World Diabetes Day 2021

World Diabetes Day was created by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in partnership with the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) in 1991. In the year 2006, it became an official United Nations Day. Every year, it is celebrated on the birthday of the scientist Sir Frederick Banting, the co-discoverer of insulin. Today, World Diabetes Day is observed in 160 countries across the world and spreads awareness about diabetes.

When is World Diabetes Day Celebrated in 2021

Day Date Celebrated
Sunday 14 November 2021 Across the world
World Diabetes Day
World Diabetes Day

what is this deadly disease? Diabetes is a chronic, metabolic disease that occurs when an individual’s pancreas does not produce sufficient insulin or when the insulin produced is not being effectively used by the body.

There are two types of diabetes – Type 1 and Type 2:

Type 1 Diabetes:

This occurs due to deficient insulin production in the body and requires administration of insulin on a daily basis. The cause of Type 1 Diabetes remains unknown and it currently unpreventable.

Symptoms: Excessive urination, bed wetting, thirst, sudden weight loss, constant hunger, fatigue, lack of energy, and vision changes. These symptoms can occur unexpectedly.

Type 2 Diabetes:

This occurs due to the body’s inability to effectively use the insulin produced by the pancreas. This type of diabetes is more common and largely occurs due to physical inactivity and excess body weight. Type 2 diabetes is preventable.

Symptoms: Similar symptoms but less marked. Other symptoms include slow healing wounds, recurring fungal infections in the skin, numbness/tingling sensation in hands and feet, etc. Diagnosis may occur years after onset when symptoms are recognised.

Due to the overwhelming threats that diabetes poses to our health, World Diabetes Day came into existence.

Why Is World Diabetes Day Observed on November 14 Every Year?

World Diabetes Day or WDD was created by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1991. It officially became a United Nations Day in 2006.

Every year, WDD is observed on the same date – 14th of November. This is because it was the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting who co-discovered insulin with Charles Best in the year 1922.

World Diabetes Day is the world’s largest diabetes awareness campaign. It is observed in over 160 countries and attracts a worldwide audience of over 1 billion people.

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World Diabetes Day Theme 2018-2019

Last year, a two-year theme was chosen for World Diabetes Day 2018 and 2019 which is “The Family and Diabetes”. The campaign aims to achieve the following:

  • Increase awareness regarding the impact diabetes has on family and support network of affected individuals.
  • Promote the family’s role in management, care, prevention, and education of this metabolic disease.

The Family and Diabetes: Why A Family-Centric Theme?

More than 425 million people are living with this chronic disease today and out of this number, a majority suffer from Type 2 Diabetes which is preventable.

How families can help prevent Type 2 Diabetes Through this Theme

Be a support system for one another

A healthy living environment is crucial to prevent this disease along with healthy and balanced meals and regular physical activity. To be an effective support network, families must be educated, and have the resources to inculcate a healthy lifestyle.

Being aware of the signs, symptoms, and risk factors

Currently, 1 out of 2 persons have diabetes but remain undiagnosed. Again, most cases are of Type 2 diabetes. Early diagnosis and treatment are paramount to overcome the complications of the disease and live a healthy lifestyle. All families are possibly affected, which makes it all the more important to be aware of the signs, symptoms, and risk factors concerning all diabetes types for early detection and prevention.

Taking part in diabetes education programmes

Less than 1 per 4 family members get access to diabetes education programmes. However, studies have shown that diabetes care with the help of one’s family has a significant impact in improving health outcomes in people suffering from diabetes. So, it has become increasingly important to make self-management education and support accessible to families in order to reduce the emotional turmoil associated with the disease which can lead to a negative quality of life.

The Role of IDF

IDF is urging families to educate themselves about the warning signs (symptoms) of diabetes to be able to spot the onset of this disease in family members, especially children who are also being affected by it.

In 2018, the International Diabetes Federation conducted a research which concluded that parents were struggling to find symptoms of diabetes in their own children, despite having diabetes in their family history. 4 per 5 parents were struggling to recognise the symptoms and 1 in 3 couldn’t spot symptoms at all.

These alarming findings further harp on the need for education and awareness to help families recognise warning signs of diabetes, making World Diabetes Day this year all the more important. A 2-year timeframe was chosen for this theme in order to facilitate the planning, development, promotion, and participation.

Living with diabetes can be extremely expensive for many individuals and families, alike. This is because the cost of monitoring the disease on a daily basis and insulin injection isn’t affordable to many families. It can consume up to half the disposable income of families, thereby making it unaffordable. Hence, there is an urgent need to make diabetes medications more affordable in order to get better health outcomes.

If you wish to test your knowledge of diabetes and want to learn more, you can use the awareness assessment tool provided by IDF:

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