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Tongan child health at “worrisome low levels”, states study

Nuku'alofa, Tonga

By Finau Fonua

The health-related quality of life of school-aged children in Tonga is at “worrisome low levels” states a report published in a Swedish-based medical journal, Global Health Action, published in August.

Titled “Low health-related quality of life in school-aged children in Tonga, a lower-middle income country in the South Pacific”, the report surveyed and compared the results of a self-assessment test completed by 2,164 Tongan school children in Tonga and 830 Tongan school children in New Zealand.

The self-assessment test consisted of 23 queries regarding physical, social, emotional and school-functioning wellbeing. Queries such as “It is hard for me to do sports activity or exercise”, “I feel sad or blue”, “It is hard to pay attention in class” required five answers: “Never”, “Almost Never”, “Sometimes”, “Often” and “Almost Always”.

Based on the results, the report stated “Tongan children in New Zealand had a medium-to large-size higher health-related quality of life than the Tongan children living in Tonga. This was due to higher functioning and well-being across the four physical, emotional, social, and school subdomains in both younger and older children, and in both girls and boys.”

“In conclusion, children in Tonga seem to experience worrisome low levels of health-related quality of life, which is of considerable concern as it may have both immediate negative impact and also track into adulthood with negative individual and societal long-term consequences. The results may also signal a potential general pattern of low child-health-related quality of life in lower income countries, or in South Pacific Island countries,” it stated.


Kapau ko e savea ko'eni na'e fai pe ki he fanau 'i ha ki'i taimi nounou 'forget it' . Neongo 'oku kau 'a Tonga he ngaahi fonua langalanga fo'ou (developing countries) 'o mamani, ka 'oku kau 'a Tonga ia 'i he fonua mo'ui lelei, mo'ui fiefia, mo sino malohi 'i hono fakahoa ki he ngaahi fonua langalanga fo'ou lahi. Neongo 'oku kau 'a India mo China 'i he 'ekonomika lelei taha 'o mamani, ka 'oku 'i ai pe ngaahi feitu'u 'oku kovi ange 'a e tu'unga mo'ui ia ai 'i hono fakafehoanaki ki Tonga, pea 'oku totonu ke fai ai 'a e fakamatala ia ko'eni. 'I Africa, Asia, Middle east, Europe etc 'oku 'i ai ngaahi fonua ia 'oku kovi ange tu'unga mo'ui. fakafehoanaki ki Tonga. 'Oku 'ikai te u pehe 'oku peseti 100% 'a e tu'unga mo'ui 'a e fanau Tonga, ka ko e lipooti ia ko'eni 'oku 'ikai fu'u totonu fau. 'Oku totonu ke tau fakatokanga'i pe 'a e fakatokanga ni, ka 'oku 'ikai te u 'ilo pau pe ko e fakatokanga 'eni, pe ko e lau'ikovi'i ........SAIA