In 2020 the EMUGs Outreach Program fundraised to send a much-needed ultrasound probe to Tonga to enhance patient management and outcomes for the Tongan community.
A group of emergency physicians including Dr Mike Nicholls, Emergency Medicine Specialist at Auckland City Hospital, have been actively building the capability of emergency care in Tonga for several years funded by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade.
The main focus of this effort has been the education of staff in the emergency department at Vaiola and Vava’u with NZ and Australian personnel visiting Tonga, and with Tongan personnel visiting Aotearoa.
As a result of their efforts ultrasound is now a core part of emergency care in Tonga.
One of the barriers to improved ultrasound utility in Tonga is access to up-to-date equipment. That’s why EMUGs tapped into the hearts of its POCUS community to fundraise for the purchase of a linear probe for the Sonosite Edge II ultrasound machine which was being used for its 'rheumatic heart disease screening program.
Supplying this additional probe has meant this machine can now also be utilised for POCUS in the emergency department.
This has been an excellent addition to the small but growing capacity to provide point of care ultrasound in the critical care setting in Tonga.