By Wellness Author
According to the IDF Diabetes Atlas, 537 million adults (20-79 years) live with diabetes. This figure translates to one in 10 people. This number will likely reach 643 million by 2030 and 783 million by 2045. More than three out of four adults with diabetes live in low- and middle-income countries. These statistics show how overweight we are as a society and how much our food habits and lifestyle have changed in recent years.
World Diabetes Day (WDD), observed on 14 November, is dedicated to raising global awareness of issues related to diabetes. It represents a unique opportunity to highlight the challenges faced by people with diabetes and the efforts made by health professionals to tackle the disease.
Diabetes affects both rich and poor, young and old, equally and is increasing at an alarming rate. This article will take you through the history of World Diabetes Day and how you can observe it to make a difference in society.
In the early nineties, a shared vision was emerging from major international health conferences, including the 1990's WHO/NIDDK-sponsored World Conference on Diabetes in New Orleans and the 1990 United Nations World Health Assembly. This addressed diabetes as an urgent global health problem requiring action at many levels—at the national policy level and the individual and community level—for preventing and controlling complications.
On November 14th 1991, World Diabetes Day (WDD) was launched by the International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organization. Representatives from all over the world converged in Geneva to launch the day.
The theme for the first World Diabetes Day was ‘Preventing Diabetes.’
The day stressed the importance of population-based approaches to diabetes prevention and control, particularly that of primary health care. From 1991 to 1995, WDD objectives were set by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and WHO. The objectives for each year included the following:
1. Promoting public awareness about diabetes
2. Fighting the stigma associated with diabetes
3. Making diabetes less severe
4. Providing better access to health services to people with diabetes
5. Improving awareness of diabetes diagnosis, treatment, and complications.
6. Supporting research into the causes, prevention, and treatment of diabetes
7. Encouraging action at the community level to combat the social causes of type 2 diabetes and improve public health
8. Advocating for a more focused international effort at all levels to combat diabetes’ causes, and consequences, therefore
9. Promoting economic equity among countries as well as within individuals
10. Increasing the supply of quality medicines for people with type 2 diabetes
Every year, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) launches a new theme for World Diabetes Day. The IDF organises activities worldwide to promote awareness about diabetes and its complications. The goal is to encourage people worldwide to focus on diabetes as a significant public health issue that needs prevention and control efforts, including research into its causes, treatment, and consequences.
Moreover, many countries have declared November 14th as an official national holiday for their populations with diabetes. At least 23 countries have adopted this day as their national diabetes day.
If you want to observe this day, you can do the following things:
Sharing diabetes awareness is a great way of observing World Diabetes Day. You can share your thoughts and feelings on social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter. You can also write articles for newspapers highlighting the problems of diabetes and its complications in detail.
Diabetes is a disease that must be treated in the early stages for which support is needed. Many charities and non-governmental organisations provide such support to enable living with type 2 diabetes without complications. We can support these organisations and help their campaign further to enable them with their cause for people with diabetes.
People with diabetes may take a long time to recover from injuries. This is why doctors recommend wearing comfortable and soft shoes to avoid any foot injuries. You can sponsor such shoes for people with diabetes. Shoes should be comfortable and light enough not to cause discomfort but sturdy enough to protect the feet from infections, rashes, and sprains.
World Diabetes Day is an important day to focus on diabetes as a disease that can be treated. It is essential to prevent and control diabetes and follow a healthy life. We aim to spread awareness about diabetes and its complications so that you can take steps to control and manage your diabetes.
By encouraging people worldwide to increase their awareness of diabetes and inspire them to live long and healthy lives, World Diabetes Day makes a difference in how we all view and work towards curing this disease.