World Diabetes Day is the world’s largest diabetes awareness campaign and is marked annually on 14th November, the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, who co-discovered insulin along with Charles Best in 1922.
World Diabetes Day was created in 1991 by International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat posed by diabetes.
According to the International Diabetes Federation:
- Diabetes is a leading cause of heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney failure and lower limb amputation.
- Over 425 million people are currently living with diabetes; this number is expected to rise to 522 million by 2030.
- 1 in 2 people currently living with diabetes is undiagnosed.
- 80% of cases of Type2 diabetes is preventable through the adoption of a healthy lifestyle.
World Diabetes Day is based on a specific theme which runs over one or several years.
Diabetes “concerns every family” and thus the theme chosen for World Diabetes Day 2018-2019 is Family and Diabetes.
Materials and actions developed by the IDF during the campaign will aim to:
- Raise awareness of the impact of diabetes on the family and support those affected.
- Promote the role of the family in the management, care, prevention and education of diabetes.
Most of the cases of diabetes seen are type2 diabetes, which is largely preventable through regular physical activity, a healthy and balanced diet, and the promotion of healthy living environments.
Early diagnosis and treatment are pivotal to preventing the complications of diabetes and achieving healthy outcomes. Awareness of the signs, symptoms and risk factors for all types of diabetes are vital to help early detection.
Families have a key role to play in addressing the modifiable risk factors for type 2 diabetes and must be provided with the education, resources and environments to live a healthy lifestyle. On-going diabetes self-management education and support should be accessible to all people with diabetes and their families, reducing the emotional impact of a disease that can result in a negative quality of life.