World Diabetes Day campaign kicked off

World Diabetes Day campaign kicked off

The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) launched its World Diabetes Day campaign under the slogan “Understand diabetes and take control.”

Celebrated every year on November 14, World Diabetes Day is a campaign led by the International Diabetes Federation and its member associations. It was created in 1991 by IDF and the World Health Organization (WHO) in response to growing concerns about the escalating threat of diabetes worldwide. World Diabetes Day became an official United Nations Day in 2007. This year sees the first of a five-year campaign that will address the growing need for diabetes education and prevention programmes.

“Many people fail to acknowledge the serious threat that diabetes poses to individuals, families and communities,” said Phil Riley, IDF’s World Diabetes Day Campaign Manager. “The World Diabetes Day campaign calls on everyone to understand diabetes and take control.”

For people with diabetes, the campaign slogan is a message about empowerment through education. For governments, it is a call to implement effective strategies and policies for the prevention and management of diabetes. For healthcare professionals, it is a call to improve knowledge so that evidence-based recommendations are put into practice. For the general public, it is a call to understand the serious impact of diabetes and know, where possible, how to avoid or delay diabetes and its complications.

The need for diabetes education
Diabetes can be difficult. The disease imposes life-long demands on the 250 million people now living with diabetes and their families. People with diabetes have to make a multitude of decisions related to managing their diabetes. They need to monitor their blood glucose, take medication, exercise regularly and adjust their eating habits. Furthermore, they may have to face issues related to living with the complications of diabetes and may be required to make considerable psychological adjustments. The future health of people with diabetes is largely based on the decisions they take. Because people with diabetes must deliver 95% of their own care, it is of paramount importance that they receive ongoing, high-quality diabetes education that is tailored to their needs and delivered by skilled health professionals. The World Diabetes Day campaign aims to establish access to diabetes education as a right for all people with diabetes.

The need for prevention
At present, type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented. The environmental triggers that are thought to generate the process that results in the destruction of the body’s insulin-producing cells are still under investigation. Type 2 diabetes, however, can be prevented in many cases by helping and encouraging those at risk to maintain a healthy weight and take regular exercise. World Diabetes Day will promote greater awareness of the risk factors for diabetes and encourage best-practice sharing in diabetes prevention. The campaign will ask diabetes stakeholders to call on UN Member States to follow through on the promise of UN Resolution 61/225 on diabetes and develop national policies for the prevention, treatment and care of diabetes in line with the sustainable development of their healthcare systems.

Under Resolution 61/225, the UN has invited all Member States, relevant organizations of the United Nations system and other international organizations, as well as civil society, including non-governmental organizations and the private sector, to observe World Diabetes Day in an appropriate manner, in order to raise public awareness of diabetes and related complications, as well as its prevention and care, including through education and the mass media.