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Women and Diabetes – Our Right To A Healthy Future – World Diabetes Day 2017

Women and Diabetes – Our Right To A Healthy Future – World Diabetes Day 2017

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  • World diabetes day (WDD) 2017 aims to educate women about prevention and provide improved facilities to manage their diabetes to achieve optimal health and a better longterm outcome
  • It is estimated that currently there are nearly 200 million women worldwide living with diabetes and the number is expected to jump to over 300 million by 2040.

History of World Diabetes Day - Past to Present

World Diabetes Day (WDD) was pioneered by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), in 1991 along with the World Health Organization (WHO) due to growing concerns about the increasing health threat posed by diabetes. With the passing of a United Nation Resolution, World Diabetes Day became an official UN day in 2006.

The date 14th November chose to mark World Diabetes Day, is to honor the man who co-discovered insulin, Frederick Banting. It was in 1922 that Banting and Charles Best discovered insulin which revolutionized the treatment of diabetes.


Women and Diabetes – Our Right To A Healthy Future – World Diabetes Day 2017

From modest beginnings in 1991, the World Diabetes Day has now become a global movement comprising over 230 national diabetes associations spread across 170 countries. It has now come to be recognized internationally as an effective movement that strives to spread the message of diabetes prevention and treatment by organizing numerous campaigns, activities, screening programs and various other activities worldwide.

World Diabetes Day 2017 Theme - Focusing On Diabetic Care In Women

Each year the World Diabetes Day carries a special theme to focus on. For instance, between 2009-13 it focused upon "education and prevention" and between 2014-16, the theme was centered around "healthy living and eating".

This year 2017 the IDF has chosen to focus on women with the theme "Women and diabetes - our right to a healthy future". The logo of WDD is a blue circle, adopted in 2007, is now well recognized by health professionals and diabetic persons all over the world.

It is a sad reality that 1 out of 10 women is living with diabetes, and 2 out of every 5 women in the reproductive age have diabetes, which makes it all the more important to improve diabetes care of women in general and particularly during pregnancy.

World Diabetes Day 2017 hopes to create and spread awareness about this common but treatable condition, ways to prevent and reduce its occurrence, manage the condition better by providing access to affordable treatment to all women, and improve their overall health and quality of life.

Celebrating World Diabetes Day - What We Can Do To Spread The Message

The International Diabetes Federation website has made available several resources such as posters, banners, infographics on diabetes among women, merchandise such as blue bracelets and pins that can be downloaded or ordered and used effectively to increase awareness and educate the population.

Some of the ways we can create and spread awareness include the following
  • Sharing campaign posters and banners and promoting the campaign on social media such as Facebook and Twitter.
  • The official hashtag for the campaign is #WDD. Other related hashtags include #Diabetes #WomenandDiabetes #GestationalDiabetes #Empowerwomen #Diabetesawareness #T1D #T2D #Bluecircle
  • Share key messages and infographics brought out during the campaign underscoring the importance of diabetic care in women
  • Promote the World Diabetes Day website
  • Share your campaign photos and activities on social media channels and invite local media to your campaign event
  • Taking a selfie in a blue circle and sharing it on social media carrying home messages about diabetes and its care in women
  • Illuminating prominent buildings in your town or city in blue to spread the message of diabetes and care in women
  • Organize sale of merchandise and donate proceeds to charity
  • Wear "blue" for diabetes. Wear a blue dress, the blue circle pin or bracelet to show your solidarity for the campaign
  • Organize sporting events for women, adults and children in the community to spread the message about preventing caring for women with diabetes
  • Carry advertisements in local magazines and newspapers to create and spread awareness. Carry educational programs and talks on radio and television
  • Doctors and health professionals can offer free diabetic screening for women during this time to raise awareness about the condition and encourage people to get tested
  • Distribute leaflets carrying catchy messages highlighting diabetes prevention and care
  • Offices and institutions can organize "Learn about diabetes" events and talks by doctors about diabetes and ways to prevent and treat the condition
  • Involve local celebrities to add color to the campaign and encourage local
  • administration to promote affordable and accessible diabetic care to women by drafting new policies or modifying existing ones

Some Startling Facts and Figures About Diabetes in Women

  • 1 out of 10 women worldwide is living with diabetes
  • 2 out of every 5 women in the reproductive age group has diabetes
  • 1 out of every 7 pregnancies is associated with gestational diabetes, the majority occurring in low and middle income countries with limited diabetic care access
  • Diabetes is the ninth leading cause of mortality in women worldwide accounting for about 2 million deaths per year
  • Women having type 2 diabetes are upto 10 times more at risk of developing coronary heart disease
  • Women having type 1 diabetes are at a higher risk of suffering early miscarriage or having a baby with birth defects

Addressing the Above Issues - Need Of the Hour

  • All women and girls must be encouraged to be physically active and have affordable access to physical activity to improve their health
  • All women, especially during pregnancy should be given access to affordable access to diabetes prevention and treatment facilities
  • Healthcare workers should be trained to identify and manage diabetes throughout pregnancy.
  • Diabetic screening and care should be made an integral part of antenatal care to improve maternal and fetal outcome.
  • All women should be educated and informed of the importance of healthy lifestyle and dietary habits in preventing diabetes in themselves as well as their children
Events such as the WDD hope to make a difference in the lives of people (and women) worldwide by underscoring the far reaching effects that adoption of simple measures and changes can have in improving the overall health of the individual and creating a healthier world in the future.
References :
  1. World Diabetes Day 2017 - (https://www.idf.org/our-activities/world-diabetes-day/wdd-2017.html)
  2. World Diabetes Day - (http://www.who.int/life-course/news/events/2017-world-diabetes-day/en/)

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