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Volunteers to run podiatry project in Tonga

08 September 2017

Posted in: Pacific Radio News,

A Tongan podiatrist is trying to raise more awareness around foot health in the Pacific community.

Giving Back To My Roots is a volunteer project preparing to run a week of podiatry services and educational workshops in Tonga.

Project manager Ramona Frost says they want Pacific people to know the importance of foot health, to help reduce amputation rates.

"Our profession is a minority so a lot of our Pacific peoples don't access this service in their medical centres," she says. "There aren't enough of us that can educate our people in our languages."

Ramona Frost (left) with her podiatry team. Photo/ Supplied.

The project will be run in Tonga in November for one week, consulting 120 patients. 

Frost says Tonga only has one podiatrist for a population of 107,122. 

"They're very very short and under-staffed. They only have one podiatrist who might be coming to New Zealand and then they'll have nothing."

The team is collecting resources and medical supplies to help assist their project and to also donate to Tonga's Vaiola Hospital.

Frost says diabetes and gout are two of the main causes of foot problems for Pacific people. 

She says the project is all about giving back to her people.

"A lot of us come to New Zealand, we get educated, we have all the tools and the knowledge but we tend to forget about our family back home."

"We wanna give back to our people."

Tags: Tonga, health,