World Diabetes Day: Protect Your Family Against Diabetes!

World Diabetes Day: Protect Your Family Against Diabetes!

Author -  Dr. Kaushik Bharati, MSc, PhD, FRSPH (London)
Medically Reviewed by 
The Medindia Medical Review Team on November 13, 2019 at 2:28 PM
  • World Diabetes Day is celebrated every year on 14th November
  • It spreads awareness about diabetes and stresses on regular monitoring of blood glucose levels
  • Aims to reduce the global burden of the silent killer through prevention and control strategies

World Diabetes Day is observed on 14th November every year. It is the world's largest diabetes awareness event, which reaches over 1 billion people across the globe. This is a truly global celebration, involving people from many spheres of life, including diabetologists, diabetes advocates, government representatives, media persons, diabetic patients, and representatives from civil society. All these stakeholders have the common goal of creating awareness about diabetes and prioritizing it in the global health agenda.

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World Diabetes Day: Protect Your Family Against Diabetes!

This year, World Diabetes Day will be celebrated in 94 countries across the globe, with over 650 events taking place. The awareness symbol for World Diabetes Day is a 'Blue Circle', which was adopted following a Resolution passed by the United Nations (UN) in 2007. It symbolizes the unity of the entire diabetes community in the fight against this global pandemic.

World Diabetes Day is organized by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), which includes more than 230 national diabetes associations, spread across 170 countries. The IDF was established way back in 1950 and has been the leading global organization that provides support and lends a voice to all those suffering from diabetes.

History of World Diabetes Day

World Diabetes Day was established in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the World Health Organization (WHO). This primarily arose in response to increasing concerns about the sharp rise in diabetes cases worldwide. In 2006, World Diabetes Day became an official UN Day through a UN Resolution (No. 61/225). The date - 14th November - was chosen to coincide with the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, who jointly discovered insulin with Dr. Charles Best in 1922.

Theme of World Diabetes Day 2019

Every year, World Diabetes Day focuses on a specific theme pertaining to a particular aspect of diabetes. This year, the theme is 'Family and Diabetes', which focuses on the impact of diabetes on patients and their families and caregivers. It highlights the vital role played by the family in the management, care and support given to diabetes patients. It encourages families to be more alert about the early warning signs of diabetes and get tested in order to detect the disease at an early stage.

Diabetes: Facts & Figures

  • 425 million adults are currently living with diabetes, which will rise to 629 million by 2045
  • 352 million people are at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes
  • China has the highest number of diabetes cases - 114.3 million
  • India has the second-highest number of diabetes cases - 72.9 million
  • 1,106,500 children are currently living with Type 1 diabetes
  • 79 percent of adults with diabetes live in low- and middle-income countries Highest number of diabetics are in the age group 40-59 years
  • 4 million deaths due to diabetes occur every year
  • 50 percent of Type 2 diabetes is preventable
  • 212 million (1 in 2) adults living with diabetes remain undiagnosed
  • 21 million live births (1 in 7 births) are affected by diabetes during pregnancy
  • 4 out of 5 people are unable to recognize the early warning signs of diabetes
  • 90 percent of diabetes cases are due to Type 2 diabetes
  • Less than 1 in 4 family members have access to diabetes education programs
  • Economic burden of diabetes is USD 727 billion annually

Ways to Get Involved in the World Diabetes Day Celebrations

There are numerous ways to get involved in the World Diabetes Day celebrations, some of which are highlighted below:
  • Sponsored Fun Walks
  • Social Media Campaigns
  • Free Diabetes Testing Camps
  • Wearing the 'Blue Circle' logo on apparels
  • Creating awareness through educational activities among general public
  • Prominent landmarks and monuments can be lit-up in blue to raise awareness about diabetes

Indian Initiatives for Prevention and Control of Diabetes

Diabetes has become the fastest growing disease in India. There are two major initiatives by the Government of India for the prevention and control of diabetes, which are highlighted below:
  • mDiabetes Mobile App: A new mobile app has been developed indigenously in India, which helps in diabetes care and prevention. This app, called mDiabetes, has been developed by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW), Government of India in collaboration with the WHO Country Office for India
  • NPCDCS: TheNational Program for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke (NPCDCS) was launched by the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC), MoHFW, Government of India in 2010. Its primary goal is to prevent and control the major non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including diabetes

Online Tool for Assessment of Diabetes Risk - A New Innovation from Finland

The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) has developed a new online test that can predict an individual's risk of getting Type 2 diabetes within the next 10 years. The test is based on the Finnish Diabetes Risk Score (FINDRISC), which has been developed by scientists at the National Institute for Health and Welfare in Helsinki, Finland.

Health Tips for Management of Diabetes

Leading a healthy lifestyle is the cornerstone of the management of diabetes. Some of the aspects of a healthy lifestyle that need to be addressed include the following:
  • Healthy Diet: A diet low in sugar and saturated fats such as butter, cream, and cheese, should be replaced with polyunsaturated fats such as vegetable oils. Also, include large quantities of fruits, vegetables and whole grains
  • Tobacco & Alcohol: Tobacco products, especially cigarettes, cigars and pipes should be avoided at all costs. Alcohol consumption must also be limited
  • Physical Activity: Adequate physical activity helps keep blood glucose levels within normal limits. Moreover, aerobic exercises such as jogging, swimming, and cycling, as well as resistance training are recommended for at least 3 to 5 days a week for a minimum duration of 30 to 45 minutes
  • Monitoring: Regular self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) using a glucometer is recommended to monitor fluctuations in blood glucose levels so that the doses of antidiabetic drugs can be adjusted accordingly
  • Medications: Taking prescribed medications regularly is important for keeping blood glucose levels in check. Oral drugs such as metformin or sulfonylureas are usually prescribed for treating Type 2 diabetes. In severe cases, insulin injections may be required
So, let's join together on this World Diabetes Day to protect our family and loved ones from diabetes and live a healthy life.

References :
  1. Diabetes: Protect Your Family - (
  2. Test 2 Prevent: Know Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes - (
  3. World Diabetes Day 2018-19 - (
  4. World Diabetes Day 14 November - (
  5. World Diabetes Day - (

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