Doctors identify diabetes, obesity as major challenges in Samoa

A group of Chinese specialist doctors working in Samoa have picked diabetes and obesity as a major health challenge for citizens.

Having already clocked three months since arriving in Samoa to work under a partnership agreement between the Samoa and China governments, the Chinese medical team comprising six specialists spoke of their first three months.

Dr. Yonggang Wang (urologist and team leader), Dr. Lifeng ASn (otolaryngologist), Dr. Qingfan Zheng (gastroenterologist), Dr. Zhe An (cardiologist) and Dr. Qiong Wu (pathologist) told the Samoa Observer that heart diseases pose a major challenge to citizens’ health in the country. 

Dr. Wu said Samoans should manage their eating habits and change their lifestyle by reducing their sugar intake. 

“Samoa is a beautiful country but we’ve seen that obesity and diabetes have gone a bit risky and dangerous for their health of the majority of the people so they need to start changing their foods’ lifestyle,” he said.

The Chinese medical specialists are currently attached to the Tupua Tamasese Meaole (TTM) National Hospital on Upolu and have three more months before they complete their mission and return to China.

Dr. Wang said there are a number of similarities between Samoan and Chinese culture. 

“Because our country and Samoa have a very good relationship and this is our first time in Samoa. We love Samoa because of its people and their kindness, climate, scenery and the lovely food,” he said. “Familiar surroundings, traditional culture, are very much similar back home and the country itself is beautiful, although the language is a problem.”

The Chinese medical team, who arrived in Samoa on August 9, run health screening programs in villages during their spare time. They measure blood pressure, blood sugar count, do electrocardiogram examinations as well as provide free medication. 

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