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Flag of Tuvalu.svg

Tuvalu (/tˈvɑːl/ (About this sound listen) too-VAH-loo or /ˈtvəl/ TOO-və-loo), formerly known as the Ellice Islands, is a Polynesian island country located in the Pacific Ocean, situated in Oceania, about midway between Hawaii and Australia. It lies east-northeast of the Santa Cruz Islands (belonging to the Solomons), southeast of Nauru, south of Kiribati, west of Tokelau, northwest of Samoa and Wallis and Futuna and north of Fiji. It comprises three reef islands and six true atolls spread out between the latitude of to 10° south and longitude of 176° to 180°, west of the International Date Line. Tuvalu has a population of 10,640 (2012 census). The total land area of the islands of Tuvalu is 26 square kilometres (10 sq mi).

The first inhabitants of Tuvalu were Polynesians. The pattern of settlement that is believed to have occurred is that the Polynesians spread out from Samoa and Tonga into the Tuvaluan atolls, with Tuvalu providing a stepping stone to migration into the Polynesian Outlier communities in Melanesia and Micronesia.

Selected article

darkspotted moray in coral Fimbriated moray (Gymnothorax fimbriatus)

Tuvaluan mythology tells stories of the creation of the islands of Tuvalu and of the founding ancestors of each island. A creation story that is found on many of the islands is that te Pusi mo te Ali (the Eel and the Flounder) created the islands of Tuvalu; te Ali (flounder) is believed to be the origin of the flat atolls of Tuvalu and the te Pusin (the Eel) is the model for the coconut palms that are important in the lives of Tuvaluans. The strength of this belief has the consequence that Moray eel are tapu and are not eaten. (More...)

Selected biography

Dr. Nese Ituaso-Conway (MBBS (Fiji School of Medicine); MPH (University of Hawaii)) is the Director of Public Health at Princess Margaret Hospital (Funafuti), which operates satellite health clinics in each of the 9 Islands of Tuvalu. She has been appointed as a member of international committees that co-ordinate health responses in Pacific island nations, including the Pacific Public Health Surveillance Network (PPHSN), which operates under the joint auspices of the Secretariat of Pacific Communities (SPC) and the WHO; the Pacific Response Fund Committee (PRFC), which is a multi-donor funding mechanism that supports national and regional HIV strategies. Dr Ituaso-Conway is the National TB Programme Manager in Tuvalu for the SPC Tuberculosis Control Section, which is part of the SPC Public Health Division (PHD).


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Did you know?

DYK Question Mark Right
  • A traditional sport played in Tuvalu is kilikiti, which is similar to cricket.

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