World joins together for diabetes day
A total of 152 countries are taking part in World Diabetes Day (WDD) helping to promote the condition and draw attention to the importance of eye screening.
According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), one in two adults currently living with diabetes is undiagnosed, which is why the organisation is asking people, who may be at risk of type 2 diabetes, to take action.
The aim is to achieve one million individual screenings recorded by participating in the Test2Prevent initiative during the month of November, which is diabetes awareness month.
This year’s theme ‘Eyes on Diabetes’ focuses on the importance of early screening for diabetes. One in two people with diabetes remain undiagnosed, which makes them particularly susceptible to the complications of the condition, causing substantial disability and premature death.
Vision impairment and blindness
Of the 415 million adults worldwide living with diabetes in 2015, over one third will develop some form of diabetic retinopathy – a complication of diabetes that can lead to vision impairment and blindness.
In addition, more than 93 million adults, or one in three, currently living with diabetes have diabetic retinopathy. Early detection and timely treatment of diabetic retinopathy can prevent vision loss and reduce the impact of diabetes on individuals, their carers and society.
Dr Shaukat Sadikot, the president of the IDF, said: “If we are to win the battle against diabetes, we have to empower health professionals so that they are best equipped to address all aspects of diabetes.”
WDD was first introduced as a day to raise awareness of diabetes and related complications in 1991. The IDF and the World Health Organization developed the initiative in reaction to the rise in cases of diabetes worldwide.
The date, November 14th was chosen because it is the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, a medical scientist who co-discovered insulin and used the discovery to successfully treat a 14-year old boy with type 1 diabetes.
In 1923, Frederick Banting and John James Rickard Macleod received the Nobel Prize in Medicine for their discovery which forever changed the fate of millions of lives worldwide by increasing their chances for survival.
In this way, World Diabetes Day also aims to change education worldwide so it provides the information people need in order to live with the condition and treat it carefully.
The year’s activities and materials have focused on promoting the importance of screening to ensure early diagnosis of type 2 diabetes and treatment to reduce the risk of serious complications. Many people who live with undiagnosed type 2 diabetes are not aware of their condition and are at a much greater risk of complications.