People with diabetes need uninterrupted access to medicines and care. They need healthy food and a safe space to exercise. During a disaster or emergency, the health system, living environments and the supply of medicines and vital goods are disrupted, making diabetes management even more difficult.
This disruption poses unique challenges to people living with chronic conditions like diabetes. A stable environment is necessary to manage the condition optimally. In disaster situations, people with diabetes may struggle to manage their condition as they are unable to access the medicines and supplies they need. This can place them at increased risk of life-threatening complications.
Procedures should be implemented to minimise disruptions to the availability and supply of medicines and health care in the aftermath of a disaster. An effective response to a disaster includes having the resources and tools available to meet priority health needs in a timely manner.
To learn more about the impact that disasters can have on people living with diabetes and the importance of the inclusion of essential diabetes medicines on disaster emergency lists, we spoke to Oliver Schnell, a Professor at Forschergruppe Diabetes e.V., Helmholtz Center in Munich, Germany.