We described admissions for children aged 5-11 years to the main hospital in Tonga from January 2009 to December 2013. Rates with 95% confidence intervals (CI) were compared using rate ratios (RR).
There were 1,816 admissions. The average annual admission rate was 20.2/1,000 (95% CI 19.3-21.1). Hospital admission rates were higher in younger than older children (5-7 versus 8-11 years, RR=1.28, 95% CI 1.18-1.41) and in boys than girls (RR=1.52, 95% CI 1.38-1.68). Injury and poisoning (28%), non-respiratory infectious diseases (19%), respiratory conditions (16%), abdominal/surgical conditions (13%) and dental (9%) were the most frequent admission reasons. A larger proportion of younger versus older children were hospitalised for dental (16% vs 1%, P<0.001) or respiratory conditions (18% vs 14%, P=0.02). A larger proportion of older children were hospitalised for abdominal/surgical conditions (15% vs 11%, P=0.008), other infectious diseases (21% vs 17%, P=0.04), other conditions (10% vs 6%, P<0.001) and cardiac conditions (2% vs 1%, P<0.001). CONCLUSIONS
In children 5-11 years in Tonga, 85% of admissions were for five groups of conditions. These data inform priority areas for healthcare spending and enable comparisons over time and between different Pacific countries.