Mayor Evelio Leonardia said Bacolod is one of the 11 pilot cities of “Act Now for Diabetes”, a project spearheaded by AstraZeneca.
Other pilot cities are Manila, Makati, Quezon, Taguig, Pasig, Marikina, Valenzuela, Davao, Iloilo, and Ormoc, a press release from City Hall said.
Act Now for Diabetes stands for Addressing Complications Today through Network of Warriors for Diabetes.
Leonardia, who is also the national president of the League of Cities of the Philippines, joined the virtual ceremonial launch of the project Tuesday that was attended by officials of AstraZeneca, officers of associations advocating for the prevention of diabetes, and local chief executives around the country.
These included Ormoc City Mayor Richard Gomez, Makati City Mayor Abigail Binay, Manila City Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso, Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto, Taguig City Mayor Lino Edgardo Cayetano, Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian, Caloocan City Mayor Oscar Malapitan, and Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas, the press release said.
“Like the rest of the world and of the country, all of us city mayors involved here have our share of this problem called diabetes, which is indeed, a huge epidemic,” Leonardia said.
“It means our efforts must also be directed towards this direction of preventing more cases of diabetes, and this Act Now for Diabetes program will provide all of us a chance for collaboration, coordination, and cooperation,” he added.
The launch featured a virtual presser and an open forum that discussed the complications of diabetes and the importance of diabetes education in the Philippines.
Dr. Alberto Pamplona Jr., manager of Medical Affairs for Cardio-Vascular, Renal, and Metabolism of AstaZeneca Philippines, said, “Even before the Covid pandemic, there has also been a long-standing pandemic that has taken so many more lives than ever, and that is diabetes and its complications.”
“In a span of 10 years, the number of diabetic patients rose from 3 percent prevalence to as high as 7 percent. This just means that the 4 million patients that we have right now will actually continue to increase. It’s a huge problem, we need to contribute to make a solution to this,” Pamplona added.
Dr. Francis Pasaporte, president of Diabetes Philippines and keynote speaker at the virtual launch, said that, on a global scale, one person dies of diabetes-related complications every 10 seconds.
In the Philippines, it is actually a proactively increasing condition, he said.
Leyden Florido, president of the Philippine Association of Diabetes Educators, discussed the active role of the patient in managing diabetes, and the importance of diabetes education in the country.
Florido said the purpose of diabetes education is to prepare affected individuals to make informed decisions, cope with the demands of living daily with complex chronic disease, and make changes in their behavior that support their self-management efforts and improve outcomes, the press release said.
The project is a partnership between medical experts, healthcare professionals, Diabetes Philippines, Diabetes Educators, LGUs, and AstraZeneca.
Also joining the launch was Eleonor Tangkeko, president of the Association of Diabetes Nurse Educators of the Philippines.*