TongaHealth hosts international meeting to fight NCDs

   Press Release

International health promotion foundations meet in Tonga to discuss the challenge of NCDs

The Tonga Health Promotion Foundation (TongaHealth) is hosting an international meeting to discuss new approaches to promote health and fight Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs). The meeting runs from the 23rd to the 25th of July 2014 and will include a variety of talks and discussion sessions featuring Tongan and International experts.

Attendees of the International Network of Health Promotion Foundations (INHPF) meeting come from health-promoting organisations in countries including Tonga, Australia, Fiji, Samoa, Thailand, Malaysia and Japan, as well as the World Health Organisation. Participants will share their own success stories and challenges and discuss how organisations can learn from each other to promote better health in their own countries.

Read more: Alcohol, tobacco, diet and lack of exercise still threats to Tongan health, says report

Seini Filiai, CEO of TongaHealth, had this to say of the meeting: “TongaHealth is excited to share our stories in the fight against NCDs and to learn from organisations facing similar challenges around the world”.

Non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer are the leading cause of deaths in Tonga, accounting for over 74% of all deaths [1]. Risk factors for NCDs include obesity (caused by poor diet and insufficient physical activity), smoking and overconsumption of alcohol. In May 2014, Tonga was named the most overweight nation in the world by the Lancet journal [2].

A function to welcome meeting participants will be hosted by the TongaHealth Board, Chaired by Rev. Dr. Ma’afu’otu’itonga Palu, at Vakaloa Beach Resort on the evening of the 23rd July. A farewell function will be hosted by the Minister of Health, Lord Tuʻiʻafitu, at ‘Oholei Beach Resort on Friday evening, the 25th July. The people and the natural beauty of Tonga will be showcased as participants tour around Tongatapu to look at Healthy Villages, Government Primary Schools growing vegetables, community aerobics class, and local places of interest.

About TongaHealth: The Tonga Health Promotion Foundation (also known as TongaHealth; www.tongahealth.org.to) was established by the Government of Tonga in 2007 to fight the rising problem of NCDs in Tonga. TongaHealth works with Government, community and other organisations to promote healthy lifestyle changes and healthy environments throughout Tonga.

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