World Diabetes Day: When & Why it is Celebrated
About 500 million people are currently living with diabetes around the globe. Keeping this in mind, the International Diabetes Federation and World Health Organisation took the initiative of making people aware of diabetes and its escalating effects by marking a day.
Therefore, we present this article on World Diabetes Day and everything you should know about it.
Without any further delay, keep reading to know more!
World Diabetes Day: An Overview
World Diabetes Day has been celebrated on 14th November every year since its launching year in 1991. The reason for observing World Diabetes Day on this date is because of the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, who co-discovered insulin along with Charles Best and John James Rickard Macleod in 1922. This global awareness campaign focuses on diabetes mellitus and its types.
Further, every year there is a theme depending on which the campaign lasts a whole year. As there has been a global rise in diabetes cases since 1980, knowing when World Diabetes Day is holds importance in everyone’s life.
History of World Diabetes Day
As already mentioned, there are types of diabetes depending on their prevention and cure. Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented but can be managed by insulin injections. Although type 2 is preventable as well as treatable, the increasing cases have led to concerns about the health and economic threats that come with it. Therefore, World Diabetes Day became an official United Nations Day in 2006.
Moreover, it rapidly became one of the most widespread diabetes awareness campaigns, with a global audience of roughly 1 billion people from about 160 countries. Other than this, it is commemorated by nearly 230 IDF associations, various organisations, healthcare professionals, celebrities, diabetes affected people and their families, politicians, and more.
Why is World Diabetes Day Celebrated?
The WDD campaign aims to be a platform promoting efforts of IDF advocacy all around the year. It also seeks to create urgency among people by coordinated actions to promote diabetes as a global health issue.
Chronic diabetes causes kidney failure, stroke, heart attack, lower limb amputation, and blindness. However, all these can be prevented if you lead a healthy life with a proper diet and physical exercise. Additionally, even if you are affected, you can recover by taking proper medication and opting for appropriate screening activities and treatment during complications.
According to the IDF, here are the latest facts on the global impact of diabetes:
- The majority of the patients are affected by type 2 diabetes, and 1 in 2 adults remain undiagnosed.
- 3 out of 4 individuals belonging to low- and middle-income groups remain highly affected by this disease.
- Around 20 million newborns get hyperglycaemia or high blood glucose from pregnant mothers.
- Two-thirds of the diabetic patients live in an urban area, and three-quarters of them are of working age.
- 136 million patients are more than 65 years of age.
- 4.2 million people died in 2019 due to diabetes.
- Diabetes alone was responsible for 760 million dollars’ worth of healthcare expenditure in 2019, which is almost 10% of the total expenditure. Further, this amount has been increasing.
Owing to these factors, it is important to change the situation, and the first step in doing so is to make everyone aware.
Despite everything, there have been growing concerns over diabetes because of its associated risk factors and rise in global cases. Therefore, in 2007 the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution 61/225, which led to the recognition of 14th November as World Diabetes Day.
With the support from the member states, several national policies were in the making to promote human health and provide easy access to treatment focusing on sustainable development of the overall healthcare system. Therefore, spreading awareness is the main message on World Diabetes Day because only upon knowing a disease will you be able to prevent it better.
Furthermore, contracting diabetes is also an economic threat. The cost of managing blood sugar levels on a daily basis is hefty, especially for Economically Weaker Sections that are more prone to this disease. Therefore, appointing a day to make people aware of the threat and how it can be prevented can be highly beneficial.
Now let us observe the importance of diabetes day.
Why is World Diabetes Day Important?
Here are the significances of this day:
- People Are Made Aware of Diabetes: Over a 25-year timeline, diabetes cases have increased by around 380%. At this rate, WHO estimates that diabetes will become the seventh leading cause of death in the world. Therefore, to curb this criticality, it is vital to dedicate a whole day to spread awareness.
- Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes: As we all know, prevention is better than cure; it is wise to lead a healthy life and avoid the chances of contracting the illness.
- The Day is a Reminder That You Should Be Educated about the Disease: Type 2 diabetes has become an epidemic because a large portion of the population overlooked or failed to recognise the symptoms. Therefore, learning everything about the disease will help you to prevent the disease better. Also, upon knowing the signs, you can get tested and follow treatment.
Once you know the need to appoint a day for diabetes awareness, it is imperative you know how to celebrate this day.
Every year there is a theme set to make everyone aware of the importance of celebrating this day. The theme hovers around topics like diabetes and lifestyle, diabetes and human rights, its relation with obesity, its effect on vulnerable sections and children and more. Further, the purpose of these themes is to initiate a campaign that throws light on these critical topics and aware people. Some of the themes in the past years are listed below in the table:
Protect our future: Diabetes education and prevention
Go blue for breakfast
Eyes on diabetes
Women and diabetes- Our right to a healthy future
The family and diabetes- Diabetes concerns every family
The nurse and diabetes
How to Celebrate World Diabetes Day
Organisations and healthcare professionals celebrate this day in the following manner:
- The Blue Circle: People wear a blue circle logo which is a global symbol for diabetes awareness. Further, you can make this logo out of a blue ribbon and make others aware. This symbol signifies the unity of the global diabetic community in response to the dire situation.
- Organising a Diabetes Fair: Many individuals collaborate with health officials and conduct a diabetes fair at their workplace or home. From these fairs, you can get information and brochures on diabetes type 2 and its prevention. Further, the fair also offers diabetes screenings.
- Tests for Diabetes: Should you notice symptoms like excessive thirst, constant hunger, weight loss and fatigue, this day acts like a reminder that it’s time to get tested. Furthermore, obese individuals are at a higher risk of contracting type 2 diabetes. Therefore, celebrating this day will act in favour of them as they will know when to get tested.
Therefore, it is evident that diseases like diabetes need serious consideration, and people should be aware of the facts that will help them fight against it better.
Hence, stay safe and spread awareness this 14th November!