ONE in ten people worldwide now lives with diabetes. That’s around more than 500 million people living with diabetes worldwide, according to the latest data from the International Diabetes Federation (IDF). There could be more, considering that almost half of people living with diabetes do not even know they have it.
This puts them at greater risk of life-threatening complications such as heart attack, kidney failure, liver damage, stroke, and loss of vision. Additionally, people living with diabetes are also more susceptible to complications from COVID-19, adds the IDF.
With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this increasing incidence of diabetes also puts added strain on healthcare systems all over the world. However, the epidemic of diabetes remains largely unchecked, notes Dr. Francis I. Pasaporte, President of Diabetes Philippines.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), diabetes is a chronic disease that happens when the pancreas fails to produce enough insulin or when the body fails to use the insulin it produces.
Insulin regulates blood glucose; over time, unregulated or raised blood glucose can seriously damage body systems, especially the nerves and blood vessels.
“Diabetes has been an epidemic before the COVID-19 pandemic happened. Eye-opening statistics on the prevalence of diabetes are not lacking,” adds Dr. Pasaporte.
“Now is the time for an awareness campaign to transition this disease from an invisible to a visible one to both the public and the medical community.”
United in the fight to stop diabetes
Diabetes Philippines, together with the Department of Health (DOH), the WHO, the Mandaluyong City Government, allied pharmaceutical companies, and medical organizations, joined forces to launch the “Tara Na, Stop Diabetes” awareness campaign in celebration of World Diabetes Day 2022.
The campaign was launched on November 10, 2022, during the 39th Annual Convention and Scientific Sessions of Diabetes Philippines.
World Diabetes Day takes place on November 14 every year, bringing together millions of people in over 160 countries to amplify their voices for diabetes awareness.
With the theme “Diabetes: education to protect tomorrow”, World Diabetes Day 2022 focuses on the urgent need for better access to quality diabetes education for health professionals and people living with diabetes.
For more than 60 years, Diabetes Philippines has been a prime mover for diabetes care and prevention in the country, driven by its vision of a diabetes-free Philippines.
A member of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), Diabetes Philippines works with pharmaceutical companies and medical groups to improve patient care through easier access to diabetes information and treatment options.
“Diabetes Philippines offers a platform for uniting the collective voices of the medical community and creating a sense of urgency to confront and change the course of the diabetes epidemic,” states Dr. Pasaporte.
Novo Nordisk supports diabetes education and prevention
Leading global healthcare company Novo Nordisk is one with Diabetes Philippines in its commitment to celebrating World Diabetes Day and strengthening diabetes prevention in the Philippines.
“This problem is spiraling out of control—at least five million people in the Philippines are fighting the disease today,” notes Cihan Serdar Kizilcik, Vice President and General Manager of Novo Nordisk in the Philippines.
“We have to work together. Our commitment is to be with you, to be your trusted partner, and to fight together to defeat this disease.”
Founded in 1923, Novo Nordisk pioneers scientific breakthroughs and expands access to medicines to defeat diabetes and other chronic diseases. The company has 80 offices around the world, including the Philippines.
“Globally, the company has been changing diabetes for almost 100 years; in the Philippines, for almost 40 years,” adds Kizilcik.
Currently, Novo Nordisk produces 50% of the world’s insulin supply. To aid its patient-centric goal of helping people become diabetes-free, the company has produced more than 600 million insulin pens.
To date, more than 34 million people use its diabetes care products. By making long-term investments in treatments and technologies, Novo Nordisk aims to prevent more than 100 million people from getting Type 2 diabetes by 2045.
“This disease is preventable,” reminds Kizilcik. “If we all raise our voices, we can draw more attention to this disease.”
In agreement, Dr. Pasaporte emphasizes the need to amplify diabetes advocacy worldwide. “We need an army of advocates to fight for substantially increased funding, both from the public and private sectors, one that is sustained and flexible so we can accelerate research for diabetes treatment, education, and support,” he adds.
To learn more about diabetes and how you can join the fight to stop this life-threatening disease, visit worlddiabetesday.org/about/understandingdiabetes/.