His Majesty King Tupou VI of Tonga visited the Imperial College London Diabetes Centre (ICLDC), a Mubadala Health partner, to discuss a potential partnership in addressing non-communicable diseases in Tonga, specifically diabetes and associated illnesses.

The King was accompanied by his Private Secretary Sione Uaisele Fifita; Minister Counsellor from Tonga Embassy Sione Sonata Topou; aides-de-camp to His Majesty, Captain Samuela Veikune, Deputy Secretary Feiloakitau Kaho Tevi and Palace Office Staff Sione Kava.

The delegation was welcomed by the state-of-the-art outpatient facility’s Executive and Medical Directors respectively, Dr. Nicholas Richards and Dr. Emad George, along with Mubadala Health’s Senior Director of Operations Safeya Al Maqtari.

During the tour, the delegation reviewed the tailored, multidisciplinary, holistic approach to the treatment of diabetes, endocrinology and its related complications, allowing patients to receive the full spectrum of care they need, all in one facility. They also reviewed the latest developments in types 1 and 2 diabetes research, future innovation in diabetes care, as well as advanced alternatives to traditional therapy used to treat complex cases.

A statement from the Palace Office in Tonga said: “Tonga is on the heavier end of the obesity statistics for the Pacific Islands with 69 per cent of the adult population being obese. His Majesty King Tupou VI was given a tour of the state-of-the-art facilities and shared his hope that his people could one day access such services in the Kingdom of Tonga.”

Dr. Nicholas Richards, Executive Director, ICLDC, said: “We are honoured and humbled to have met with the King of Tonga and his delegates to discuss the prevention and management of diabetes. This chronic disease is a growing pandemic, and its prevalence is increasing in all parts of the world at alarming rates.

“Such inter-country collaboration and discussions underscore the collective importance of treating diabetes as a lifestyle disease, while at the same time aligning with our wider goal to create beneficial partnerships and advance our medical expertise. Our aim is to collectively embark on a transformative journey with our partner and help them develop resources to provide best-in-class expertise and healthcare to their community.”

In just over a decade, ICLDC has gained international recognition for its holistic approach to the treatment of diabetes and related complications, while developing cutting-edge research, insightful training programmes, and community-led health awareness initiatives at the facility.