Development Framework 2014 – 2023’, young people identified NCDs as a major development issue affecting their health, wellbeing and their futures. Approximately 75% of all deaths in the Pacific are due to NCDs. Overweight and obese children are likely to stay obese into adulthood and more likely to develop NCDs such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases at a younger age.
Tobacco is a preventable risk factor for many non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cancer, lung and heart diseases. Despite these well-known facts, tobacco use remains high globally and is a major risk factor for NCDs in the Pacific.
31st May marks World No Tobacco day and this year’s theme is protecting youth from industry manipulation and preventing them from tobacco and nicotine use.
Tobacco and Pacific youth
For the third consecutive year, young people from different Pacific island states and territories have the opportunity to spread prevention and control messages for noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) using different media, thanks to the Wake Up! Project, launched in 2017, with financial support from the Pacific Fund (France) and the Australian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), and implemented by the Pacific Community (SPC).
Well-known for its landscapes, authentic and welcoming population, the Pacific region is also sadly famous because of the high rate of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). NCDs are today the main cause of death in the Pacific. To help tackle this regional health crisis, the Public Health Division of the Pacific Community (SPC) began the Wake Up project.
Every year since 2017, with the financial support of the French Pacific Fund and the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT),the Pacific Community (SPC) has hosted Pacific youth to take part in the “Wake Up!” project.
Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) do not receive an appropriate level of attention and have become a ‘silent killer’, as some specialists describe it. On World Health Day 2018, and in partnership with UNDP, SPC is releasing 6 short movies created by youths of the Pacific to reach out to their peers on that question.
The goal of the Wake up! project is to get younger generations involved in efforts to control non-communicable diseases (NCDs) by providing them with an opportunity to speak out on this topic through the media and the arts.
Following the project’s initial success in 2017, the Pacific Community (SPC), in partnership with the regional United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) office, decided to do it again in 2018.
The Pacific Islands are well known for their root crops, traditional meals and customary cooking styles. In this unique part of the world, food is often prepared by digging a hole in the ground and burying raw natural crops and meat or fish with hot stones to create an ‘earth oven’. This style of cooking has provided an organic and healthy diet for many generations. However, traditions are changing, and modern development has had a major impact on health in the region.