'Epidemic proportion': 7 million Filipinos may have diabetes - Duque

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 12 2019 03:43 PM

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Diabetes in the Philippines has reached "epidemic proportions", Health Secretary Francisco Duque said Thursday, with around 7 million Filipinos being diagnosed with the illness. 

"Ang latest data namin, 2015, mga 6 percent, 6 million more or less ang may diabetes sa Pilipinas. Dalawa, 3 taon na ang nakalipas, baka nga umabot ng 7 million, higit pa," he said. 

(Our latest data in 2015 showed 6 percent or 6 million more or less have diabetes in the Philippines. Two, three years have passed, it may have reached 7 million or more. 

The Philippine Society of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism (PSEDM) earlier this week gave the same figure, dubbing the disease as an epidemic.

Epidemic, however, usually refers to communicable diseases, unlike diabetes, said Duque. 

"Baka naman parang figure of speech lang iyong sinabing epidemya," he said. "'Epidemic proportion' ang malamang na tamang salita." 

(That may just be a figure of speech. 'Epidemic proportion' is perhaps the right term.) 

The public can get a drug for treating diabetes from their local government, he said. 

"Naihabol naman natin... na maibaba na ang ating mga [gamot na] metformin para sa diabetes sa ating mga regional offices papunta ng mga local government units, iyong kanilang mga rural health office, city health centers at mga barangay health stations," Duque told radio DZMM. 

(We were able to bring down metformin for diabetes from our regional offices to our local government units, their rural health offices, city health centers and barangay health stations.) 

Diabetes leads over time to serious damage to the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, and nerves, according to the World Health Organization. 

DZMM, September 12, 2019