Massey University
Home > Massey News > Massey News Article
SEARCH
MASSEY
Massey News Homepage
  Home  |  Study  |  Research  |  Extramural  |  Campuses  |  Colleges  |  About Massey  |  Library  |  Fees  |  Enrolment

Search Massey News

Advanced search
Image search

Subindexes
Archived indexes
Archived Council papers

@Massey newsletters
Subscribe
Latest issue

Calendar of events
Today
Auckland
Palmerston North
Wellington

Massey classifieds
All classifieds
Auckland
Palmerston North
Wellington

Massey Magazine
Latest issue

Massey Magazine Issue 13 November 2002

News Media
NZ Herald
Stuff.co.nz
Radio NZ
TVNZ
TV3
Maori TV
NewsTalkZB
BBC News
Scoop
C4
Prime TV

City News
North Shore City
Palmerston North
StudentCity
Wellington

Dr Litili ‘Ofanoa, Director of Health in the Tongan Ministry of Health, and Professor Nigel Long sign a letter of understanding between the University and the Tongan Ministry of Health.
Dr Litili ‘Ofanoa, Director of Health in the Tongan Ministry of Health, and Professor Nigel Long
sign a letter of understanding between the University and the Tongan Ministry of Health.

Health research deal signed

Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Nigel Long travelled to Tonga in November to sign a letter of understanding between the University and the Tongan Ministry of Health to conduct joint research projects in Tonga.

The two joint projects to date involve collaborations between the Centre for Public Health Research (CPHR), headed by Professor Neil Pearce, and the new Research Section headed by Dr Sunia Foliaki in the Tongan Ministry of Health. The joint research programme will focus on cancer and asthma research initially, but will include all aspects of non-communicable disease, with a particular emphasis on building health research capacity.

The first project involves cancer research. It was launched with a two-week cancer epidemiology course in Tonga in May, funded by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which is a WHO agency. It was jointly hosted by the University and the Tongan Ministry of Health, with a ‘faculty’ of six leading cancer epidemiologists from New Zealand, Australia, Hawaii, France and the United Kingdom. There were more than 90 applications for the course from 27 countries, with 46 being accepted. Participants were mainly from the Pacific, but some came from as far as Nepal, Pakistan and Scotland.

Dr Foliaki says cancer has been identified as the second leading cause of mortality in Tonga for 2002. “It is a significant problem in the Pacific, but little is known about the magnitude of the problem, the key risk factors or the potential for prevention,” he says. “In the past 25 years or so a great deal of research on non-communicable disease has been conducted throughout the South Pacific, but there have been few studies of cancer.

“The IARC course was very successful, with enthusiastic contributions from the participants, and has greatly raised awareness about cancer in the Pacific and the need to develop research capacity in this area.

“We have received a grant of $125,000 from the Health Research Council of New Zealand to get started on a cancer epidemiology research programme. The first step is the development of cancer registration in Tonga, with assistance from Massey, IARC, and the New Zealand Cancer Registry. We started in Tonga in August, and will now work with the Ministries of Health in other Pacific countries to help establish standardised cancer registration throughout the region, and to conduct a study of breast cancer in Tonga, Samoa, Fiji and Niue.

The second project is collaborative research on asthma self-management, funded by the Wellcome Trust. The project aims to implement an asthma self-management plan in Tonga in order to reduce asthma deaths and severe asthma attacks.

The study involves an asthma self management intervention on the main island of Tongatapu, with a delayed intervention in the outer islands of Vava’u. Dr Foliaki reports that the study was launched in September and is going well with enthusiastic participation from the community.

Created: 10 December, 2004

   Contact Us | About Massey University | Sitemap | Disclaimer | Last updated: August 24, 2007     © Massey University 1999 - 2006