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NCD drive recognised

Friday April 15, 2016 Written by Published in Health

THE World Health Organization (WHO) has acknowledged the Cook Islands government’s commitment towards addressing non-communicable diseases problem (NCDs) in this country.

 

The acknowledgement follows the introduction of the 2015 Cook Islands National NCD Strategy- a move to take action on the country’s increasing NCD cases.

In a report, the organisation says the Cook Islands have shown national commitment to address NCDs in a sustained manner.

“Cook Islands are just one of the Pacific island countries successfully implementing these interventions.”

While the Cook Islands population is fewer than 15 000, the report says the country still managed to take significant strides in expanding actions to control non-communicable diseases despite the challenges encountered.

“Cook Islands are working to prevent cervical cancer through screening and HPV vaccination, which was introduced three years ago.

“Currently they are finalising an evaluation system which builds on their existing health information system.”

Public Health’s health promotion manager, Karen Tairea, said addressing NCDs continued to be one of the biggest challenges fo the Health ministry

She said more could be done to address the issue, but the onus was on each individual.

“There is always more that can be done but we are doing what we can with the resources we have,” Tairea said.              - AB

‘Last chance’ costs man $620

Driving offences and two counts of breaching probation earned Aisake Fimone a fine of $620 when he appeared in the Cook Islands High Court on April 14.

Fimone appeared before Justice of Peace Carmen Temata on one count of driving while disqualified, refusing to undergo a breath-alcohol test and two counts of breaching probation.

Lawyer Norman George made submissions on behalf of his client, stating that he had no argument with the police charges of driving while disqualified and breach of probation.

However as far as the breathalyser test was concerned, his client had said that he had passed the test twice yet police had still laid charges.

Despite this, Fimone pleaded guilty on all charges, George said.

George said the defendant looked after his mother who was very ill. He did not have a proud record before the court and he had three children that he needed to devote attention to. Fimone would be employed as a security officer in the near future, he added.

Temata said the defendant appeared for sentencing on four charges.

The first two charges of breaching probation conditions under section 1. 10 (1) of the Criminal and Justice Act 1967 carried a maximum penalty of imprisonment for a term of three months or a fine.

Charges for driving while disqualified under section 32 (2) of the Transport Act 1966 carried a penalty of one year imprisonment or a fine.

Charges for refusing to undergo a breathlyser test is the fourth charge under section 28b (4) (a) inline of the Transport Amendment Act 2007 carried a penalty of a $1000 fine or 12 months’ imprisonment and 12-month mandatory disqualification from driving.

JP Temata said Fimone had appeared before the High Court on several occasions in 2008 and 2015.

She said it was disappointing that Fimone displayed complete disregard for the court and it is noted that a long custodial sentence had not been sufficient to deter him.

The court could not keep tolerating such behavior, said Temata, and was close to sending Fimone to prison.

However, she took into consideration the heartache it would bring to his children and sick mother if he was imprisoned.

“Therefore the court is giving you a last chance to amend your behaviour. You are convicted and fined $500 and $30 court costs on all charges and a mandatory 12 months’ disqualification for driving.

“The breathlyser charge will be added to the current disqualification and you will fined another $100 and $20 court costs totalling $620,” Temata said.