World Diabetes Day
Find out about the world’s largest diabetes awareness campaign, an annual event that this year celebrates 100 years since the discovery of insulin.
We look at the campaigns and events taking place for World Diabetes Day, aimed at building awareness of the condition. There are lots of ways you can get involved too.
What is the event?
Since its inception in 1991, World Diabetes Day has become an annual celebration for the diabetes community on 14 November. It became an official United Nations Day in 2006.
World Diabetes Day is the world’s largest diabetes awareness campaign reaching a global audience of more than 1 billion people in more than 160 countries.
Organisations, groups and individuals are responsible for voluntarily running a vast array of fundraising events including sponsored activities, tea parties, community events and other innovative activities to raise funds and build awareness of the condition, both within the diabetes community and also general populations across the world.
Frederick Banting lit up in blue at Banting House, Ontario, Canada.
On World Diabetes Day many famous buildings and monuments all over the world are lit up in blue to signify their support.
The date of 14 November marks the birth of Frederick Banting, one of the discoverers of insulin, and was created by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and World Health Organisation (WHO). The Day is represented by a blue circle logo, the global symbol for diabetes awareness. There is no differentiation between types of diabetes as intended to be inclusive.
FIND OUT MORE: https://www.who.int/campaigns/world-diabetes-day/2021
Is there a theme?
Each year there is a theme to encourage engagement and this year’s theme is “Access to Diabetes Care – If Not Now, When?”
This is a callout to the diabetes community to push governments for change and they are looking for your pledge to support the below actions that governments should take to tackle diabetes:
- Provide the best possible care for people living with diabetes, ensuring continued and affordable access to all the diabetes essential medicines on the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines (notably insulin) and associated devices as a minimum.
- Develop policies to improve type 2 diabetes prevention, especially among young people.
- Improve diabetes screening to ensure timely diagnosis and prevent diabetes-related complications.
- Create and implement mechanisms to engage people living with diabetes meaningfully throughout the development of public policies related to the condition.
FIND OUT MORE & PLEDGE YOUR SUPPORT: https://worlddiabetesday.org
Why are we celebrating?
Insulin is a treatment that has saved millions of lives around the world. However, 100 years after its discovery, there are millions of people with diabetes around the world that cannot access the treatment and care that they need to manage their condition. And whilst treatment for diabetes has evolved so that it is no longer a death sentence itself, those who cannot access treatment may live a limited life.
As yet there is no cure. More research, trials and all that involves is ongoing, and whilst we keep searching for ways to ‘fix’ our pancreas, we are reminded that the number of people diagnosed with diabetes is growing rapidly. World Diabetes Day and the centenary of the discovery of insulin presents an opportunity to highlight the issues we face with managing diabetes and to look at how to effect change that could potentially affect the lives of more than 460 million people living with diabetes and the millions more at risk.
How do you show support?
World Diabetes Day has its own logo, the blue circle and to show your support, a selfie app has been developed. You are encouraged to share your image on social media using #WDD. The app is available on the App store and Google Play store.
FIND OUT MORE: https://worlddiabetesday.org
How do you get involved?
Different diabetes-related charities are doing their own campaigns to raise awareness on 14th November and you can join them in supporting the day:
Diabetes UK - Nailing Diabetes Campaign
You are encouraged to paint your nails blue to support the event and post on social media using #NailingDiabetes. You can also host your own event to mark the day and there is a World Diabetes Day frame that you can add to your Facebook profile photo for the week.
FIND OUT MORE: https://www.diabetes.org.uk/get_involved/world-diabetes-day
JDRF - #BagsOfResilience Campaign
JDRF’s current campaign is referred to as #BagsOfResilience and is based on the premise that the bags a person with diabetes has to carry have become more compact and manageable. However, a bag for a person living with type 1 is still essentially their lifeline and forgetting to leave the house without it can have serious consequences.
JDRF want supporters to take a picture of their type 1 bag of resilience and share it on their social media account with a caption such as, this #WorldDiabetesDay, take a look inside my bag! This is what I need every day to live with type 1 diabetes. I never leave home without it – it’s my lifeline. What’s in your bag? Include the hashtags #BagsOfResilience #JDRFUK
FIND OUT MORE: https://jdrf.org.uk/bagsofresilience/
Diabetes Research & Wellness Foundation (DRWF)
The Diabetes Research & Wellness Foundation in partnership with Diabetes Professional Care are running an exclusive virtual reality event on World Diabetes Day. An all-day event that's free to attend, there will be lots of useful information shared. Attendees need to register in advance.
FIND OUT MORE: https://www.drwf.org.uk/news-and-events/news/celebrate-world-diabetes-day-drwf-united-through-diabetes
Banting House, Canada (the home-turned-museum considered the “birthplace of insulin”)
People from across Canada and beyond travel to Banting House to take part in the World Diabetes Day celebrations. Banting House will be lit up in blue and there is an unveiling of commemorative bricks.
FIND OUT MORE: https://bantinghousenhs.ca/exhibits-and-events/world-diabetes-day/
T1 International, based in the UK, are the organisation behind the #insulin4all movement. However, whilst recognising the importance of World Diabetes Day as a means to increase awareness of diabetes, the organisation take a different approach to others.
The founder explains that they “feel strongly that celebrating is inappropriate when 1 out of every 2 people in need of insulin worldwide cannot access or afford it. Instead, we are highlighting our community of advocates and their dedication and determination to advocate for change. We must continue to advocate until 100 percent of people worldwide have 100 percent access to insulin.”
Throughout November they have a number of campaigns running and there is further information about their approach to advocacy on their website, as well as resources that enable you to get involved in supporting their cause.
FIND OUT MORE: https://www.t1international.com
Love My Libre's Celebration
We have produced a keyring with the above design to commemorate the 100 Years since the discovery of insulin and this is included free with all purchases of Librebands and Dexbands in November.
Join an event near you
There are lots of smaller events taking place too and you may find an event locally to attend, some of which are being held by healthcare professionals to raise awareness in the local community.
Whatever activity you choose, we hope you'll be joining in on 14th November!
Love My Libre Ltd is not associated or affiliated with Abbott or FreeStyle Libre. Content here and on our website www.lovemylibre.com does not constitute medical advice or replace the relationship between you and healthcare professionals nor the advice you receive from them.
The author of this blog has type 1 diabetes and uses the FreeStyle Libre 2 which is provided on NHS prescription.