July 30th , 2008
The King's plans for the fight against diabetes
and associated illnesses
Authorized and issued by the Office of the Lord Chamberlain,
King George Tupou V keeps a close eye on his own diabetes and follows the research, commentary and data published internationally about the ailment. He is one of the most informed people in Tonga on its causes, treatment and consequences.
His Majesty is concerned about its prevalence in the Kingdom and in other Pacific states where it is classified as a serious and debilitating problem. If not properly managed, it can completely and painfully break the health, and lead to the death, of its victims. It hurts their families, puts a strain on already overstretched medical services, and has a negative economic effect.
Earlier this year, the King decided to use his influence and patronage on a major initiative to tackle the issue. He believes, however, that the need goes beyond diabetes. The disorder that produces it is related to the human endocrine system that secretes hormones directly into the blood. Diabetes involves a hormone failure to regulate blood sugar. Hormone secretion difficulties also contribute to the occurrence of some other significant diseases, such as cancer and bone deficiencies, thyroid, pituitary, and neurological conditions and obesity.
The King's project is centred on the proposed establishment of a Royal Endocrinology Society, governed by a board of eminent trustees and functioning as an independent private charity.
Its objectives include offering surgery and outpatient facilities, dispensing medication at subsidised rates, starting a national awareness campaign, promoting preventative measures, setting up diagnostic and blood analysis laboratories, forming a research programme and entering into co-operation with similar societies abroad.
His Majesty would like to house the society in a purpose-built headquarters, with wind power as an independent source of energy and a satellite connection for transmitting and receiving data. He is personally handling much of the initial planning.
Funds raised through exclusive media rights for the Coronation and from the sale of Coronation mementoes and merchandise will help finance the society. Once it is operational international organisations will be approached for support. The King believes this will be forthcoming when potential donors see for themselves that Tonga and its Monarch have taken steps on their own volition to address a threatening epidemic.