Every year on November 14, different countries observe World Diabetes Day. Started by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 1991 as a reactionary measure against the rise of diabetes around the world, the day seeks to create awareness about the way diabetes affects people on a global scale. It focuses on diabetes mellitus. The day became an official United Nations Day in 2006 when the United Nation Resolution 61/225 was passed. The day also marks the birth anniversary of scientist and Nobel Laureate Frederick Banting, the co-discoverer of insulin.
World Diabetes Day serves as a platform to promote the efforts of IDF and also brings to the fore the importance of taking actions to combat diabetes as a glaring global health problem.
Each year, the day focuses on a particular theme pertaining to diabetes. In 2016, the theme was ‘Eyes on Diabetes’ whereas this year, the day concentrates on the effects of diabetes on women. The organisation, this year, seeks to make people aware about ‘Women and Diabetes’, especially those who are pregnant. It also intends to throw light on how their newborn might be affected by the condition.
Nine countries in the South-East Asia (SEA) Region, including India has been shortlisted by IDF as the most affected by diabetes. A study conducted the Federation in India revealed that out of the 79.8 million adults living in India, a staggering 69.1 million adults suffer from diabetes. A blue circle logo, adopted in 2007 represents the campaign. It serves as the global symbol for diabetes and signifies the unity of the global diabetes community in response to the rising diabetes epidemic.