International Diabetes Federation drives global action ahead of World Diabetes Day

In many countries, November is diabetes awareness month, with November 14 - World Diabetes Day - the most significant date on the diabetes calendar. The need to increase diabetes awareness grows ever year with the increasing impact of the disease worldwide. The latest data, recently published by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) in the 4th Edition of the Diabetes Atlas, show that 285 million people worldwide now live with diabetes. IDF predicts that the total number will exceed 435 million in 2030 if the current rate of growth continues unchecked.

Ahead of World Diabetes Day, IDF President Professor Jean Claude Mbanya called for increased health promotion and political action in the face of the epidemic. "Diabetes is claiming four million lives each year," he said. "It is ravaging communities and threatening economies. We must improve care and stop the many millions at risk from developing the disease. With a growing cost of over 376 billion dollars a year, either we make healthy life choices available and affordable today, or pay billions more tomorrow."

World Diabetes Day around the globe
Celebrated every year, World Diabetes Day is a campaign led by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and its more than 200 member associations in over 160 countries and territories. Created by IDF and the World Health Organization in 1991, World Diabetes Day became an official United Nations Day in 2007 thanks to a UN resolution that calls on all member states to organize events to mark the day.

This year sees the first of a five-year campaign that addresses the growing need for diabetes education and prevention programmes to tackle diabetes and its life-threatening complications. The World Diabetes Day campaign aims to establish access to diabetes education as a right for all people with diabetes, to promote greater awareness of the risk factors and warning signs of diabetes, and encourage best-practice sharing in diabetes prevention.

The International Diabetes Federation is calling on all countries to mark World Diabetes Day and increase diabetes awareness by lighting monuments around the world in blue - the colour of the blue circle, the global symbol for diabetes. More than 400 monuments and iconic buildings have already confirmed participation on November 14. They include: Table Mountain in South Africa, the London Eye in the United Kingdom, the Burj al Arab in the United Arab Emirates, Christ the Redeemer in Brazil, the Hofburg in Austria, the Alamo in the USA and Tokyo Tower in Japan. Across Japan close to 60 monuments will light in blue; 82 will light in Argentina, 34 in Kazakhstan and 21 in the USA.

In addition to the lightings, hundreds of events will take place worldwide to mark the day, from individual acts of celebration and community-based activities, all the way up to regional events such as the Pan-African meeting in Mauritius that will see the launch of an African Declaration on diabetes.

The World Diabetes Day campaign can be followed online at www.worlddiabetesday.org.

About IDF
The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) is an umbrella organization of 212 member associations in than 163 countries and territories, representing over 285 million people with diabetes, their families, and their healthcare providers. The mission of IDF is to promote diabetes care, prevention and a cure worldwide. Its main activities include education for people with diabetes and healthcare professionals, public awareness campaigns and the promotion and exchange of information. IDF is a non-governmental organization in official relations with WHO and associated to the United Nations' Department of Public Information. For more information, please visit www.idf.org.

About World Diabetes Day
World Diabetes Day is celebrated on 14 November, a date chosen to mark the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, one of the pioneers in diabetes research. An official United Nation's Day, World Diabetes Day is represented by the blue circle logo that is the global symbol of diabetes. The World Diabetes Day campaign is supported by 14 official partners: Abbott Diabetes Care, AstraZeneca, Boston Scientific, Bristol-Myers Squibb, LifeScan, Eli Lilly, Medtronic, Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD), Novartis, Novo Nordisk, Pfizer, Roche, Sanofi Aventis and Takeda.

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