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Vaiola to get new Intensive Care Unit for COVID-19

Nuku'alofa, Tonga

JICA Tonga Resident Representative Mr Hiroaki Takashima and Ministry of Health CEO Dr Siale 'Akau'ola sign the Record of Discussions. 16 July 2021.

An $11 million pa’anga  Intensive Care Unit for critically ill patients with infectious diseases, including COVID-19, will be installed at Vaiola Hospital by March 2022.

Funded by JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) this Technical Cooperation project includes an ICU container facility with five beds. It will be constructed using one 40ft container and fourteen 20ft containers. It will include an RO purifier, oxygen generator, and diesel generator.

The project will also cover medical equipment and ICT equipment for telemedicine consultations.

A  training component covers provision of remote trainings, seminars and workshops on intensive care (including 
diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases), and operation of ICU telemedicine systems.

The provision of doctor to doctor/ nurse to nurse advise remotely by ICU specialized doctors and nurses in Japan together with capacity development program for ICU related health workers.

Next year

On July 16, Mr Hiroaki Takashima, JICA’s Resident Representative and Dr. Siale 'Akau'ola, CEO for the Ministry of Health signed a Record of Discussions for implementing this project for “Capacity Development of Intensive Care Unit (ICU) using Telemedicine under COVID-19 Pandemic".

This signing event also marked the conclusion of the Project Feasibility Study, which started at the beginning of this year.

The project is expected to conclude in September 2022 with capacity building, including the training of the hospital's medical staff.

JICA stated, that Japan realized from the Tongan Government through the Ministry of Health, the urgent to strengthen the hospital's medical capacity of Intensive Care services, in order to administrate and treat critically ill patients if affected by COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.

The work will include the laying of a concrete foundation before installing of the imported pre-fabricated ICU containers.