29 Jul 2019

ADB grants Tonga $US7.5m for health database

5:32 am on 29 July 2019

Doctor Photo: 123RF

The Asian Development Bank has granted Tonga $US7.5 million to create a digital health information system.

The bank says the grant will support the government in developing a gender-sensitive digital health strategy, and its work to review and amend laws to enable the health sector to use digital solutions.

It says the system for digital patient records will also record data on births and deaths for the government's population database.

Tonga has a population of about 107,000 people living on 170 islands spread across 750,000 square kilometers.

Constrained resources and lack of information to guide resource allocation in the health sector has led to poor health services, including limited health promotion and poor health outcomes, the bank said.

"Tonga's efforts toward achieving Sustainable Development Goal 3 - Good health and Well-being - have achieved substantial improvements in infectious disease prevention and control, as well as reproductive, newborn, and child health.

"However, more needs to be done to reduce maternal mortality, improve immunization coverage, and prevent and control noncommunicable diseases, especially diabetes and cardiovascular diseases."

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