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 feasibility study in 2011, and provision of basic level wheelchair service training in 2012. Through those activities, basic level wheelchair provision was introduced at the Vaiola Hospital.

This visit was an opportunity to gauge the current status of the provision of walking aids, wheelchairs, prosthetics, orthotics; and develop a plan for establishing a consistent, sustainable mobility device service under the Ministry of Health. Our team met with senior personnel at Vaiola Hospital, MOH physiotherapists, mobility technicians and senior nursing personnel. We also met with the Tongan Disability Task Force convened by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and with the National Disabled Persons Organisation Naunau ‘o e ‘Alamaite Tonga Association (NATA) and their members who are users of mobility devices.

We are delighted to be working again in Tonga, and look forward to building a strong relationship with all stakeholders, to assist in ensuring that people with a mobility disability are able to consistently access appropriate mobility devices through trained Tongan personnel.

For more information, contact Kylie Mines