16 Jun 2006

Tonga registers more sexually transmitted infections

12:53 pm on 16 June 2006

The head of Tonga's public health is worried that the number of sexually transmitted diseases in the kingdom is on the rise.

Dr Malakai Ake says they estimate up to 30 to 40 cases of STI's every year.

"In comparison with the other years, it's strenuous that it is increasing, the number of STI cases. Unfortunately we do not have any facility here to test for chlamidya in which case we either send it to Australia or New Zealand for confirmation."

Dr Ake says since 1987 Tonga has had 14 cumulative HIV cases and says the kingdom's national strategic plan focuses mainly on prevention.

The World Health organisation has agreed to fund further research after its latest survey in collaboration with the SPC showed that a rise in the number of STI's might spark the spread of HIV in the region.