The Western Pacific Region of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) is home to 37% of the total number of adults with diabetes in the world.1 This amounts to 153 million adults in 2015.1 The Region is not only significantly affected by the diabetes epidemic but also has the most frequently occurring natural disasters which affect people’s lives and health, with or without diabetes.
In the past 10 years the region has experienced several natural disaster events, including the Southeast-Asia Tsunami in 2004, the earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand in 2010, the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan’s Tohoku district in 2011, and the Haiyan Typhoon in the Philippines in 2013. After a disaster event, not only do mortality and morbidity rates immediately increase but the stress, infections, lack of food, water, and medications can all lead to worsening of chronic illness, and may seriously impact disease management. Therefore, a better disaster management plan for preparation, action, response, and recovery is essential to reduce the effects of a disaster event.
The IDF Western Pacific Region Disaster Program aims to help each member country develop disaster preparation and medical care strategies, and minimize the effects of disaster events on the lives and health of people with diabetes. It is hoped that people with diabetes, health providers, and official emergency departments will always be prepared so that the impact of an emergency on their condition will be lessened.
1. IDF Diabetes Atlas Seventh Edition, International Diabetes Federation 2015