On February 6, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit the south-eastern part of Turkey and the northern territory of Syria, causing widespread damage, life loss, injuries and the displacement of thousands of people.
IDF Europe is extremely concerned for people in the region affected by the earthquake and for the over one million people living with diabetes (PwD) in the area. PwD require uninterrupted access to healthcare, medicines and supplies to manage their diabetes and prevent the development of diabetes-related complications. During humanitarian crises, PwD face numerous issues in managing their condition due to difficulties in accessing insulin supplies and other medications, monitoring their blood glucose, controlling their dietary intake, undertaking physical activity and, in some cases, managing comorbidities. In the case of people living with type 1 diabetes, lack of access to insulin and continuity of care can be life-threatening. Coordinated action to provide timely and effective assistance is crucial, and the long-term impact of healthcare disruptions for people living with chronic conditions such as diabetes, should not be underestimated.
IDF Europe is in contact with our member associations which are in close communication with PwD in the affected region and which are working strenuously to provide assistance to those in need.
The Turkish Diabetes Foundation has been receiving numerous requests for insulin, medicines, insulin pens, needles, glucose meters and test strips. A nationwide “Diabetes during Disasters Advisory Committee”, including 90 endocrinologists, diabetes nurses and dietitians has been established by the Foundation, together with the Turkish Pharmacist Association, to coordinate the assistance requests. Last week, many supplies, including insulin pens, glucose meters, test strips and needles were sent to the region, and more will be delivered this week. At this stage, there is no shortage of insulin in the country. The distribution of insulin is primarily carried out, free of charge, at tents that have been set up by the Turkish Pharmacist Association in ten cities across the region. The Turkish Diabetes Foundation, in collaboration with the Turkish Pharmacist Association, has also set up a mobile pharmacy to provide medical supplies to PwD living in towns and villages which are more difficult to access.
Due to the severe damage the earthquake has caused to hospitals, health centres and pharmacies, there is currently a high need for mobile diabetes care centres, health units, containers and tents in the region.
Anyone wishing to receive information on how to donate and support PwD affected by the earthquake, is invited to reach out to us at: [email protected].
We commend the resolve and the commitment of the local organisations and the diabetes community which are providing assistance to those in need, and we remain in contact with our members and humanitarian aid organisations to ensure the continuity of care of for all PwD affected by this tragic event.