Aug 24 (IPS) – A smartphone app in Fiji helps customers not to handiest devour higher however to lend a hand develop meals that may give a contribution to a extra healthy diet.
An initiative of the College of the South Pacific and the Ministry of Well being (MoH), the My Kana app was once introduced in 2017 to lend a hand deal with the rising occurrence of non-communicable sicknesses (NCDs) in Fiji and the South Pacific.
NCDs, basically diabetes, cardiovascular sicknesses, cancers and breathing sicknesses, accounted for 80 % of all deaths in Fiji in 2015, an MoH file discovered. In 2018 the rustic recorded the arena’s best dying price from diabetes, with 188 fatalities in step with 100,000 other folks, consistent with the Asia Pacific Report.
However there’s hope that the My Kana app will help in making a distinction. It has two parts — My Foods and My Lawn. My Foods lets in contributors to report and visualize their foods in order that they are able to observe what they devour and drink, and know whether or not their foods are balanced and wholesome. They are able to additionally make a selection elements, many native to the Pacific, to create recipes.
To this point the app, which is loose for customers within the Pacific, has about 500 lively customers, says the rustic’s senior nutritionist on the MoH, Alvina Deo. My Kana additionally has a social media presence on Fb, Instagram and Twitter, the place fans are 60 % feminine. That is in all probability on account of girls’s pastime in yard gardening and likewise their worry for his or her circle of relatives’s diets, Deo stated in an interview.
My Lawn guides customers on beginning and keeping up a house lawn, relying at the season, and how you can report the rising procedure.
Adi Kelera is a cheerful My Kana consumer. “I’ve been ready to watch my water consumption, which is one thing I don’t usually do,” she stated, including, “the information mirrored image of what I devour has motivated me to take my house workout regimen extra passionately, particularly in keeping up my weight and dimension purpose.”
Kelera admits that Covid-19 restrictions have affected her way of life and her day by day coaching time table, like many people. “The pandemic has someway sidetracked many of us from keeping up a wholesome way of life, and ahead of they understand it, they change into overweight and get started creating non-communicable sicknesses.”
On the other hand, she continues the usage of the app, particularly the meals selfie possibility. “The app provides me an estimate quantity of energy, fats and protein in my meals. I in finding this truly useful and informative on the similar time.”
Kelera reckons the app can also be advanced. “I believe that there will have to a notification to remind customers to stick on target and an automatic plan for once they log of their main points.” However she stated she would counsel My Kana to her friends and family as a result of it’s consumer pleasant.
Nina Salusalu makes use of the app now not handiest to trace her vitamin plan, however adopted its steerage to start out a house lawn. She was once ready to reap tomatoes, cabbage and beans, the usage of boxes and buckets. “I don’t have a lot land area to hold out house gardening, however that didn’t prevent me from rising greens. I truly recognize this app, particularly all over this pandemic.”
Salusalu thinks that extra other folks will have to learn about My Kana. “I believe there are nonetheless smartphone customers in the market who don’t seem to be conscious about the app they usually want to be trained about it as Fiji must take on the problem of NCDs.”
About 817,425 Fijians, or 95 % of the inhabitants, have get entry to to cell web connectivity throughout 3G, 4G and 4G+ networks.
NCDs and the pandemic have each put drive on Fiji’s already beaten well being assets. Covid-19 handiest makes well being issues worse, as other folks with pre-existing clinical prerequisites, together with NCDs, are much more likely to succumb to the virus.
The primary wave of Covid-19 in 2020 noticed an enormous uptake on using My Kana app, Deo stated. This is when the My Lawn part was once advanced. “The My Kana lawn part aimed to empower Fiji’s inhabitants and different South Pacific Islanders to develop our personal greens, end result and plants, and devour wholesome,” she stated.
“During the My Kana lawn part all our well being amenities are inspired to ascertain gardens to advertise wholesome consuming and function fashions,” added Deo.
She famous that My Kana may also lend a hand to handle the loss of NCD statistics in Fiji and the Pacific, and give a contribution to analyze within the area. “The My Kana App can give a contribution to meals and diet safety signs of nationwide construction this is inclusive and sustainable, and can make stronger the lives and livelihood of prone populations.”
Pre-Covid, the app was once promoted via steady neighborhood trainings. However with pandemic restrictions, that is now happening on social media platforms, the place fans are steadily reminded to make use of the app to make wholesome alternatives.
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