Diabetes is prevalent in the Philippines


Diabetes is one of the most prevalent disease in the world.  Of course, the Philippines is among these countries.  The government is aware of this and thus has increased its tax in sugary drinks as a way to decrease the number of people incurring the disease.

Public education is needed to make sure that everyone would take the necessary precaution in order to prevent this, so it can be controlled before there is serious damage to vital organs like the heart, kidneys, brain, eyes, nerves, liver—since practically all organs and tissues of the body are affected.

We’re happy to learn that the Philippine Center for Diabetes Education Foundation, Inc. (PCDEF), founded and currently headed by Dr. Augusto Litonjua, was recognized as a Centre of Education by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and its School of Diabetes during its recent congress held in Abu Dhabi.

Dr. Litonjua is considered the Father of Philippine Endocrinology for having pioneered in treating patients with diabetes and other endocrine or hormone-related problems in the country.

The PCDEF, also known as the Diabetes Center Philippines, has been at the forefront of raising public awareness for diabetes in the Philippines for the past 25 years through its four major programs—Diabetes Awareness Week, Camp Cope (for Type 1 diabetic children), Intensive Training Course for Diabetes Teams, and the National Assembly of Diabetes Educators. To date, it has established more than 200 training teams, based in major hospitals around the country.


In the Western Pacific, the Philippines ranks fifth—following China, Indonesia, Japan and Thailand—in the number of diabetics. According to the IDF Atlas, there were already 3.9 million diabetic Filipinos when the population was 65 million. With the current population now over 100 million, local experts estimate that we should have more than 5 million diagnosed diabetics. A similar number will likely remain undiagnosed, or have prediabetes.

There is a reason why countless money are being spent on the research on dialysis in diabetic patients with end-stage kidney disease. Last year, PhilHealth spent around P8 billion to assist patients undergoing dialysis, the majority of whom were diabetics. This is a frequent, sad story among diabetics—they never realize they are diabetic until they are rushed to the hospital for serious complications like heart attack, kidney failure, stroke or a gangrenous foot.

In the same IDF statistics, around 50,000 diabetic Filipinos died that same year due to diabetes-related complications like heart attack, stroke, and kidney and heart failure. If nothing is done to stem the alarming trend, the prevalence of diabetes is expected to soar to 20 percent by the year 2045, and more than 100,000 Filipinos would be dying every year due to its complications.

“If we act now, we may be able to check this rise in the diabetic population, and education is the answer,” Dr. Litonjua says. He stresses that diabetes can be prevented, “and this is what awareness of the disease is for.”

Not a Death Sentence

Incurring the disease doesn’t mean that you would die from it. It can be adequately controlled to prevent complications, and the patient feels more at ease with the disease. Diabetics can still live normal and healthy lives compared to non-diabetics.

Source: Inquirer