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In recent years, the IDF Western Pacific Region has encountered an increasing number of natural disasters. These include the Southeast-Asia Tsunami in 2004, the Sichuan earthquake in 2008, the earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand in 2010, the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami in 2011, the Haiyan Typhoon in the Philippines in 2013, the earthquakes in Tainan and Kumamoto in 2016, and the floods in Indonesia in 2019. Diabetes management can become fatally difficult during a natural disaster, both in the short and long term. People with diabetes and health professionals working in the field of diabetes care must prepare well before natural disasters occur.
The IDF Western Pacific Region (IDF-WPR), in collaboration with its members and the Asian Association for the Study of Diabetes (AASD), has been actively working on the development of disaster preparation and medical care strategies for the region since 2014. To minimize the effects of disaster events on the lives of people with diabetes, individuals with the disease, healthcare providers, and official emergency departments should always be prepared. Such preparedness can lessen the impact of natural disasters on people with diabetes.
In 2019, the Japan Diabetes Society (JDS)/AASD/IDF-WPR Joint Symposium on Diabetes Management and Natural Disasters was held in Sendai, Japan, a city which was heavily affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami in 2011. On the occasion of the symposium, JDS, AASD and IDF-WPR jointly declared their commitment to actively disseminating the high importance of disaster preparation for people with diabetes throughout the region.
In Hong Kong, the Youth Diabetes Action (YDA) annual Hike for Youth Diabetes commemorates World Diabetes Day and emphasizes the importance of a healthy lifestyle.
Australian scientists have developed an artificial intelligence-driven technology that could make it easier to prevent blindness in the 1.7 million Australians with diabetes.
Patients usually wait up to six weeks for a specialist to screen them for diabetic eye disease. But with this new CSIRO-developed eye-screening technology, patients can be screened by their regular doctor instead, then referred to a specialist for treatment if needed.
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