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Environmental Health Lab officially opened

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 12/12/2019

The Acting Minister of Health this morning launched the New Environmental Lab at Vaiola Hospital aiming to improve health and to develop their staff’s skill and performance for the public. The project is funded by the New Zealand Government worth around NZ$4.5 million.

During the program, Matt Ashworth from the Environmental Science & Research in Auckland NZ spoke of the project and its significance for Tonga.

The opening of the lab today is a significant milestone in this chain that we have to develop an EH operational capability. To start a laboratory, will provide a capability to analyze drinking water quality, and also working on the vectors of mosquito identification and the susceptibility-tasking. The laboratory will also be able to support other areas in time such as food-borne illness, and being able to investigate where those are originating from. Most critically, supporting the work around identifying and providing mitigation to impacts of climate change on health so referring directly to the requirements of providing resilience to the Kingdom.”

Meanwhile the Acting Minister of Health – Siaosi Sovaleni acknowledge the New Zealand Government for their assistance.

It will be able to provide water quality analysis, basic chemical and physical perimeters of water quality, food safety analysis and vector surveillance support for identification and sustainability testing of insecticize on emergent vector threats. The lab has been specifically deside to be able to acommodate additional analytical activities so they can continue to respond to the needs of the Ministry of Health and the key stakeholders in protection of the health of the people of Tonga. For this I would like to acknowledge the Government of NZ especially the MInistry of Foreign Affairs and Trade for its support that has made this dream a reality.”

Also attending the program was the Australia High Commissioner, representatives from New Zealand High Commissioner and many guests.

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