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PADE: Linking Good Practice and Quality Care

This day and age has seen a growing number of people developing type 2 diabetes, a lifestyle disease linked to the prevalence of obesity and a sedentary lifestyle. Since people with diabetes need the proper information regarding its treatment and control, it is very important to have individuals who are able to teach them regarding the necessary treatment regimen.

There exist organizations that cater to educating not only diabetes sufferers, but also diabetes educators, regarding proper diabetes care and its advancements. The Philippine Association of Diabetes Educators (PADE) is one of these organizations. Founded in 1991, its main goal is to promote diabetes education toward excellent diabetes care, eventually leading to an empowered nation against diabetes.

PADE is composed of nurses, nutritionists, and physicians who work together to discuss proper practices and recent advances in care, specifically involving the diet and exercise regimen, monitoring blood glucose and achieving control, as well as insulin injection techniques.

How it all started
It was in 1956 when Dr. Ricardo Fernando started his mission to educate medical practitioners regarding diabetes care. Back then, the predominant method of education for people with diabetes was a regular clinic with a one-on-one discussion about diabetes that was limited to a couple of minutes. The education was in the form of advice given by the physician, some general information about diet, the patient’s condition based on the blood chemistry results and physical examination. After this, the person went home with the prescriptions and a set of instructions to follow until his or her next clinic visit.

In 1958, the Philippine Diabetes Association was established. This continued the task of establishing guidelines and standards in diabetes education and its practice.

The year 1970 saw an observable increase in the number of people developing diabetes, and, thus, there came a need for medical professionals learned in diabetes care to help diabetic patients cope with their condition. To cater to this need, Mary Johnston Hospital, a mission hospital located in Tondo, Manila, pioneered the teaching of nurses in diabetes care. In the same year, the University of the East also organized the UE Diabetes Educators, a multidisciplinary team of physicians, nurses, and nutritionists. The group also became the first lay diabetes group.

Linking arms
The years that followed brought together more people and pharmaceutical companies interested in diabetes education and care. Symposia and seminars regarding the condition started. During these times, PADE embarks on various projects in partnership with various agencies of the government, nongovernmental organizations, and foreign partners.

PADE also works hand in hand with organizations such as the Association of Diabetes Nurse Educators in the Philippines (ADNEP) to develop the quality of diabetes education in the country. Dr. Ronaldo Toledo, the current president of PADE discussed during its 7th Joint Annual Convention with ADNEP, the activities that the organization currently holds, together with ADNEP and various pharmaceutical companies and facilities to establish diabetes education programs.

Some of these are the Health-Promoting Diabetes Preventive Schools Program or the Schools Project, together with Pfizer, which targets elementary schools and educates teachers, the barangay health workers and parents regarding the seriousness of diabetes. It is concerned with the creation of healthy school policies, and the development of a supportive environment in relation to diet and physical activities. The pilot area for this project was in Pateros, Metro Manila; Another is the Diabetes Awareness Campaign in the workplace which holds demonstrations and discussion regarding preventing and managing this condition in workplaces, is held together with Abbott Nutritionals.

On the other hand, the National Penitentiary Diabetes Program, which partners with the New Bilibid Prison and the Bureau of Corrections teaches inmates the importance of prevention and the management of diabetes. PADE and ADNEP also support organizations such as the Handicap International, the Drugstore Association of the Philippines, and the Lions Club International through train-the-trainer workshops to disseminate proper information regarding diabetes.

PADE, with its adherence to its main goal, and its association with various organizations, proves its strong commitment in providing excellent care for people with diabetes. Through its endeavors, patients with diabetes have the support, and some assurance that although they have to live with the condition, they can still live a normal and enjoyable life.

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