Friday, December 02, 2011

Fiji life Expectancy Cut Short by Political Turmoil says Academic

Radio Australia News - 30 November 2011
Dictator Bainimarama & His Soldiers Who Carried out 2006 Coup

A new report has revealed a dramatic decrease in life expectancy in Fiji, with the figure falling by nearly five years within a five year period.

The life expectancy rate dropped from 72.9 years to 67.8 years from the year 2000 to 2005.

The figure comes from a Fiji Islands Health System Review by the Asia Pacific Observatory on Health Systems and Polices.

One of the report's authors, Professor Graham Roberts, believes the difficult times experienced by Fiji since 1987 - particularly its political turmoil - are largely responsible.

But he's told Radio Australia's Pacific Beat that no single factor can be blamed for the dramatic fall.

"It's the fact there's been multiple transitions going on," Professor Roberts said.

"We've got urbanisation, we've got changes in dietary patterns, we've got political instability. We've got large proportion of the population moving into poverty, we've got a significant proportion of the population living in squatter settlements with inadequate water and sanitation.

"And these are symptoms, once again, [of] the hard times."

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