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Health Corner 4 - Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs): Cardiovascular Disease

Continuing with the review of the big umbrella under NCDs, now we’ll focus on Cardiovascular Diseases (CVDs). This is an extensive chapter, not only because of all the affected areas in the body but also for all the impact on quality of life of the sick person, their family and the commu-nity.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are disor-ders of the heart and blood vessels such as: coronary heart disease (heart attack), cerebrovas-cular disease (stroke), rheumatic heart diseases, congenital heart diseases and heart failure.
The heart is located in the chest and together with the blood vessels (arteries and veins) work to distribute the blood supply to the whole body. This cardiovascular system, in charge of the circu-lation, is influenced by other parts of the body like the lungs, the kidneys, the brain as well as other factors of our lives, such as infections, stress, overweight, physical activity, food.
CVDs are the number 1 cause of death globally: more people die annually from CVDs than from any other cause.
Most cardiovascular diseases can be prevented by addressing behavioral risk factors.
An estimated 17.7 million people died from CVDs in 2015, representing 31% of all global deaths. Of these deaths, an estimated 7.4 million were due to coronary heart disease and 6.7 million were due to stroke .
>75% of CVD deaths occur in low-income and middle-income countries.
Out of the 17 million premature deaths (under the age of 70) due to noncommunicable dis-eases in 2015, 82% are in low- and middle-income countries, and 37% are caused by CVDs.
80% of all CVD deaths are due to heart attacks and strokes or four out of five CVD deaths are due to heart attacks and strokes.
People with cardiovascular disease need early detection and management using coun-seling and medicines.

Some of the risks for CVDs are: hypertension (raised blood pressure), diabetes (high blood su-gar), elevated blood lipids (cholesterol or triglycerides), overweight and obesity, tobacco use, an unhealthy eating, physical inactivity and harmful use of alcohol.
Let’s think that the heart is a pump and the blood vessels are hoses. The effort that the pump has to use to bring blood to all the hoses depends on the “resistance” of the hoses. When our food is too salty, the portion is too big or with many sugars (carbs) or fats and/or we do not exercise enough; our “hoses” or blood vessels increase the “resistance”, making the heart to work harder. The body can adjust and make changes to manage this extra effort for awhile, but eventually the compensation is not possible anymore and we get sick. This increase of “resistance” is the hypertension, or our hoses are blocked with all the cholesterol (plaque) interrupting the blood circulation to the heart, giving us a heart attack or to the brain, resulting in a stroke or providing that pump is not strong enough to keep pumping, heart failure or insufficiency.
Integrative Medicine is a practice based on the consciousness, in the recognition of the balance and harmony as well as the imbalance and disharmony we are facing as a disease. We promote giving the patient all the information, tools and support to make the click, to acknowledge res-ponsibility on their own health, to integrate all the available diagnostic and therapeutical resources to heal. We can do more than just give medicines as that is just one little portion of the ma-nagement.
What can you do to prevent or help your family prevent having a CVD or dying for it? First step is being informed, being aware, knowing the disease and the risks. Once you know, you need to be screened to know if you have it. For diagnosis, counseling, and management, you can visit the Public Health facilities, the Community Clinic, the Hospital, and the Dispensaries.
The most important thing is working on your risk factors:
• Engage in physical activity:
- At least 30 minutes every day.
• Start a long term healthy eating:
- Eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day,
- Limit your salt intake to less than one teaspoon a day.
• Cease tobacco or join a tobacco cessation program.
• Reduce or avoid alcohol consumption.
If we work together as a team to recover the lost balance in our bodies, in our society, if we start the healthy habits that we had before facing this NCD crisis, we can beat NCDs.
Mabel Loján, MD
Integrative Medicine

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Developing Regional Policy to Drive Change for the People of the Blue Pacific

blue pacific

By Meg Taylor DBE
The case for Pacific Regionalism is as strong today as it has ever been.
The well-established fact is that our countries have achieved great things by facing some of our biggest challenges together, rather than individually.
This was recognised by Pacific Islands Forum Leaders when they introduced The Framework for Pacific Regionalism in 2014. The Framework sees coordinated, collective action as a pathway towards a “region of peace, harmony, security, social inclusion, and prosperity, so that all Pacific people can lead free, healthy, and productive lives.”
During their meeting in September 2017 in Samoa, Forum Leaders deepened this commitment by endorsing The Blue Pacific as a new narrative for joint political action that calls for working together as one Blue Continent. The Blue Pacific aims to harness our shared ocean identity, geography and resources to develop policies that will drive positive change in our socio-cultural, political and economic development.
An aspect of the Blue Pacific that I particularly like, is its focus on “Pacific peoples, comprising our ocean of islands, who recognise their needs and potential, who plan and own their development agenda, and who can act collectively for the good of all, rather than a few.”
Success for regionalism and the Blue Pacific means ensuring that we are the architects of our own futures.
The Pacific Islands Forum is committed to a regional policy agenda that is inclusive, transparent, and owned by its constituents.

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Launching the Coconut For Life (C4L) Project

Vital Communications Office
Chuuk High School, Weno, Chuuk State, FSM - On Wednesday, October 18th, 2017, Vital FSM Petroleum Corporation (FSMPC) officially launched the Coconut For Life (C4L) Project. The ceremony took place on the site of the future Integrated Coconut Processing Facility (ICPF) and an Independent Power Plant (IPP) on the lagoon island of Tonoas, Chuuk. Representatives from the national government as well as delegations from all four of the Federated States of Micronesia made the early morning trip to the island, and were greeted with maramar, fresh young coconuts and singing and dancing by the Etten Youth Group.
C4L Project Ambassador Mr. Resty Shotaro welcomed guests at Ichimanton Dock and shared an introduction to the island’s history including its significance during WWII as headquarters for the Imperial Japanese Army. After a brief rain shower, Shotaro then led the procession of over three hundred guests and spectators to the ICPF and IPP sites. In addition to the two, fifteen-foot tall billboards offering a clear picture of the future facilities, the Chairman and CEO of Balance Services Group Mr. Rod Hayes spoke briefly of the ICPF’s initial capacity before introducing the concept and design behind the power plant his company has been commissioned to design and construct.
The Honorable Vice President Mr. Yosiwo George was invited to participate in a groundbreaking ceremony, and was joined by Chuuk State Governor Mr. Johnson Elimo, Yap State Governor Mr. Tony Ganngiyan, Pohnpei State Lt. Governor Mr. Reed Oliver, Kosrae State Lt. Governor Mr. Carson Sigrah, Tonoas Mayor Mr. Douglas Reselap, and FSMPC Chairman of the Board Mr. Faustino Yangmog. Chairman Yangmog concluded the Groundbreaking event by proposing a toast in honor of the distinguished guests and the Coconut For Life Project. A special lunch was hosted by Mayor Reselap and the people of Tonoas for all visitors.
Vital-FSM Petroleum Corporation’s Chief Strategy & Investment Officer Mr. Mathias Lawrence had earlier in the week presented the Coconut For Life Project termed “C4L” to the 11th State and National Leadership Conference at the Chuuk High School. Lawrence emphasized the Project’s intended purpose of increasing economic benefits throughout the FSM by boosting its agriculture sector, generating new avenues for clean water and clean energy, working with formalized producer groups – called Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) – that will comprise over 25,000 registered coconut farmers. The project is expected to increase FSM’s Gross Domestic Product by at least 5%. Lawrence also touched on recent progress made in the Company, mentioning its first export of over 80 metric tonnes of coconut crude oil in July 2017, and announcing a second export of over 60 metric tonnes of coconut crude oil scheduled for late October 2017.
In 2014, FSMPC was mandated with the task of revitalizing the nation’s coconut industry when the FSM National Congress passed Public Law 18-68, also known as “The Coconut Tree Act,” which dissolved what was then known as the Coconut Development Authority (CDA). FSMPC has since been taking strides towards increasing the trade in coconut tree products, as well as the processing, manufacturing, distribution and export of high value coconut products. Further information on the C4L initiative, this can be found on for_life/.
PGS awareness meetings and workshops are currently being scheduled across the entire FSM. Community groups and individuals that are interested in forming a PGS, registering as a participating farmer with the C4L initiative can contact Shotaro for more information at (691) 330-4200, or send an email to info@

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First 2018 Microgames sponsor announced


Colonia, Yap - Liyon Sulog, CEO of the 2018 MicroGames, has announced that Diving Seagull, Inc., has signed on to be the first sponsor of the quadrennial sporting event at the Silver Level with a contribution valued between $50,000 and $74,999.
“We are grateful to the board and management of Diving Seagull for their partnership and generous commitment to provide fresh fish for the athletes, as well as cash to support the many other needs required to host the Games,” said Sulog. Yap will host of the next Games from July 15 to 27, 2018.
“It is an honor to be associated with this event,” said John Waayan, Chairman, Diving Seagull. “We strongly support the goal of the MicroGames to insure the physical health and mental well-being of our youth through lifelong participation in active sport and healthy eating and look forward to cheering the athletes on as they engage in friendly competition.”
The Diving Seagull, Inc., a component unit of the State of Yap, pursues fishing and other fishing related activities by operating fishing vessels, marketing and selling fish, and developing cold storage and transshipment facilities.
The MicroGames are a quadrennial international multi-sport event within the Micronesian Region. Men and women athletes come from the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Guam, Palau, the Marshall Islands, Nauru and the Northern Mariana Islands to compete. The purpose of the MicroGames is to promote a unique, friendly, world-class sporting event and to develop sport for the benefit of the people, the nations and the territories of the Micronesian community.
To inquire about sponsorship and advertising opportunities, call 691-350-2440 or email

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FSM Surveillance & Fisheries Satellite Monitoring Training

On October 9, 2017, staff from the FSM Department of Justice (DOJ) Maritime Surveillance Wing and the National Oceanice Resource Management Authority (NORMA) gathered at the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission Annex Building for Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) training. The week-long training, conducted by experts from the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) based in Honiara, Solomon Islands, allowed FSM’s maritime enforcement officers and fisheries compliance staff to upgrade their skills on use of the Regional Satellite Vessel Monitoring System (VMS). The VMS is one of the key MCS tools utilized by FFA members to monitor fishing vessels in their Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ).
The training was officially opened by NORMA Executive Director, Mr. Eugene Pangelinan, who noted that continual upgrading of systems and skills are essential to an effective fisheries management regime. Mr. Pangelinan highlighted the significant work in fisheries management that has been accomplished over the past decade as a result of the VMS and encouraged participants to absorb as much knowledge as they could from the regional FFA experts as well as FSM's own in-country experts, VMS Officers Mr. Justino Helgen from NORMA and Mr. Whylik Alfons from DOJ. The training was part of a series of MCS exercises that the FSM requested as part of its Country Service Agreement with FFA and an in-country roll-out of the recently upgraded VMS. Training participants expressed their appreciation for the timeliness and relevance of the training to the FSM, which would aid in carrying out daily MCS tasks, providing policy advice and planning maritime operational activities. The VMS training focused on teaching officers the functionality of various modules on the new VMS Trackwell System and how to operate it to combat, prevent, deter and eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing in FSM’s multi-million dollar generating EEZ.

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FSM TC&I says that agreements proceeding for World Bank funding of FSM fiber optic project

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
November 1, 2017
FSM—World Bank funding is not yet secured for the FSM fiber-optic cable project, but according to a memo from the FSM Department of Transportation, Communication & Infrastructure (TC&I) and FSM Senator Esmond Moses, at least some of the World Bank funding could be in place by the end of the year. The FSM stills needs to cover several details but Moses says all parties are working together and most of those details should be in place by then.
The fiber optic cables have already landed in Chuuk, and Yap. Since then rumors have circulated that the company that handled the laying of the cable was suing the FSM for payment for its services and product since the funding is not yet in place. Senator Moses says that is not true. He said that in fact, the representatives of the company were surprised and thrilled during President Christian’s recent State Visit to Japan when the FSM made an $8.5 million payment on the bill from locally held funds. He says those funds will be reimbursed when World Bank disbursement conditions have been met.

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Trust Fund Chairman assures that illegally withdrawn funds are fully restored

Fund security strengthened, custodian replaced, investigation continues

Trust Fund for the People of the
Republic of the Marshall Islands
WASHINGTON (October 26, 2017) – Chairman Nik Pula of the Trust Fund for the People of the Republic of the Marshall Islands (the Trust Fund) confirmed this week that funds compromised by cyber-attacks at State Street Financial Services Company (State Street) have been fully restored and diligence stepped up after the discovery of fraudulent withdrawals of more than $600,000.

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