World Pneumonia Day

November 14, 2021

World Diabetes Day is Sunday 14 November 2021. The theme for this year is access to diabetes care, focusing on the importance of improving access to diabetes care for all and the need for action to prevent diabetes and its complications. Established in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation with support from WHO in response to growing concerns about the health and economic threat posed by diabetes, World Diabetes Day became an official UN day in 2006.

People with diabetes require ongoing care and support to live well with diabetes and avoid complications. Fundamental components of diabetes care include access to insulin and medication, education, and psychological support. People living with diabetes need ongoing and up-to-date education to help them manage their condition.

Celebrating the discovery of insulin

This year we’re celebrating 100 years since the discovery of insulin. Before insulin, a diabetes diagnosis was a death sentence. The breakthrough by scientists Frederick Banting and Charles Best in 1921 has saved millions of lives and is often hailed as one of the greatest medical advancements of our times.

This year’s World Diabetes Day is taking place at the end of a year which has been intensive in terms of global advocacy for diabetes. WHO and partners have used the opportunity of the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin to highlight the huge gap between the people who need access to insulin to control their diabetes, as well as essential technologies such as blood glucose meters and test strips, and those who actually have access.

The Day also comes at a time when the world continues to live through the COVID-19 pandemic, which has not only resulted in a high proportion of people with diabetes among hospitalized patients with severe manifestations of COVID-19 and among those who have succumbed to the virus but has also led to severe disruption of diabetes services.

Diabetes is a chronic, metabolic disease characterized by elevated levels of blood glucose (or blood sugar), which leads over time to serious damage to the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, and nerves. The most common is type 2 diabetes, usually in adults, which occurs when the body becomes resistant to insulin or doesn't make enough insulin. In the past three decades, the prevalence of type 2 diabetes has risen dramatically in countries of all income levels. Type 1 diabetes, once known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, is a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin by itself. For people living with diabetes, access to affordable treatment, including insulin, is critical to their survival. There is a globally agreed target to halt the rise in diabetes and obesity by 2025.

About 422 million people worldwide have diabetes, the majority living in low-and middle-income countries, and 1.5 million deaths are directly attributed to diabetes each year. Both the number of cases and the prevalence of diabetes have been steadily increasing over the past few decades.

Access to Diabetes Care is the theme for World Diabetes Day 2021-23.  We encourage you to raise awareness of diabetes by using these hashtags on social media: #diabetes #worlddiabetesday #diabetesawareness #diabetescommunity