Ministry of Health

Tonga is facing problems trying to repatriate its nationals from overseas

They have not been able to return home since Tonga’s borders closed in March 23.

Ministry of Health CEO, Dr Siale ‘Akau’ola said there’s no viable pathway home for these patients, without stronger collaboration in the region.

“We have difficulty in repatriating back our folks from India, because no one can help us. It is quite a bit frustrating!” he said in a regional conference at the Fa'onelua Centre Thursday.

China donates medical equipment to Tonga

During the handover ceremony Monday, China’s Ambassador to Tonga Cao Xiaolin said Tonga and China are good brothers and sisters who always help take good care of each other.

“As Tonga responds to the global pandemic, our hearts go out to our Tongan brothers and sisters. China reciprocates the kindness and stretch our helping hands to Tonga. We concern what our Tongan friends concern and put ourselves into your shoes. We gathered medical supplies through various channel at very short time.’’

Tonga has no plans to open its borders soon

Ministry of Health’s CEO, Dr. Siale ‘Akau’ola outlined a number of issues that Tonga has to address before they open the borders to allow Tongans and people from overseas to enter.

“We have to make sure that no coronavirus will be transferred into the country, when we open our borders,” he said.

For a start, Tonga must have quarantine facilities in place before they open the borders.

The Ministry is currently trying to identify suitable quarantine facilities. They are investigating the possibility of booking hotel rooms.

Coronavirus remains a threat to Tonga

Despite being one of the 15 countries in the world that has not reported any case yet, the Tonga Ministry of Health is not ready to manage the fatal disease.

Dr. Siale ‘Akau’ola said coronavirus remains a serious problem for the ministry.

He added that Tonga's health services would struggle to accommodate the cases, even a dozen cases would be difficult.

Dr. 'Akau'ola also said the Ministry of Health has identified eight areas to address in its state of preparation for possible infections, but of these, case management remained a major concern.

Fiji Health Minister warns that Covid-19 screening is compulsory

Ifereimi Waqainabete's comments came after reports that six families in the greater Suva area had refused screening procedures, including having their temperatures taken.

The minister said officials were returning to convince the families to be screened as part of a greater community programme which had involved more than 6,000 locals.

But Mr Waqainabete said ultimately, the families did not have a choice.

Digicel Tonga supports awareness programmes to end TB

This year’s theme is “It’s Time to End TB”.

Tuberculosis is a common disease in most Pacific Island countries affecting people in different livelihoods.

To mark the awareness week, Digicel was fortunate to have Dr Joseph Takai from the Ministry of Health and the Public Health Division to enlighten staff in an engage and learn session on what TB is, the causes and most importantly what to do and how to prevent it.