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Concept of Kato Polopola - Holistic approach to diabetes management

7 months
Approved budget:
Dr Soana Muimuiheata
Associate Professor Gael Mearns
Associate Professor Sione Vaka
Professor Elizabeth Smythe
Health issue:
Proposal type:
Pacific Health Knowledge Translation Grant
Lay summary
Diabetes services for Tongan people with T2DM require a Tongan worldview and holistic approach that encompass mo’ui lōtolu, wellbeing of sino (body), ‘atamai (mind), and laumālie (spirit/soul) to fulfil fatongia (duty/obligations). This approach is symbolised by Kato Polopola, a Tongan food basket. Food practices and diabetes management is never about an individual. It is always about wellbeing within collective communal living. The importance of receiving practical and meaningful information that involves family, church, and community. Kato Polopola recognises the critical role of the loto (heart), the centre of authority in deciding what to accept and reject. The importance of loto’i Tonga (Tongan heart), willingness to transform knowledge into action and maintaining an authentic relationship (vā). It is about all the strands (factors) woven together, held by ‘ofa (love/heart), ‘ilo (knowledge/mind) and lotu (prayers/spirit).