World Diabetes Day

Want to get involved this World Diabetes Day? Find out what's happening and what you can do.


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Diabetes is a rapidly growing health concern, particularly in the developed world where unhealthy foods predominate and childhood obesity is on the rise. World Diabetes Day is a campaign to raise awareness of this insidious disease and this guide looks at who’s behind it, what it hopes to achieve and how you can get on board to help this worthwhile cause.

What is World Diabetes Day?

World Diabetes Day is held on 14 November each year and is celebrated worldwide in over 160 countries by organisations, healthcare professionals and people and their families living with diabetes.

It began in 1991 in response to the alarming increase in diabetes around the world and each year a new theme related to diabetes is chosen by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF). The day also marks the birthday of Frederick Banting, who was involved in the discovery of insulin in 1922.

The global diabetes community organises a huge range of promotional activities on the day, including radio and television programs, sports events, free diabetes screenings, public meetings, workshops, exhibitions and press conferences.

Represented by a blue circle logo, the annual World Diabetes Day campaign aims to be a platform to promote the IDF’s advocacy efforts from throughout the year and the importance of taking action to confront diabetes as a critical global health issue.

What’s happening in 2021?

This year, the theme of World Diabetes Day is "Nurses Make the Difference for Diabetes" and will focus on promoting the role of nurses in the prevention and management of diabetes.

Screening for Type 2 diabetes is important in order to modify its course and reduce the risk of complications such as blindness. Screening for complications is an essential part of managing all kinds of diabetes. One in every two adults living with diabetes is undiagnosed, so early screenings are vital. World Diabetes Day 2021 will ask everyone to help in identifying people with undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes, as well as those at risk of developing it in the future and encourage them to seek early diagnosis and treatment.

The aim is to achieve one million individual screenings during the month of November and everyone is being encouraged to take the online risk questionnaire and to organise or attend a screening activity or event. You can record your event on the online map on the IDF website and share pictures of the day on social media using the blue circle app and supplied hashtags.

How can you get involved?

To get involved with World Diabetes Day, you can:

  • Organise an activity or event to raise awareness of the importance of early detection of Type 2 diabetes.
  • Set up a diabetes fair or expo offering free diabetes screenings and information on preventing Type 2 diabetes and complications.
  • Make 14 November an awareness day at your work or local school.
  • Make a statement on the day by forming a human blue circle or lighting a public building in blue and photographing and sharing the event.

To get involved with the World Diabetes Day campaign in general, you can:

  • Lobby your local member of parliament to get them involved with World Diabetes Day.
  • Run a media campaign and publish a press release or video on the IDF website.
  • Wear blue and the blue circle pin whenever you can to promote the World Diabetes Day logo.
  • Follow World Diabetes Day online via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube.
  • Create a World Diabetes Day landing page or website using World Diabetes Day resources.
  • Engage and activate your online community to support World Diabetes Day.

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