Launch of Tongan Translated Stanford University Manual

PHOTO: Tongan-New Zealand MP Jenny Salesa during the launch. Photo/Soane Gallagher Niukapu 

The Tongan translation of the Stanford University Chronic Disease Self-Management Programme was launched earlier this month at Alliance Health Plus (AH+) by Labour MP, Jenny Salesa. The launch was completed with the blessing of the resources by Rev Kalolo Fihaki – Senior Advisor, (Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs).

The Stanford chronic disease self-management education manual (commonly referred to as the Stanford SME model) was designed to assist and equip patients and their fami­lies with the necessary tools, skills and confidence with managing their chronic health condition. Strong recommendations to translate the resource into Pacific languages came from the Tongan Health Society church groups who completed the SME workshops in 2011/12.

The launch celebrated the successful completion of a Tongan translated manual that will benefit Tongan clinicians, health workers and Tongans living with chronic conditions in New Zealand and abroad.

Manukau East Labour MP, Jenny Salesa, enjoyed the candid evening and shared fond memories of her 84 year old father who modelled healthy living as a vegetarian for over 40 years. She emphasized the vital role parents play in shaping the future of our children. “Having the highest obesity rate in the world and seeing a rising number of young people with diabetes is not something we Tongans should accept or proud of.”

Salesa went on to acknowledge the funder and the expertise that went into translating the resources, and conveyed what excited her about the manual. There is hope that these resources will not only assist and motivate our Tongan people to better manage their chronic conditions, it will further engage the efforts for the prevention of chronic diseases.

AH+ recruited a working group of experts from various fields to undertake the Tongan translation: Dr Maika Kinahoi-Veikune –Qualified Translator & Public Health Physician, Dr Viliami Tutone – Renal Specialist (Middlemore Hospital), Dr Linita Manu’atu – Senior Lecturer (AUT) provided Linguistic Specialist advice, Mrs Vaiola Ha’unga – Public Health Nurse & SME Master Trainer, Mrs Kalatiola Tonga – Proof-reader and Consumer perspective.

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Front Row: Alan Wilson (CEO, Alliance Health Plus), Jenny Salesa (Labour MP, Manukau East), Dr Maika Kinahoi-Veikune (Public Health Physician), Rev. Kalolo Fihaki (Senior Advisor, (Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs), Lita Foliaki (ADHB Pacific Health Gain Manager). Back Row: Dr Viliami Puloka (Public Health Physician), Dr Linita Manu’atu (Senior Lecturer, Pasifika Education, AUT), Viviena Pole (Operations Manager, Alliance Health Plus), Dr Viliami Tutone (Renal Specialist, Middlemore Hospital), Vaiola Mone Ha’unga (Public Health Nurse & Master SME Trainer). Photo/Soane Gallagher Niukapu.  Kalatiola Tonga completed the Proof-reading and Consumer perspective for the project but was not able to attend the launch.

According to ADHB Pacific Health Gain Manager, Lita Foliaki, the credibility and expertise of the working group is vital to give Stanford University, as well as the Tongan community, confidence in the quality of the work produced.

AH+ Operations Manager, Vivien Pole, coordinated the project and said that the translation process started at the end of 2013 and it was a challenging project due to the working group managing other competing priorities. “But the team’s drive and passion to make this a successful and quality resource for our Tongan people, saw the completion of the translation project in February of this year”.

The desired outcome of the programme is for patients to become less dependent, change what they are able to and also be held accountable for health habits and decisions that worsen their conditions.

Dr Manu’atu said that their goal for the manual to be successful with Tongan communities was to have the translation ‘speak to the heart’ and stir an inspiration for improved lifestyles and a shift in behavioural habits for good. Self-Management is addressing the issues of the heart as a priority. When the heart is willing – the mind is convinced! “Ke mafana e Tonga mo loto ki ai”

SME is a major focus for the Ministry of Health be­cause long term conditions in New Zealand, like car­diovascular disease and diabetes, are leading caus­es of mortality, especially with our Pacific and Maori population.

Dr Viliami Tutone highlighted the depressing state of diabetes in New Zealand. The highest rate of diabetes and those that are poorly controlled are from Counties DHB, a reflection of the high population of Pacific peoples. Diabetes prevalence is highest for Pacific and Indians and the proportions of people with diabetes who had poor glucose control in 2013 is mostly in the 0-24 year age group and again led by the Pacific.

Alliance Health Plus together with Tongan Health Society and Procare, have been using the Stanford model for the Healthy Village Action Zone (HVAZ) programme in English with 42 church groups. The Tongan Facilitators now have a manual they can use consistently. The Samoan translation is expected to be completed soon.

The HVAZ Diabetes Self-Management Manual (DSME) was also launched on the night. The HVAZ team identified a need to develop two DSME clinical modules to compliment the SME programme. This project was led and completed by Dr Viliami Puloka with the help of the HVAZ nurses Mesepa Channing from Alliance Health Plus, Sulita Smith from Procare and Elenoa Havea from Tongan Health Society. The DSME manual was later translated into the Tongan language by Dr Viliami Puloka.

The event was attended by representatives from the DHBs, Health Providers, SME Trainers & Facilitators and other sectors.

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