Port-Louis- Mauritius (PANA) -- Mauritius and Australia Friday signed a Memorandu m of Understanding (MoU) to further pursue research on Non Communicable Diseases (NCD) in Mauritius, mainly regarding the Type 2 diabetes, PANA reported from her e .
The MoU was signed between the Mauritian Health and Quality of Life Ministry and the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute of Melbourne.
Professor Paul Zimmet, director of the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, s aid the main objective of the research was to improve current understanding of t h e mechanism of Type 2 diabetes so that effective treatment could be possible in f uture, to facilitate exchange of reagents and data amongst the two parties and t o provide a framework for the training and interaction of Mauritian scientists an d students having interest in medical research.
He said Prof.
Mark McCarthy of Oxford University, in the United Kingdom, a renow ned expert in diabetes with extensive experience in the field of genetic studies , would also take part in the study.
The Australian Institute will fund the work to the tune of approximately 300 mil lion rupees (approximately US$ 10 million) through three components - the Maurit i us Family Diabetes Study, the Mauritius Diabetes Statistical Association Study a n d the Mauritius Biomarker Study - in terms of equipment, expertise, data analysi s , sample preparation, genotyping and DNA sequencing analysis.
According to the Health Ministry, NCD surveys which help to define appropriate i ntervention strategies aiming at reducing the prevalence and incidence of such d i seases and their risk factors are conducted in the Island every five years since 1987.
The last survey was carried out in 2009 and its findings have shown a progressiv e increase in the prevalence of Type 2 diabetes among the Mauritian population.
From 18 per cent in 1998, its prevalence rate has increased to 23.
7 per cent in 2009.
Around 50 per cent of the Mauritian population is either pre-diabetic or diabeti c.