SPAW returned to Tonga during October, our first trip to the South Pacific after nearly three years of disruption due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
After suffering a devastating volcanic eruption and tsunami earlier this year, it was critical that we made Tonga our first stop.
During the trip SPAW worked with Host-a-Vet Vava’u to host a clinic, carrying out 83 surgeries and 43 medical consults between two veterinarians and volunteers.
SPAW Lead Vet Dr Geoff Neal says: “It was definitely good to be back. The dog population has grown a lot over the last few years so it’s good that we are able to start performing operations again.
“We saw a lot of the cases that we managed remotely during Covid so it was great to be able to see these animals in person and check how they are doing.
“The Host-a-Vet team of Tracey and Bo were super organised, which made running the clinic easy and we are looking forward to being back in Tonga next year.”
SPAW also used the visit to run a stocktake of all medical supplies available on island. Over the last few years while SPAW has not been able to travel, we have shipped over supplies of medications including flea and worm treatments, parasite control medication, first aid medication, nutritional support and disease prevention products up to Tonga.
Here in New Zealand, our vets have carried out more than 750 phone and online consultations since Covid closed the borders. During this time, on island partners including Tongan MAFFF, Host-a-Vet Vava’u and TAWS have been dispensing these for animals.
Thank you to all the generous individuals and organisations that have donated funds and supplies as well as those on island who have worked tirelessly to make sure supplies get to animals in need.
While in Tonga, SPAW met with Government and volunteer agencies to collaborate and plan future clinics so when we go back, we have everything in place needed to treat as many animals as possible.
Over the whole visit, SPAW treated 401 animals, which included 158 surgeries and 168 medical consultations.