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 Tonga Diabetes Association Strategic Plan 2023–2027 is now in place. It marks progress and growth of the Association and dedication towards improving the health and well-being of the people of Tonga who suffer from diabetes. Tonga continues to struggle with people developing diabetes and action is now more urgent than ever.
This strategic plan is a milestone and sets the direction for the next five years for what the Association can contribute to prevent further illness due to diabetes and encourage people to live well with diabetes.
Five key actions will be prioritised and addressed by the Association that are in line with the Government of Tonga’s development plans. A whole-of-society approach with the person suffering from diabetes as the central focus of this plan will ensure efforts are made to increase awareness and knowledge to empower
people with diabetes to live a happy and productive life. Tonga’s greatest asset is its people so let us work together and act now to become a healthier country.
TDA has developed a 5 year Strategy which identifies its main focus. This focus is on creating awareness and improving knowledge on all aspects of Diabetes. This will empower individuals to undertake screening and promote self care.
The media outlets will be used mainly to deliver messages on Diabetes Prevention, Diabetes Treatment and Management as well as Advocating for the support that is needed for people living with diabetes.
Organize and support the World Diabetes Day activities.
Support media awareness of Diabetes
Message from the President
The management and control of diabetes as a chronic illness requires an approach that considers not just
the delivery of quality care by the health provider but more so, what the person living with diabetes can do,
chooses to do or not to do. Optimal diabetes control is achieved and sustained when the health provider
and the person living with diabetes work in partnership, with the patient recognised as a person in his/
her own context, is informed and involved in and becomes the centre of care. The support system to
facilitate collaborative efforts in this approach is critical to ensure empowerment and support is provided
to both parties for favourable sustainable outcomes. This strategic plan provides a framework for a
coordinated approach across different areas and sectors to address the burden and impact of diabetes on
There is an increasing number of people with diabetes in Tonga and evidently a lot more are at risk of
developing diabetes. Collaboration among all stakeholders in communities, including youth, churches,
NGOs and civil societies, is required to prevent diabetes and ensure that everyone lives well with it.
The Tonga Diabetes Association Strategic plan framework identifies five key action areas with specific
activities and timelines for implementation from 2023–2027. It includes diabetes advocacy, awareness
and communication, diabetes prevention and control, diabetes education and training, research and data
management to support diabetes care and ensuring sustainability of financial support. The responsible
stakeholders who will lead these activities are indicated.