Representatives of the Seventh-day Adventist Church recently launched plans for a South Pacific Society of Lifestyle Medicine in Fiji and Solomon Islands.
Similar societies operate around the world, comprising doctors, researchers and other health professionals, with the aim of advancing the field of lifestyle medicine.
Adventist Health director Dr Chester Kuma said a South Pacific Society would help to address the crisis of lifestyle diseases in the Pacific.
“It will enable us to create a platform of collaboration and partnership,” he said.
Dr Kuma was joined by Dr Wayne Dysinger, chair of the American Board of Lifestyle Medicine, in launching the concept in Fiji and the Solomons. In Fiji, they met with the vice chancellor of Fiji National University, who is now looking into whether lifestyle medicine studies can be included in undergraduate medical training.
The Solomon Islands launch was attended by the country’s Deputy Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare. “It was a real privilege that he could attend this gathering and listen to the crisis and to the solutions that we can see happening through lifestyle medicine,” Dr Kuma said.
Plans for a South Pacific Society of Lifestyle Medicine are supported by the 10,000 Toes campaign, which is aimed at preventing and reversing Type 2 diabetes across the South Pacific. About 2 million people in the region have been diagnosed with the lifestyle disease.