The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) has kicked off its World Diabetes Day campaign under the slogan “Let’s take control of diabetes. Now.” Led by the International Diabetes Federation and its member associations, World Diabetes Day is celebrated every year on November 14. Created in 1991 by IDF and the World Health Organization (WHO) in response to growing concerns about the escalating threat of diabetes worldwide, it reaches a global audience of over 1 billion people. World Diabetes Day became an official United Nations Day in 2007.
This year’s slogan is in line with the campaign’s five-year focus (2009-2013) on Diabetes Education and Prevention. For World Diabetes Day 2010, the campaign will build on the achievements of last year by strengthening global awareness of diabetes and empowering people to get active and take control of their health to prevent the disease and its complications.
“World Diabetes Day is about mobilizing the global diabetes community to produce a powerful voice for diabetes awareness. We want all concerned to take the necessary action to control an epidemic that affects the lives of over 300 million people in the world today,” said IDF President Jean Claude Mbanya.
For the general public and people at high risk of diabetes, the campaign aims to raise awareness and disseminate tools for prevention. For people with diabetes, the focus will be on disseminating tools to improve knowledge of the disease in order to better understand it and prevent complications. For governments and policy-makers, efforts will go towards communicating the cost-effective implications of diabetes prevention strategies and promoting diabetes education as a core component of diabetes management and treatment.
Access to education for all
Diabetes imposes life-long demands on people living with diabetes and their families. 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. A key aim of the World Diabetes Day campaign is to establish access to diabetes education as a right for all people with diabetes.
Blue Circle Test – Know the Risk Factors
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.
The World Diabetes Day 2010 campaign will see the launch of an exciting, new initiative – the “Blue Circle Test” – to raise awareness of the risk factors of type 2 diabetes, and showcase the positive actions that can be taken to reduce a person’s risk. The initiative will consist of an online and offline component.
Bringing diabetes to light
Another key feature of the campaign will be the continuation of the highly successful Blue Monument Challenge. In recent years, more than 1,000 monuments around the world have lit up in blue for diabetes and World Diabetes Day, truly bringing diabetes to light. This year the link between the lightings and diabetes will be strengthened by encouraging the global diabetes community to use the blue lightings as the venue for all World Diabetes Day-related grassroots activities and events.
“The blue lightings are a very important part of our awareness message, and key to establishing the blue circle as the global symbol of diabetes. But, it is also about World Diabetes Day being a catalyst for events on the ground that benefit ordinary people,” said IDF CEO Ann Keeling.