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World Diabetes Day (WDD) is the primary global awareness campaign of the diabetes world. It was introduced in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) in response to the alarming rise in diabetes around the world. In 2007, the United Nations marked the Day for the first time with the passage of the United Nations World Diabetes Day Resolution in December 2006, which made the existing World Diabetes Day an official United Nations World Health Day.
World Diabetes Day is a campaign that features a new theme chosen by the International Diabetes Federation each year to address issues facing the global diabetes community. While the themed campaigns last the whole year, the day itself is celebrated on November 14, to mark the birthday of Frederick Banting who, along with Charles Best, first conceived the idea which led to the discovery of insulin in 1922.
In 2007 and 2008, the theme of World Diabetes Day is Diabetes in Children and Adolescents. Diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases of childhood. Type 1 diabetes is growing by 3% per year in children and adolescents, and at an alarming 5% per year among pre-school children. It is estimated that 70,000 children under 15 develop type 1 diabetes each year (almost 200 children a day). Currently, an estimated 440,000 children live with type 1 diabetes globally. Type 2 diabetes was once seen as a disease of adults but today, it is growing at alarming rates in children and adolescents. The International Diabetes Federation's two year focus on children through the World Diabetes Day campaign, aims to increase awareness among parents and caregivers, teachers, healthcare professionals, politicians and the public.
The World Diabetes Day campaign in 2008 aims to
- Increase the number of children supported by the IDF Life for a Child Program.
- Raise awareness of the warning signs of diabetes.
- Encourage initiatives to reduce diabetic ketoacidosis and distribute materials to support these initiatives.
- Promote healthy lifestyles to help prevent type 2 diabetes in children.
Where is it celebrated?
World Diabetes Day is celebrated worldwide by the over 200 member associations of the International Diabetes Federation in more than 160 countries, all Member States of the United Nations, as well as by other associations and organizations, companies, healthcare professionals and people living with diabetes and their families.
How is it marked?
The global diabetes community including International Diabetes Federation member associations, diabetes organizations, NGOs, health departments and companies develop an extensive range of activities, tailored to a variety of groups. Activities organized each year include:
- Radio and television programmes
- Sports events
- Free screenings for diabetes and its complications
- Public information meetings
- Poster and leaflet campaigns
- Diabetes workshops and exhibitions
- Press conferences
- Newspaper and magazine articles
- Events for children and adolescents
- Monument lightings
- Human blue circles
- Cycle Races
Is there a theme?
Each year World Diabetes Day is centred on a theme related to diabetes. Topics covered in the past have included diabetes and human rights, diabetes and lifestyle, and the costs of diabetes. Recent themes include:
- 2004: Diabetes and Obesity
- 2005: Diabetes and Foot Care
- 2006: Diabetes in the Disadvantaged and the Vulnerable
- 2007-2008: Diabetes in Children and Adolescents
World Diabetes Day - Logo
The World Diabetes Day logo is the blue circle - the global symbol for diabetes which was developed as part of the Unite for Diabetes awareness campaign. The logo was adopted in 2007 to mark the passage of the United Nations World Diabetes Day Resolution. It is a simple icon that can be easily adapted and widely adopted, the circle symbolizes life and health. The colour blue reflects the sky that unites all nations. The blue circle signifies the unity of the global diabetes community in response to the diabetes pandemic.