Manila, Philippines, 10 November 2015 – Amidst the growing burden of diabetes worldwide, diabetes care leader Novo Nordisk, the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Hospital Section of Endocrine, Diabetes and Metabolism, the UST College of Education, and the Philippine Society for Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism (PSEDM) conducted screening activities, patient education and simulation of diabetes complications at the UST campus as part of the country’s observance of World Diabetes Day (WDD).
The event themed “Reducing Risk for Diabetes, Reducing Risk for Complications” was attended by more than 150 people where the culminating activity was the formation of the World Diabetes Day Blue Circle.
Latest data from the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) reveal that 415 Million people worldwide have diabetes. The IDF estimates that this figure will increase to 642 million by 2040.1
About 3.3 million people in the Philippines have diabetes, affecting 1 in 16 of the country’s adult population. An estimated 1.74 million Filipinos remain undiagnosed and are therefore untreated, putting them at risk for complications such as heart attack, blindness, kidney failure and loss of limbs. In 2014, over 50,000 deaths in the country were related to diabetes.2
“The number of Filipinos with diabetes continues to rise. If not controlled, diabetes causes life-threatening complications. As such, we need to increase awareness on diabetes prevention, early diagnosis and optimal treatment,” said Dr. Sjoberg Kho, Chief, Section of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, University of Santo Tomas Hospital (USTH).
“A healthy lifestyle, which includes proper diet and regular exercise, combined with optimal treatment compliance is the key to reducing the risk for serious, life-threatening complications of diabetes. Self-management as well as helping educate family members who may also be at risk is a vital role of patients,” said PSEDM President Dr. Bien Matawaran.
“The number of people living with diabetes continues to grow. Of the 415 million people living with diabetes worldwide, more than half are not even aware that they have diabetes, putting them at risk of developing serious complications such as heart attacks, blindness, kidney failure and loss of limbs. Novo Nordisk is committed to change diabetes and we are honoured to work with our partners in celebrating World Diabetes Day in the Philippines, to increase awareness of diabetes” said Mr. Jeppe B. Theisen, General Manager, Novo Nordisk Pharmaceuticals Philippines, Inc (NNPPI).
Held at the UST College of Education quadrangle on November 10, 2015, the World Diabetes Day activity was organized by Novo Nordisk Philippines in partnership with the USTH Section of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, the UST College of Education and the PSEDM. Activities included screening tests for fasting blood sugar, lectures on healthy eating and reducing risk of complications, and interactive simulation booths designed to let people “experience” the serious complications of diabetes such as hypoglycemia, blindness, amputation, dialysis and peripheral neuropathy (loss or tingling of sensation in hands or feet).
In the Blindness Booth, a person wears a blindfold and walks around the booth for three minutes. In the Amputation Booth, a person uses crutches to walk around the booth for five minutes. In the Hypo Simulation Booth, a person wears a 3D simulator headgear and watches a 3-minute video on how hypoglycemia feels. In the Nutrition Counselling Booth, a person receives healthy eating advice from a nutritionist-dietitian. In the Dialysis Simulation Booth, a person wears a 3D simulator headgear and watches a 5-minute video on how undergoing dialysis feels. The Neuropathy booth shows how a person with diabetes may feel textures differently from those not affected by diabetes.
For the culminating activity of the World Diabetes Day activity at UST, members of the Ugnayan Diabetes Club, UST faculty members and students, USTH healthcare professionals, and Novo Nordisk Philippines employees formed a Blue Circle in the UST Football Field. The Blue Circle is the international ‘unite for diabetes’ symbol.