By: Susan Yu-Gan MD, May 24th, 2013 10:51 PM

Every 10 seconds, one person dies due to diabetes-related complications. Diabetes is now the biggest single cause of amputation, stroke, blindness and end-stage kidney failure. More than half of all deaths from diabetes result from cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke.

This year alone, diabetes will cause over four million deaths worldwide. In 2010, there were 285 million people worldwide with diabetes. By 2030, the number of people with diabetes is estimated to rise to 438 million, an increase of over 50 percent in 20 years. Almost 80 percent of diabetics in the world live in developing countries. One out of every five Filipinos could potentially have diabetes mellitus or prediabetes.

Only a strong multistakeholder coalition can stop the diabetes pandemic. The Department of Health (DOH) needs support from the private sector-civil society organizations, medical societies and the pharmaceutical industry to adopt a comprehensive, holistic and integrated approach to diabetes education, prevention through a healthy lifestyle, early detection and management. Public-private partnerships can play a key role in stopping the diabetes epidemic.

To this end, Diabetes Philippines (formerly Philippine Diabetes Association), the Institute for Studies on Diabetes Foundation, the Philippine Center for Diabetes Education Foundation, and the Philippine Society of Endocrinology and Metabolism formed a coalition with 32 other stakeholders that include government agencies, medical societies and allied medical organizations.

Called UNITE FOR Diabetes Philippines, the coalition developed the “Philippine Practice Guidelines on the Diagnosis and Management of Diabetes Mellitus,” which reflect current best practices and include local data. The guidelines are intended for all physicians managing patients with diabetes, including diabetologists, endocrinologists, general practitioners, family physicians and general internists, as well as for medical students, resident trainees of internal medicine or family medicine, and endocrinology or diabetology fellows-in-training.

The pharmaceutical industry has also joined the global fight against diabetes. Novo Nordisk, one of the pioneers in the development of insulin, strongly supported the International Diabetes Federation’s “UNite for Diabetes” campaign, which led to the adoption of the United Nations Resolution on Diabetes. Adopted in December 2006, the resolution was the first time the UN acknowledged that diabetes is a serious global pandemic. It also designated Nov. 14 of every year as World Diabetes Day.

To sustain the momentum of the UN Resolution and contribute to implementing its aims, Novo Nordisk developed the groundbreaking “Changing Diabetes” campaign. The campaign’s global initiatives and programs aim to promote improved diabetes awareness, education and treatment in order to inspire change and make a difference in the lives of people with diabetes throughout the world.

Changing Diabetes efforts include programs and actions to stimulate systemic change in the way diabetes is managed, improve healthcare outcomes and break the progress of the diabetes pandemic. The Changing Diabetes campaign works at global, regional and national levels, in every aspect of diabetes care.


CONTEST: What is the first laboratory test usually done to check for diabetes?

E-mail your answer to [email protected] get the chance to win a prize!

Congratulations to Naomi Villareal  for having been chosen as winner among the many senders who got the correct answer on the May 18 column.  Please expect email on how to get your prize.

Dr. Susan Yu-Gan is a diabetes specialist and immediate past president of Diabetes Philippines. The “Changing Diabetes” column commemorates the 92nd anniversary of insulin’s discovery. It aims to increase awareness on diabetes prevention, diagnosis and management. Novo Nordisk supports “Changing Diabetes.” Headquartered in Denmark, Novo Nordisk is a global healthcare company with 90 years of innovation and leadership in diabetes care. For questions or comments, e-mail [email protected] or follow us at facebook.changingdiabetesph and twitter.changingdiabetesph.

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