Celebrating the Blue Circle

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The figures remain staggering:

– About 6.7 million deaths last year

– At least 537 million are presenting living with it

– Three out of four adults inflicted with it live in low- and middle-income countries like the Philippines.

– Every five seconds, one person develops it, every 10 seconds one person dies of it and every 30 seconds, a limb is lost to it, according to global health reports.

By 2030, the figures are expected to rise to 643 million and 783 million by 2045 with the number increasing to 3 out of 4 adults by 2045.

The alarming numbers, they speak about diabetes the No. 8 killer disease in the world and No. 4 (diabetes mellitus in particular) in our country.

I am highlighting these figures not because I am part of the statistics, but because of the need for Filipinos and the rest of the world to be aware of the risks it poses to lives.

The relevance and urgency become even greater as the global community observes World Diabetes Day on Monday, Nov. 14.

Like in last year’s observance, WDD focuses on the theme, “Access to Diabetes Care”.

The day calls “on policymakers to increase access to diabetes education to help improve the lives of the more than half a billion people living with diabetes worldwide”.

The Blue Circle is the icon for diabetes which was developed for the campaign that led to the passage of a United Nations resolution creating World Diabetes Day in December 2006.

The celebration this year also highlights the centenary of the discovery of the therapeutic insulin, which the World Health Organization said, “presents a unique opportunity to bring about meaningful change” for the more than 500 million people living with it and the millions more at risk.

The figures in the Philippines are just as unnerving. Health authorities reported that 7.1 percent of Filipinos aged 20-79 are inflicted with diabetes.

Deaths, on the other hand, reached 32,260 in 2020, data from the World Health Organization indicated, representing 4.7 percent of mortality in the country.

We trust that the observance this year will lead to a remarkable spike in diabetes awareness, especially in the face of social realities amid “rapid urbanization, with increasing dependence on electronic gadgets and sedentary lifestyle”, which, health authorities said, contribute to its wide incidence.

***

After taking us in the past two issues to five of the eight venues of World Cup 2022 in Qatar – Ahmad Bin Ali, Education City, Khalifa International, 974 and Lusail Iconic Stadiums – my Doha-based niece, Pam, a medical technologist, and her colleague, Bryan Xavier Macariola, explored two more stadiums.

Pam and Bryan have imposed upon themselves the challenge to check out all eight stadiums before the Nov. 20 opening of the games.

The sixth and seventh venues are Al Thumama and Al Janoub Stadiums, each with a 40,000-seating capacity.

Al Thumama is located 12 kms. south of the Doha center. Its circular design reflects the ‘gahfiya’, the traditional woven cap worn by males in the Arab World.

A distinct part of family life, it “symbolizes the coming of age for the youth, its time of emerging self-confidence and ambition.”

The brilliant white exterior of the stadium greets visitors to the country as many international flights descend over the venue.

Al Janoub, on the other hand, is located in Al Wakrah, 22 kms. south of central Doha. Its design depicts the ‘dhow’, the wind driven boats traditionally used by fishers and pearl divers for centuries on Persian Gulf waters.

It showcases a “futuristic representation of Qatar’s drive to reach beyond its shores.”

***

November is truly Thanksgiving Month, particularly in Negros Weekly.

We thank the Lord for His continued blessings and guidance as we mark our 22nd anniversary.

We thank Him, too, for His grace, guidance and mercy as we also celebrate the second anniversary of Negros Now Daily, the tabloid and online editions of Negros Weekly.

May He continue to use these papers and guide its officers and staff in the pursuit of Truth, Justice, Freedom and Common Good.

***

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.” (Isaiah 52:7) – NWI

OPINIONS