Breaking the barriers: Expanding access to holistic Type 1 diabetes care in Phl

CHILDREN were provided with the symbol of hope that in their Type 1 Diabetes journey, they are not alone and through this program, they can live a fulfilling life. | PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF CDIC

To improve the lives of children and young adults with Type 1 Diabetes, Novo Nordisk Philippines, in partnership with Roche Diabetes Care and Humanity and Inclusion, launched the Changing Diabetes in Children (CDiC) program, piloting in Valenzuela City. The program involves a five-year plan that aims to provide comprehensive patient education, strengthen the health workforce, establish a network of clinic facilities and ensure access to free insulin and medical supplies for children and young adults with Type 1 Diabetes.

According to the World Health Organization, it is estimated that about five to 10 percent of diabetes cases are Type 1 or juvenile diabetes. This means that thousands of children and young adults are born with the inability to produce their own insulin, causing uncontrolled blood sugar levels and lifetime dependency on insulin treatments.

For thousands of Filipino families with children and young adults living with Type 1 Diabetes, managing this condition is a daily struggle. The lack of financial resources, limited access to essential medications in local communities and insufficient awareness about the condition have made the fight against Type 1 Diabetes an uphill battle.

Children and young adults born with Type 1 Diabetes need insulin shots or use an insulin pump, along with regular monitoring of their blood glucose to survive and manage their condition every day. The uncontrolled spikes and lows of blood sugar can lead to serious health complications and untimely death if left untreated.

Moreover, the lack of reliable local data on Type 1 Diabetes obscures the true extent of this chronic condition in the country, making it challenging to implement support programs and allocate resources to address the specific needs of this vulnerable population.

The CDiC program aims to change this story and solve these barriers through comprehensive partnerships between the private and public sectors, making diabetes care more equitable to low- and middle-income families.

“Type 1 Diabetes is manageable. No child should suffer or die from this condition,” said Anand Shetty, corporate vice president of Novo Nordisk Southeast Asia. “The Changing Diabetes in Children program can help create this supportive environment for children and young adults with Type 1 Diabetes so they can achieve fulfilling lives despite having this serious chronic condition.”