According to the International Diabetes Federation, 537 million adults between 20 to 79 years old live with diabetes. By 2030, this number will increase to 643 million; by 2045, it will reach 783 million. As a result, 1 in 9 people will be living with diabetes.
The global death toll from diabetes reached 6.7 million in 2021–one every five seconds. Expenditures related to diabetes over the last 15 years have risen by 316 percent to USD 966 billion.
Hailed as one of the infamous “silent killers,” diabetes ranked fourth among the chronic diseases in the Philippines. According to recent data from the preliminary count of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), deaths due to diabetes mellitus recorded a 6.6 percent share of total deaths in the country, excluding the relevant numbers of those left undiagnosed.
These numbers stress the importance of awareness of the risk factors of developing diabetes, and the urgent need for diabetes education to prevent and manage the disease.
And in this year’s celebration of World Diabetes Day with the theme “Diabetes: Education for Tomorrow,” various organizations held forums to raise awareness about this disease. Some of them are P&G and Novo Nordisk.
Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy
P&G Health, brought together globally renowned multidisciplinary medical experts with Healthcare Professionals from across Asia-Pacific and the Middle East, at the “Winning the Fight Against Neuropathy in Diabetic Patients” forum to share the latest clinical guidance on diagnosing and treating diabetic nerve damage.
With Diabetes Mellitus being the leading cause of peripheral neuropathy (PN), the increasing prevalence of PN is closely linked to the rise in the number of diabetic patients. PN including Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy (DPN) is the result of damage to the nerves impacting quality of life of people as they are not able to go about their daily lives as comfortably. Burning and stabbing pain in the feet and hands can have a significant impact on the activities of daily living, including walking, climbing stairs, and sleeping. Peripheral neuropathy is often misdiagnosed or underdiagnosed due to a lack of awareness amongst both patients and physicians2. Besides diabetes mellitus, B vitamins deficiencies and aging are other high-risk factors leading to peripheral nerve damage.
Meanwhile, in a separate event, representatives from the International Diabetes Federation, Diabetes Philippines, the Department of Health, the World Health Organization, the local government of Mandaluyong, medical organizations, and pharmaceutical groups such as Novo Nordisk, discussed strategies and approaches to raise awareness on diabetes and access to related healthcare. With the event hashtag #TaraNaStopDiabetes, the event also hopes to gather support from public and private stakeholders in the joint fight against this prevalent disease.
“Managing diabetes takes more than medicine. For people to successfully manage the condition, education is key. This is particularly important for the three-quarters of people with diabetes who live in low- and middle-income countries and struggle to access diabetes care and essential health services. At Novo Nordisk, we strive to continuously improve healthcare capacity and to provide education for people with diabetes around the country and the world,” says Cihan Serdar Kizilcik, vice president and general manager of Novo Nordisk Philippines.
As diabetes numbers rise, healthcare systems are under increased strain. Healthcare professionals must be able to detect and diagnose diabetes as soon as possible so that they can provide the best possible care. People living with diabetes must receive ongoing education to understand their condition and carry out daily self-care essential to staying healthy and avoiding complications.