The Tonga Diabetes Association was founded in 2006 with the former Minister of Education as chairman, the late Dr Hu’akavameiliku Kavaliku. From 2006 to 2012, the Tonga Diabetes Association (TDA), played the role of keeping Tonga in the network loop of diabetes care internationally by sustaining membership with the International Diabetes Federation. Diabetes care in Tonga benefited from this as staff of the National Diabetes Centre of Vaiola Hospital were able to attend international conferences, workshops and meetings as part of human resource capacity building. However, there were no other activities initiated locally.
In 2012, TDA was re-established during the celebration of the World Diabetes Day in November and Her Majesty, Queen Nanasipau’u Tuku’aho agreed to be the Patron. A working committee was then formed to develop a constitution and hence legalise this association. Members for the executive committee have also been selected.
The goal is to facilitate and ensure that the people of Tonga Live Well with Diabetes focussing on:
Awareness of the seriousness of the disease
Enabling patient to have access to tools that will improve control
Learn more here about activities organised by the Association for World Diabetes Day:
The celebration started with a Sunday service on Sunday 10th November at one of the churches in Tonga. This was attended by patients, families, supporters and health staff.
Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education and partners worked together to promote healthy lifestyle at schools as a prevention tool for diabetes in children. 3 primary schools in Tonga displayed vegetable gardens and perform aerobics and Tonga dances which were televised to the whole kingdom. This focused on the theme, 'Protect our Future' with the emphasis on children and young people. Each school recorded their program to be played on Monday 11th, Tues 12th and Wed 13th.
Radio talk backs on diabetes
Diabetes walk on Thursday 14th morning and everyone was invited. A platoon from the Tonga Defence Services led the walk which was followed by aerobics led by Ministry of Health
Message from the President
Dr Veisinia Matoto "Networking, regionally and internationally is vital to the association and the diabetes service as a whole. This builds capacity of the diabetes service thru updating of knowledge, access to research results, and link up with experts in the field.
Being a member of IDF puts Tonga in the international arena of diabetes. IDF facilitates attendance of international meetings and we have access to resources developed by IDF such as the Education modules, Diabetes Treatment Guideline. We gain experience and stay relevant and updated when we talk diabetes"