Diabetes is a major health concern in the Philippines, now ranking as the fourth leading cause of mortality.1 In 2021, the number of Filipinos diagnosed with diabetes was pegged at 4 million.2 Alarming statistics from the Diabetes Atlas of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) projected that by the year 2030, this number will increase to 5.4 million.3 Thus, it is crucial to equip Filipinos with the necessary knowledge to prevent and properly manage diabetes.
Sanofi General Medicines has taken an active step in creating awareness and support for individuals living with diabetes through its diabetes education Facebook page, “Step Up For Diabetes PH.”
The page recently hosted a heartwarming “Sweet Chat” session entitled “Living the Sweet Life: How to Beat Diabetes,” aimed at shedding light on diabetes, and educating patients on how to take control of the condition to achieve good quality of life.
Endocrinologist Dr. Roy Raoul Felipe, Head of the Center for Diabetes, Thyroid, and Endocrine Disorders – Diabetic Foot Program at St. Luke’s Medical Center, emphasized during the talk that the most common type of diabetes is type 2 diabetes, which he called a “lifestyle disease” as the person’s lifestyle plays a big part in the development of the disease in addition to family history and age4. Dr. Felipe shared that the absence of symptoms does not rule out diabetes and further added, “We urge all Filipinos, starting at the age of 35, to undergo yearly check-ups, including getting a simple blood test to screen for diabetes.”
The session also highlighted the inspiring personal journey of Mr. Edward Ty, a 52-year old health advocate and person living with diabetes. Mr. Ty shared, “My initial reaction when I learned that I had diabetes was mostly fear and anxiety. My children then were still young, so worrying about the future consumed me. But I realized later that the fear only came from not knowing and understanding the disease.” He added, “It’s important to understand your medical condition, so always seek regular consultation with your doctor.” He also emphasized that people living with diabetes will be able to better manage the disease when they have the support of their family and friends. “I taught my son how to inject insulin so sometimes he does it for me. My whole family enjoys the same activities I enjoy, like walking and dancing. That’s very helpful because it encourages me to continue doing what I need to do to manage my diabetes.”
Actress, television host, and moderator of the Sweet Chat session, Dianne Medina, also drew from her personal experience of caring for her father who also has diabetes. She urged viewers to support their loved ones in managing this condition such as encouraging them to adopt a healthy lifestyle, accompanying them to their check-ups, and displaying utmost care for their medical needs.
Lastly, Dr. Felipe reminded viewers to not be afraid of the disease – as having diabetes is not a life sentence because it can be controlled. Persons living with this condition can still “live the sweet life” if they are able to properly manage it and get the right support.
Through this Sweet Chat episode, Sanofi General Medicines continues to support Filipinos with diabetes by raising awareness and understanding of the disease. For more information about diabetes and its proper management, like and follow Sanofi Philippines’ Step up for Diabetes PH Facebook Page.