World Diabetes Day is celebrated on the 14th November each year to combat the rising global incidence of diabetes. The aim is to draw attention to diabetes related health issues and the risks they pose. World Diabetes Day keeps the discussion of diabetes alive among public, medical and political circles in terms of strategies and sharing information, most of all to warn people of the seriousness of this silent and deadly disease, and their risks if they do not get proper treatment.
Since its adoption by the United Nations in 2007, World Diabetes Day has been a global success, bringing together more than one billion people from over 160 countries, including opinion leaders, professionals, health care providers, the media, diabetics and the general public.
World Diabetes Day Over the Globe
The Blue Circle logo represents the World Diabetes Day, which has become a global symbol of diabetes awareness, symbolizing life and health, as well as the unity of the global diabetes community in tackling diabetes.
The world choose November 14th because it marks the birthday of Frederick Banting, whose idea led to the discovery of insulin in October 1921, in collaboration with Charles Best.
Diabetes is a growing problem in Qatar and six Gulf countries are among the top ten countries in the world in terms percentage of diabetics, according to the International Diabetes Federation.
Qatar Diabetes Association
Dr. Abdullah Al-Hamaq, Executive Director of Qatar Diabetes Association, said: “Community development is one of Qatar Foundation’s missions as it seeks to improve lifestyles by identifying and helping to improve the needs of the community and in some cases assisting private community groups, which applies to Qatar Diabetes Association as a member of Qatar Foundation. We work hard with our partners to increase health education on diabetes based on the principle of ‘The more a person is fully aware of his illness, the more responsible he is.’”
“This year, we focus on educating women. The theme for this year is: Women and Diabetes: Our Right to a Healthy Future. We have prepared many educational events throughout the month of November, bearing in mind that our goal in Qatar is to provide health education and raise awareness about diabetes in women during pregnancy, as gestational diabetes affects the mother and fetus and increases both the mother’s and child’s risk of getting Type 2 diabetes in the future,” added Dr. Hamaq.
The goal of this year’s International Diabetes Federation is to advocate that all women diagnosed with or at risk of diabetes have access to essential diabetes medicines and technologies, education, self-management and information in a fair and affordable manner so that they can achieve optimal health and increase their chances of avoiding Type 2 diabetes.
Key Campaign Messages by the International Diabetes Federation:
1. All women living with diabetes need affordable care and education to control diabetes and improve their health.
- There are currently more than 199 million women diagnosed with diabetes. Expectation said that this total will increase to 313 million by 2040.
- 2 out of every five women diagnosed with diabetes are of childbearing age, representing more than 60 million women worldwide.
- Diabetes is the ninth leading cause of death among women worldwide, with 2.1 million deaths annually.
- Women diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are ten times more likely to have cardiovascular disease than women without diabetes.
What should we do?
- Health systems must pay adequate attention to the needs and priorities of women.
- All women diagnosed with diabetes should have access to essential diabetes medicines and techniques, self-management training for diabetes and the information they need to manage diabetes.
- All women diagnosed with diabetes should have access to pre-pregnancy education and health care to reduce risk during pregnancy.
- And most important, all women should have access to physical activity to improve their health outcomes.
2. Pregnant women need better access to screening, care and education to achieve positive health outcomes for mother and child.
- 1 in 7 pregnancies are diagnosed with gestational diabetes
- The International Diabetes Federation estimates that 20.9 million or nearly 16.2% of women who gave birth in 2015 had an exposition to some form of hyperglycemia during pregnancy.
- Nearly half of women who have gestational diabetes develop Type 2 diabetes within 5-10 years after birth.
- Half of high blood sugar cases in pregnancy occur for women under the age of 30.
- The vast majority of cases of high blood sugar in pregnancy occur in low- and middle-income countries; where it is often difficult to provide adequate maternal health care.
What should we do?
- Type 2 diabetes prevention strategies should focus on maternal health, healthy nutrition and other behaviors before and during pregnancy, as well as healthy nutrition for infants and children.
- Providing training to health care personnel to identify, treat, manage and monitor diabetes during pregnancy.
3. Women are essential to the adoption of healthy lifestyles to improve the health and safety of future generations.
- We can prevent approximately 70% of type 2 diabetes cases by adopting a healthy lifestyle.
- Mothers have a significant impact on the future health of their children.
- Women are the family safety valve for nutrition and lifestyle habits and can protect the family from life risks.
What should we do?
- Women should have easy and fair access to health education and health resources, in order to enhance their ability to prevent type 2 diabetes in their families and to ensure their health.
- All women should have access to physical exercise; especially in developing countries, and this should be a priority for the prevention of diabetes.