Dr Tedros met with Tongan leaders, health workers and community members to explore how WHO and the Tonga Government can continue to work together in close partnership.
The visit is historic as for the first time ever, the Kingdom, is visited by a WHO Director-General.
Also visiting the country will be WHO’s Chief Nursing Officer (CNO), Elizabeth Iro. Prior to taking the role of CNO in 2017, Iro served as the Cook Islands Secretary of Health.
The WHO officials will also meet with the Deputy Prime Minister and the Cabinet of Tonga. In order to gain insights into the country’s health challenges, particularly the rise of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like diabetes, they will visit Vaiola Hospital, Houma Health Center and Maamaloa Early Childhood Education Centre. They will also visit communities in the Houma district and ‘Ahau, including a mangrove plantation project, to understand how communities deal with the health threats posed by climate change and emergencies.
The delegation is in Tonga as part of a tour of the Pacific. The officials will attend the Pacific Health Ministers Meeting in French Polynesia, visit Tuvalu to speak at the Climate Change Summit prior to the Pacific Islands Forum, and make a brief official visit to Fiji.
Photo file Caption: Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus