World AIDS Day focus: “What should Chiang Mai do before it’s too late?”
“What should Chiang Mai do before it’s too late?” was the question
Dr. Prakong Wittayasai, Managing Director of Support the Children
Foundation, put forward as the focus for World AIDS Day which takes place
December 1. Chiang Mai has had 22,547 AIDS patients to date and the number
of AIDS patients in Thailand continues to rise, although awareness of this
fact has been limited due to the restrictions imposed by the 1998 Human
Rights law which prevents the publication of names of new AIDS patients, or
of people in the first stages of the disease.
Prakong Wittayasai, Managing Director of Support the Children Foundation,
promotes programs for the upcoming World AIDS day at Chiang Mai City Hall on
A contributing factor to the rise has been the focus on treatment and
research in Thailand rather than on education prevention programs.
Many of the government’s programs for reduction of AIDS transmission have
suffered due to budgetary restraints. One of the projects to be hit has been
the program to reduce mother to child transmission, which continues to
remain high. The government has also seen the failure of the 41.3 billion
baht vaccination trials, with the virus not showing any weakening or
reduction in patients who took part in the trial.
Teenagers remain a high risk group mainly due to lack of education and
awareness and risky sexual behavior often taking place among youth. Others
who have multiple partners are at a higher risk for the disease and the
unwillingness of many to practice safe sex. Dr. Prakong Wittayasai, on
behalf of Support the Children Foundation, urged the Governor, the
government, business and social sectors and the press of Chiang Mai to help
promote the upcoming campaign in a bid to reduce the spread of AIDS.
Chiang Mai residents receive health checkups on World Diabetes Day
By CMM reporters
Chiang Mai Municipality commemorated World Diabetes Day by offering
tests for blood pressure, blood sugar, body mass, eyesight and disease risk
to residents, municipal officials and members of the press at the Municipal
office on November 17 and 18.
Mai residents, municipal officials and members of the press undergo health
checkups for World Diabetes Day.
Information about diabetes, which affects more than 100 million people
worldwide with an estimated 3 million people in Thailand alone, was offered
at the event which was organized by Chiang Mai Municipality’s Public Health
& Environment Department, the Sports Authority of Thailand, D Met Hearing
Center and Krittiya Eyewear.
Diabetes claims 4 million lives every year and is the third deadliest
non-infectious disease. It is one of the leading causes of blindness, kidney
failure, heart attack, stroke and amputation. According to the International
Diabetes Federation (IDF), if the current rate of diabetes growth continues
unchecked, the total number of people living with diabetes worldwide will
exceed 435 million in the next 20 years.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Diabetes
Foundation designated November 14 as World Diabetes Day to encourage local
organizations to help prevent diabetes through education and health care.
Pet of the week from Care for Dogs
By Care for Dogs
Doodle is a wonderful 5 – 6 months old puppy with
beautiful fluffy snow white fur.
would make a terrific pet for some loving person willing to give
her a home.
She is a small sized bright and cute doggie who loves to play,
and will run after balls and toys and bring them straight back.
She has been vaccinated and dewormed. She’s such a precious
little puppy who deserves a chance for a forever home. If you
think Doodle could be the perfect match for you or anyone you
know, please contact Care for Dogs, English (08 47 52 52 55)
Thai (08 69 13 87 01) or e-mail: [email protected] to make
an appointment to meet her at the shelter. If you want to see
the other four-legged friends of Doodle who are ready for a new
home, just visit www.carefordogs.org
British Consulate Chiangmai encourages all British nationals in Northern
Thailand to register with LOCATE
By Ben Svasti Thomson
The British Honorary Consulate in Chiangmai would
strongly encourage all British nationals living in Northern
Thailand to register online with the LOCATE service at
www.fco.gov.uk/locate in case of an emergency.
Ben Svasti Thomson, the British Honorary Consul for Chiangmai
was pleased to answer the following questions on LOCATE and
What is LOCATE?
LOCATE is a relatively new service operated by the Foreign &
Commonwealth Office (FCO) that enables you to register your
whereabouts whilst you’re travelling or living abroad. If you’re
caught up in a crisis abroad, the nearest British Embassy or
Consulate will thereby be able to locate you and provide you
Although we are not expecting any serious emergencies in
Northern Thailand, it is important that we are able to locate
you should any crisis arise; if we don’t know where you are
here, we can’t assist you. We can also use LOCATE to contact
your family and friends in the UK in order to relieve their
anxiety by letting them know that you are safe and well.
How do I sign up with LOCATE?
On the internet, register online at www.fco.gov.uk/locate
and it will only take about five minutes to set up your initial
details and notify your travel plans.
Will I need to re-register with LOCATE?
If you have in the past registered with British embassies or
the FCO, it is still necessary to re-register with LOCATE. You
should also update LOCATE with details of every trip you plan to
make abroad. If you are resident in Thailand, you should
re-register every year. If you have provided your address
details for notarial services, we are not able to use this
information in an emergency situation. That is why you should
register with LOCATE
What happens to my details if I register?
Your personal details will be kept in a secure database at
the FCO and access to it will be strictly controlled by consular
policy and the Data Protection Act. These details will only be
used to help you or inform your next of kin in the event of you
being involved in an emergency abroad.
How extensive is the LOCATE coverage of British nationals living
in Northern Thailand?
I can say straight off that one of my main priorities at the
moment is to improve our LOCATE coverage as a significant number
of British nationals in Northern Thailand have never registered
and of those that have, many have not updated their details on a
regular basis. The British Embassy and Consulates in Thailand
are running a campaign to publicise the need for British
nationals to register with LOCATE while they are in Thailand. We
are distributing drink mats to pubs and meeting places with
How serious is the British Consulate in Chiangmai about
We take emergency planning very seriously. Our motto is
always to plan for the worst and hope for the best. The world at
the moment is showing it can be an unstable environment in terms
of natural disasters, epidemics, terrorist attacks, political
and economic crisis. I would never rule out a severe case
scenario. In such a scenario we may have to quickly locate,
mobilise and move our British community, as a precaution, to a
safer location until things quieten down. I, as British Honorary
Consul, do not intend to leave any British nationals behind in a
time of crisis. The key factor here is that we need to locate
you in order to contact you and help you. Again I must urge you
to register with LOCATE.
What can the British community themselves do to help themselves
in a crisis?
LOCATE for all its strengths is inevitably a top-down
process of assistance. I, personally, am a strong believer in
the power of community networking to help in a crisis. I look
forward to working closely with several networks involving the
British community, such as the Royal British Legion, the British
Council, the Chiang Mai Expat Club, Chiangmai Friends group and
the Christian Church; our community power to help British
nationals is not insignificant. In times of need, I believe that
our British community could draw together and take care of our
own until such a time as our government will surely help us.
Who will be the most vulnerable British nationals in a crisis?
I am very concerned about our ageing community who I believe
compose a majority of British nationals in Northern Thailand.
Many of our ageing nationals may not feel quite at home with
computers and online registrations such as LOCATE. Some may be
visually impaired or find it hard to type. Many may be isolated
and out of reach of most media at our disposal. They may not be
mobile and would be unable to join us at an agreed meeting
place. This silent majority is likely not covered by LOCATE and
yet they are the ones who most need our assistance in a crisis.
I intend to work hard with members of the British community to
find ways to care for ageing British nationals in Northern
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