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Journal of Health and Social Sciences





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Introduction: Chronic diseases (aka Non-communicable diseases, NCDs) contribute to the global burden of morbidity and mortality, with a significant share of premature deaths among low-and middle-income countries (LMICs), including Fiji. The early exposure to the risk factors of NCDs affects the entire life course; knowledge or awareness of adolescents towards NCDs and associated risk factors is critical for health promotion. This study aims to investigate the knowledge or awareness level of chronic conditions and their risk factors among Fijian students. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, a sample of 338 university students was recruited using the paper as well as web-based pre-tested survey through a convenience sampling technique. Differences in knowledge or awareness by gender, study year and program were analyzed using Chi-square/Fisher exact test. Results: Our research showed a higher proportion of females had knowledge or awareness about the increasing prevalence of NCDs in Fiji and associated risk factors as opposed to males. Among different programs, students enrolled in physical education were more likely to be aware about the global death toll attributed to NCDs compared to those enrolled in science majors. As expected, the awareness levels were higher among second- and third-year students than freshers. The most prominent information sources of NCDs reported by the students were teachers. Discussion: These findings highlight the need of developing school-based health awareness and promotion programs. Take-home message: The findings of this study will serve as the baseline data to develop new programs and to evaluate existing programs (if any), as limited data are available related to the implementation of NCDs prevention efforts in Fiji Islands.


Fiji; Health education; Health promotion; Non-communicable disease; Pacific islands; Students


Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Epidemiology | International Public Health

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