The State of Diabetes in the Philippines – Know the facts, step up and act.


The State of Diabetes in the Philippines – Know the facts, step up and act.

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Amidst the pandemic, there is another disease that has gone under the radar and is silently affecting millions of people—Diabetes. Described as a chronic, noncommunicable disease, diabetes is a major public health problem globally and persons afflicted with it are also vulnerable to a host of other diseases such as hypertension, chronic kidney disease, and COVID.

“Last year, there were 463 million adults living with diabetes globally. That’s 1 out of 11 people who have the condition,” said Sanofi Philippines Country Lead, Amal Makhloufi Benchouk.

More alarmingly, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) reports that a further 232 million people remain undiagnosed, with the majority of them believed to have type 2 diabetes. In the Philippines alone diabetes is one of the leading causes of death and places a heavy burden for many families who are living with disease.

“There are about 3.7 million diabetic Filipinos, and this number is expected to double in the next 5 years,” Amal shared. “Only 34% are diagnosed, 27% are treated, and only 11% are on insulin. Among those treated, less than 50% are able to manage or control their disease. Globally, 1 life is lost every 7 seconds because of diabetes and its complications.”


Stepping up for World Diabetes Day

Among other factors such as diet and lifestyle, Makhloufi stresses that there is a distinct lack of awareness and understanding on diabetes which has led to its widespread prevalence in recent years. To address this, Sanofi Philippines hosted Healthier/PH sessions: Step Up For World Diabetes Day, a virtual media event which featured a multi-disciplinary panel to tackle the issue of diabetes and educate the public on managing the disease.

“As partners for building a healthier Philippines, we have the chance to step up in solidarity for our friends and family with diabetes. Even a simple gesture of raising awareness, getting the word out to help people better understand the disease and the risk factors behind it can go a long way in the prevention and management of diabetes,” she affirmed.

Other speakers during the online panel include fitness expert, Jinoe Gavan of, who shared simple at-home workout tips to keep active during quarantine. Social enterprise Gising Gising, represented by Bianca Dualan, RND, was also present during the talk and educated the audience on the proper nutrition and diet for regulating sugar levels, which is essential in managing diabetes.

Lifestyle and Chronic Diseases

“Another way to describe diabetes is a lifestyle disease,” Amal explained. “If we actively promote an active and well-balanced lifestyle for our families, where we get sufficient physical activity and proper nutrition, this will play a major role in reducing the prevalence of chronic disease in the coming years.”

And in its thrust to raise further awareness on the impact of the disease and promote healthier lifestyles, Sanofi Philippines launched the Step Up For World Diabetes Day Virtual Run 2020. This virtual running event was launched on November 14 and runs through December 15, and was initiated in partnership with

“I encourage you to step up and take action by joining our first ever Step Up Virtual Run 2020, and inviting others to join as well. Because if we spread awareness one kilometer at a time, one day at a time, one person at time, then together we can make a difference.”

How to Join:

  1. To join, you may register at, where you can select your preferred distance of 15k, 30k, 50k, or 100k. Registration lasts until November 30 only.
  2. We recommend you use Strava, Nike or Garmin to record and keep track of your time. If you wish to use a treadmill, you may do so provided that your time and distance will be indicated.
  3. Should you choose to run outdoors, always remember to practice social distancing and make use of the proper protective equipment.

For Tiktok Virtual Run Challenge

  1. Register on #StepUp4WDD Virtual Run via
  2. Post a video while running on TikTok and tag 5 of your friends to join.
  3. Use this caption upon posting: I pledge to #StepUp4WDD in the fight against diabetes. I challenge @name1 @name2 @name3 @name4 @name5 to join.
  4. Use the following hashtags upon posting: #WorldDiabetesDay #SanofiPH #PanatangSanofi #DiabetesYourType

For more information on how you can join the Step Up For Diabetes Virtual Run 2020, log on to Takbo.Ph.


About Sanofi Philippines

Sanofi is your health journey partner. We are dedicated to being there through life’s ups and downs—for every challenge, big or small, lifelong or temporary. We transform scientific innovations into healthcare solutions to prevent and manage a broad range of medical conditions. We prevent illness with vaccines and provide treatments to fight pain and ease suffering. We also stand by the few who suffer from rare diseases and the millions with long-term chronic conditions. Login to to learn more about Sanofi Philippines.


About Step Up For Diabetes Campaign

They say it takes a village to care for diabetes—you have your families, your friendly neighbors, and your healthcare community. In celebration of World Diabetes Day, Sanofi Philippines will bring this village together to empower Filipinos through the Step Up for Diabetes Campaign by educating people with diabetes, their family, friends and healthcare team and promote a better understanding of diabetes and its management. For more information, visit