Tongan Outreach Programme

The Outreach Programme in the Kingdom of Tonga is led by Dr Glenn Doherty, CEO of the Tongan Health Society (THS). The project has two key objectives:

  • An outreach focus working collaboratively with the Ministry of Health in Tonga, including Chronic Disease (CD) and Non CD nurses and other Ministry staff in villages, initially in Tongatapu.
  • The develop of a THS satellite clinic in the Kingdom that aligns with the THS clinics in Auckland and the new model of care that THS has developed.

THS staff undertook the initial part of the programme in the villages of ‘Ahau and Lapaha in November 2014 and followed up this work in April 2015. THS is particularly interested in clients with chronic conditions and youth. Future work will include health promotion and screening initiatives in high schools and villages.

The Tongan Royal family have offered land for THS to develop its envisaged satellite clinic in Tonga and HRH Princess Mele Siu’ilikutapu Kalaniuvalu Fotofili is engaged with supporting and promoting the programme.

The project focuses on:

  • Diabetes
  • Rheumatic Fever
  • Looking after your feet with diabetes
  • Early screening – BP, BMI, blood glucose levels
  • Youth health screening
  • Gout
  • Health eating and exercise
  • Hepatitis B prevention and education
  • Medical consumables for insulin management

Community Centre and Garden

The Tongan Health Society Inc has had a community centre and garden for some years. It was opened by the former Minister of Health- Tony Ryall.

There are a number of plot holders who look after small areas of garden growing largely vegetables. There is wide ranging interest in the plot holding in our community. THS runs many of its Self Management Education Programmes at the centre also Community Exercise programmes are run three times per week for our Tongan community. Many of our older clients come to the centre to engage with other members of our community weekly. There are market days put on by plot holders that are well attended.

THS has been successful for some years in receiving NZ Lottery Grants to fund community based ECE garden projects in Auckland pre- schools. There are currently 10 ECE pre schools involved in the project. This project has input from Taani Lavulavu, Homer Xu and Soni Vave.

To deliver Healthy cooking, healthy eating practice classes to preschool children and their parents grandparents, also ECE staff members.

  • To network with Early Childhood Education centres on the project
  • Develop with Early Childhood Education Nutritionist & garden Tudor workshop
  • To promote sustainable use of box & organic gardens
  • To assist the teacher and parents with seedling planting days
  • Suppling the resources for each school
  • Creating Achievement certificate for ECE centre rewards
  • To enhance the beauty of the natural environment at the ECE and generally
  • Promote edible planting initiatives for ECE centres

Recently THS was able to negotiate with the Auckland City Council a $50k renovation to the Community Centre.