The Kingdom of Tonga is a Polynesian country situated south of Samoa, southeast of Fiji and north of New Zealand. It is the last remaining constitutional monarchy in the Pacific region; a monarchy that is over 1,000 years old. Tonga is comprised of over 170 islands, many of which are uninhabited. With a population estimated at 102,000 and majority of people living in rural villages, service delivery can be challenging.

MA’s engagement with Tonga began in 2011 with a mobility device feasibility study. MA has provided basic level wheelchair service training in 2012 and is now working with stakeholders to investigate opportunities to strengthen existing health and rehabilitation services.

Disability related statistics and information:

• The 2011 national census in Tonga recorded an incidence of 13,980 disabilities (this does not necessarily represent the number of people with disabilities as some may have co-morbidities).
• It is expected that disability is likely to increase in Tonga with an ageing population and with non-communicable diseases (NCD) now at epidemic levels resulting in high rates of amputations, stroke and impairments.
• Tonga became a signatory to the UNCRPD in 2007.
• In 2014 Tonga launched the ‘Tonga National Policy on Disability Inclusive Development 2014-2018’. This policy takes a whole-of-government approach and involves civil society organisation as partners and implementing agencies.

Mobility device services in Tonga

Motivation Australia was recently invited by the Ministry of Health (MOH) to carry out a rapid assessment and detailed project design for Mobility Device Services to be established by the Government of the Kingdom of Tonga with funding from the Australian Government. Motivation Australia has previously worked in Tonga, including carrying out a mobility device… Read more »



Children’s wheelchair clinic: Tonga

Motivation Australia recently worked with the Mango Tree Rehabilitation Centre in Tonga to mentor staff through a seating clinic; providing wheelchairs for children with more complex needs. The focus of the clinic was to further develop the knowledge and skills of a technician, and an Australian volunteer physiotherapist working at the Mango Tree.  



The Kingdom of Tonga: Basic Wheelchair Training

Basic level wheelchair training was held in the Kingdom of Tonga in November for participants from Tongatapu and the Outer Island Groups of Ha’apai and Vava’u. The training was made up of a clinical training section – incorporating the WHO Wheelchair Service Training (basic level) course material; and a technical training section, which focused on… Read more »



Disability Services in Tonga

Motivation Australia recently carried out a feasibility study in Tonga, following an invitation from  Naunau ‘o e ‘Alamaite Tonga Association (NATA) – the National Disabled Person’s Organisation of Tonga; and with funding through the Planet Wheeler Foundation.