Today is World Diabetes Day, a day of rememberance and a call to action. Started by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the World Health Organization (WHO), the Day is celebrated annually on November 14th to mark the birthday of Frederick Banting who, along with Charles Best, was instrumental in the discovery of insulin in 1922, a life-saving treatment for diabetes patients.
World Diabetes Day is dedicated to raising global awareness of diabetes, its escalating rates around the world and preventing the potentially devastating disease. The Blue Circle above symbolizes the mission, “unite for diabetes.” The slogan , “Act on Diabetes. Now.” urges us to take action sooner rather than later in order to prevent diabetes and/or its complications. It reminds me of a similar philosophy I learned from one of my mentors when I was on my path to becoming a dietitian, “Don’t wait until tomorrow for what can be done today.”
WHO estimates that more than 220 million people worldwide have diabetes. This number is likely to more than double by 2030 without intervention. Almost 80% of diabetes deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries.
In 2010, over 900 monuments and buildings in 84 countries lit in blue on November 14th to raise awareness of diabetes and World Diabetes Day.
In 2011, IDF encourages us to use the blue lightings as the center for all World Diabetes Day-related activities and events, reinforcing the link between the color blue and diabetes, and strengthening recognition of the Blue Circle as the global symbol of diabetes.
To read more about World Diabetes Day, visit this website.
On a national level, the entire month of November has been proclaimed by the President to be National Diabetes Month. I urge you to take a few moments to read the moving presidential proclamation here.