Tonga holds global health regulation workshop as WHO head issues pandemic warning

Tonga holds global health regulation workshop as WHO head issues pandemic warning

Tonga was working with the World Health Organisation to strengthen its ability to respond to global health threats, the CEO of the kingdom’s Ministry of Health said today.

Speaking to Kaniva Tonga news, Dr Siale ‘Akau’ola said the Ministry is running a workshop next week on the International Health Regulations (IHR) Monitoring and Evaluation Framework.

Dr ‘Akau’ola  was responding to a warning from the WHO’s new regional director that Pacific nations must prepare for the threat of a pandemic from re-emerging diseases.

Dr Takeshi Kasai was confirmed as new head of WHO at the end of last month.

He said he would support in three key areas that Pacific member states had identified as priorities for the future: health security, non-communicable diseases and ageing and environmental and climate change.

Dr Kasai  said island nations must develop new approaches to cope with these challenges.

He said non-communicable diseases such as heart disease and diabetes were already the leading cause of death in the Western Pacific.

He said the WHO did not know when or where the next pandemic would happen, but  it would happen.

“We are well aware of this report from WHO,” Dr ‘Akau’ola said.

“Tonga is working together with WHO to strengthen our preparedness to respond to these global health threats.”

Dr ‘Akau’ola said the International Health Regulations was concerned with the prevention, detection and containment of public health risks, especially infectious diseases of pandemic potential, at source, before they spread across borders.

The main points

  • Tonga was working with the World Health Organisation to strengthen its ability to respond to global health threats, the CEO of the kingdom’s Ministry of Health said today.
  • Speaking to Kaniva Tonga news, Dr Siale ‘Akau’ola said the Ministry was running a workshop next week on the International Health Regulations (IHR) Monitoring and Evaluation Framework.

For more information

Dr Takeshi Kasai appointed WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific

https://www.who.int/westernpacific/news/detail/26-01-2019-dr-takeshi-kasai-appointed-who-regional-director-for-the-western-pacific

Pacific urged to prepare for threat of pandemic

https://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/381355/pacific-urged-to-prepare-for-threat-of-pandemic

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