COMMUNITY HAPPENINGS
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World AIDS Day focus: “What should Chiang Mai do before it’s too late?”

Chiang Mai residents receive health checkups on World Diabetes Day

Pet of the week from Care for Dogs

British Consulate Chiangmai encourages all British nationals in Northern Thailand to register with LOCATE

World AIDS Day focus: “What should Chiang Mai do before it’s too late?”

Jedsadapong Wongkiew
“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.

Dr. Prakong Wittayasai, Managing Director of Support the Children Foundation, promotes programs for the upcoming World AIDS day at Chiang Mai City Hall on November 17.

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.

Chiang 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.

Doodle 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
Ben Svasti Thomson, the British Honorary Consul for Chiangmai was pleased to answer the following questions on LOCATE and emergency planning:
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 with assistance.
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 LOCATE details.
How serious is the British Consulate in Chiangmai about emergency planning?
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 Thailand.