The forum, entitled Pacific Ending Childhood Obesity (Pacific ECHO) Network, was also attended by 45 participants, which included technical agencies, and academics from regional universities, development partners and civil society representatives.
The two-day meeting was held in Nadi, Fiji, this week and looked at plenary discussions, interactive tasks and creative group work exercises in the Network’s priority areas.
At the forum Fiji’s Minister for Health and Medical Services, Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete reminded participants on the need to make tangible advancements towards eliminating this epidemic.
The Pacific Research Centre for the Prevention of Obesity and Non-Communicable Diseases (C-POND), at the Fiji National University’s (FNU’s) College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences (CMNHS), identified as the Secretariat for the Network organised the meeting.
CMNHS dean, Dr William May said that the Pacific ECHO Network was established by Ministries of Health and their partners in the Pacific, in line with the healthy island vision of a Pacific where ‘Children are nurtured in body and mind.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) report childhood obesity continues to rise around the world, and the World Health Organisation has called it "one of the most serious public health challenges of the 21st century".