6 Mar 2017

Tongans encouraged to prioritise hygiene

2:51 pm on 6 March 2017

Authorities in Tonga are encouraging people to prioritise their health more to avoid diseases like typhoid.

hand washing, hygiene

Photo: 123rf

There have been two cases of typhoid this year, one of which has led to a month-long ban on public gatherings and events where food is shared.

The Ministry of Health CEO Siale 'Akau'ola said poor basic hygiene led to the cases.

Dr 'Akau'ola said the ministry has been actively promoting the washing of hands and hygienic food preparation.

But people also needed access to soap and running water, he said

Dr 'Akau'ola says this is normally not a problem but toilet facilities can be an issue.

"It comes down to ability of individual homes to have their own hygienic toilet facility. Unfortunately of course it also comes down to how people prioritise their spending because sometimes we find certain homes that have a new car but they don't have hygienic toilet facilities so we try to educate them to put the priorities where it should be."

He said because it was common in Tonga to have communal meals and large gatherings, hygiene is even more important.

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