Step up and act: The state of diabetes in the Philippines

Amid the pandemic, there is another disease that has gone under the radar and is silently affecting millions of people—diabetes.

Step up and act: The state of diabetes in the Philippines

“Last year, there were 463 million adults living with diabetes globally. That’s 1 out of 11 people who have the condition,” said Sanofi Philippines Country Lead Amal Makhloufi Benchouk.

In the Philippines, the numbers are equally alarming.

“There are about 3.7 million diabetic Filipinos, and this number is expected to double in the next 5 years,” Amal said.

“Only 34% are diagnosed, 27% are treated, and only 11% are on insulin. Among those treated, less than 50% are able to manage or control their disease. Globally, 1 life is lost every 7 seconds because of diabetes and its complications.”

Described as a chronic, noncommunicable disease, diabetes is a major public health problem globally and diabetics are also vulnerable to a host of other diseases such as hypertension, chronic kidney disease, and COVID-19.

More alarmingly, the International Diabetes Federation reports that more than 232 million people remain undiagnosed, with the majority of them believed to have type 2 diabetes.

Among other factors such as diet and lifestyle, Amal stressed there is a distinct lack of awareness and understanding on diabetes which has led to its widespread prevalence in recent years.

To address this, Sanofi Philippines hosted Healthier/PH sessions: Step Up For World Diabetes Day, a virtual media event which featured a multi-disciplinary panel to tackle the issue of diabetes and educate the public on managing the disease.

“As partners for building a healthier Philippines, we have the chance to step up in solidarity for our friends and family with diabetes. Even a simple gesture of raising awareness, getting the word out to help people better understand the disease and the risk factors behind it can go a long way in the prevention and management of diabetes,” she said.

According to Amal, diabetes is considered a lifestyle disease.

“If we actively promote an active and well-balanced lifestyle for our families, where we get sufficient physical activity and proper nutrition, this will play a major role in reducing the prevalence of chronic disease in the coming years," she said.

In its thrust to raise further awareness on the impact of the disease and promote healthier lifestyles, Sanofi Philippines launched the Step Up For World Diabetes Day Virtual Run 2020. This virtual running event will run through December 15 in partnership with

“I encourage you to step up and take action by joining our first ever Step Up Virtual Run 2020, and inviting others to join as well. Because if we spread awareness one kilometer at a time, one day at a time, one person at time, then together we can make a difference.”

Step up and act: The state of diabetes in the Philippines

How to Join:

1. To join, you may register at, where you can select your preferred distance of 15k, 30k, 50k, or 100k.

2. We recommend you use Strava, Nike or Garmin to record and keep track of your time. If you wish to use a treadmill, you may do so provided that your time and distance will be indicated.

3. Should you choose to run outdoors, always remember to practice social distancing and make use of the proper protective equipment.

For Tiktok Virtual Run Challenge

1. Register on #StepUp4WDD Virtual Run via

2. Post a video while running on TikTok and tag 5 of your friends to join.

3. Use this caption upon posting: I pledge to #StepUp4WDD in the fight against diabetes. I challenge @name1 @name2 @name3 @name4 @name5 to join.

4. Use the following hashtags upon posting: #WorldDiabetesDay #SanofiPH #PanatangSanofi #DiabetesYourType

For more information on how you can join the Step Up For Diabetes Virtual Run 2020, log on to Takbo.Ph.

Topics: coronavirus pandemic , Sanofi Philippines , Amal Makhloufi Benchouk
COMMENT DISCLAIMER: Reader comments posted on this Web site are not in any way endorsed by Manila Standard. Comments are views by readers who exercise their right to free expression and they do not necessarily represent or reflect the position or viewpoint of While reserving this publication’s right to delete comments that are deemed offensive, indecent or inconsistent with Manila Standard editorial standards, Manila Standard may not be held liable for any false information posted by readers in this comments section.
AdvertisementGMA-Working Pillars of the House