There are about 350 diabetic patients in Negros Oriental and a couple of hundreds more from Bacolod City in Negros Occidental and Dipolog City in Zamboanga del Norte. All are asking for help from the Office of the President for insulin donation. Patients are asking for the release of the almost-expired insulin from Australia.
Diabetic Patients in Negros Island & Zamboanga del Norte
There are about 350 diabetic patients in Negros Oriental, 150 of them children. Through the Presidential Complaints Center, the patients seek help for the release of insulin donation from Australia. The Department of Health, however, is strongly standing firm in inspecting the insulin from Australia before releasing them.
Almost-Expired Insulin Donation from Australia
The Administrative Order 2016-0004 of Department of Health states that health products coming from foreign countries and sources are not acceptable in the Philippines if the expiration date is less than 12 months from the expected time of arrival in the Philippines.
In a letter sent to Mary Elgen Harris of the Negros Island Diabetes Association on July 30, 2018, DOH Bureau of International Health Cooperation Director IV Maylene Beltran, stressed that her office cannot facilitate endorsement to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for clearance prior to its release by the Bureau of Customs (BOC), citing the said administrative order.
According to the Negros Oriental Diabetic Society, headed by Perfecto Lim, it badly needs the donated insulin from the Insulin for Life (IFL) organization in Australia.
It’s a life and death situation for us insulin-users even as four of us have already died,” said Perfecto Lim.
The shipment of these insulin donations is being prolonged. Perfecto Lim stressed that the longer the shipment is withheld, the closer the expiration date gets. The group is expecting two boxes in June and another shipment this month.