26 km2 (10 sq mi)
Tuvaluan Dollar, Australian Dollar
Geography and demographics
Tuvalu comprises nine atolls in the South Pacific Ocean and is located at an equal distance between Hawaii and Australia. Tuvalu gained its independence from the United Kingdom in October 1978. Since then, it has been a constitutional monarchy within the Commonwealth of Nations. The head of government is the prime minister who is elected by parliament. Being relatively remote from major markets, Tuvalu has been paying comparatively high transportation costs for trade, which creates a significant imbalance between exports and imports. Tuvalu relies heavily on foreign aid and overseas remittances to bridge the gap. The bulk of the domestic economy is driven by the public sector; very few opportunities exist for private sector development.
Tuvalu gained its independence from the United Kingdom in October 1978. Since then, it has been a constitutional monarchy, with a parliament and Prime Minister that are elected every four years.
As an island nation, Tuvalu’s economy primarily revolves around the ocean. The majority of Tuvaluans work on ships and tuna boats and are known for providing some of the highest quality seafaring training in the world. The currency of Tuvalu is the Australian Dollar, however, Tuvaluan dollars in the form of notes and coins are also in circulation.
As the most populated island in Tuvalu, Funafuti receives the most tourists. The country is particularly popular for eco-tourism, and the funafuti reserve contains over 20 square kilometres of coral reef, lagoons and untouched uninhabited islands. Due to its isolation, Tuvalu’s marine wildlife is some of the most unique and untouched in the world.
In Tuvalu, progress has been made in strengthening the health system to tackle emerging health issues, such as the NCD epidemic, climate change and communicable diseases. A STEPS survey conducted in 2015 shows a high rate of obesity among adults aged 18-69 years, with 55.2% in males and 70.7% in females. According to the Status of Health in Tuvalu 2010, the highest number of deaths in Tuvalu in 2010 was due to cerebrovascular accident. The second leading cause of death was ill-defined conditions, and the third leading cause of death was related to diabetes mellitus.
Most health services are provided by the public health services, but family planning services are jointly provided by the public health services and the Tuvalu Family Planning Association.
Tuvalu has one hospital, Princess Margaret Hospital, located on the main island of Funafuti, providing primary and secondary care for patients in Funafuti and those who are referred from outer islands. Two health clinics, one south and the other north of Funafuti, provide primary clinical services. Eight health centres covering outer islands provide primary health care and basic public health services. Those facilities are staffed by nurses who mainly provide primary care and preventive services. Patients needing advanced clinical cares that exceed the hospital level are referred to overseas hospitals through the Tuvalu Medical Treatment Scheme.
In 1953, the Ellice Islands (former name of Tuvalu) was assigned to the Western Pacific Region at the Sixth World Health Assembly "without prejudice to any questions regarding sovereignty" as an area. It was administered by the Western Pacific High Commission until its independence on 1 October 1978. It joined WHO on 7 May 1993 as a Member State.
It is covered by the WHO Representative Office in the South Pacific in Suva, Fiji.
Ministry of Health
The Ministry of Health has endorsed the National Health Reform Strategy 2016-2019 to improve health management at all levels. The management reform is to support the core business of health-care delivery.
It has sought expert advice from the Educational Quality and Assessment Programme (EQAP) to register and accredit programs under the Pacific Qualifications Framework (PQF).
TUVALU–WHO Country Cooperation Strategy 2018–2022 http://iris.wpro.who.int/bitstream/handle/10665.1/13958/WPRO-2017-DPM-024-tuv-eng.pdf
Access Tuvalu country profile (CHIPS 2015-2016) http://hiip.wpro.who.int/portal/portals/0/CountryProfiles/PDF/TUV_Tuvalu2015.pdf
Access UHC and SDG country profile
National immunization data – EPI summaries by country http://www.wpro.who.int/immunization/documents/epi_country_poster_2014_tuv.pdf
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