World Diabetes Day is celebrated on 14 November every year. World Diabetes Day is the world’s largest diabetes awareness campaign reaching a global audience of over 1 billion people in more than 160 countries.

The campaign draws attention to issues of paramount importance to the diabetes world and keeps diabetes firmly in the public and political spotlight. World Diabetes Day was created in 1991 by IDF and  the World Health Organization in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat posed by diabetes. World Diabetes Day became an official United Nations Day in 2006.
The World Diabetes Day campaign aims to: Be the platform to promote IDF advocacy efforts throughout the year and  Be the global driver to promote the importance of taking coordinated and concerted actions to confront diabetes as a critical global health issue.The campaign is represented by a blue circle logo that was adopted in 2007 after the passage of the UN Resolution on diabetes. The blue circle is the global symbol for diabetes awareness. It signifies the unity of the global diabetes community in response to the diabetes epidemic.

Diabetes is the general term used for conditions which lead to an increase in blood sugars and includes Type 1, Type 2, gestational diabetes and other forms of diabetes like secondary diabetes.These occur when pancreas is either unable to make sufficient amounts of insulin, or the insulin produced does not act properly (a condition known as insulin resistance).Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition in which insulin producing cells are unable to make any insulin. Secondary diabetes may result due to ingestion of some medications like steroids etc or as an outcome of surgery where pancreas is also involved.Diabetes can be easily controlled by a combination of diet, exercise and medicines. Long term uncontrolled sugars may lead to complications involving heart, eye, nerves and kidneys. It is possible to avoid/prevent complications with good blood sugar control.

Diabetes is a global epidemic that affects everyone. The numbers are staggering: 415 million people were living with diabetes in 2015, another 318 million people were at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and diabetes was responsible for 5 million deaths. Worryingly, the epidemic shows no signs of relenting, with the number of people living with diabetes expected to reach 642 million by 2040. Diabetes has an enormous human, social and economic impact, with one in eight health dollarscurrently spent on treating the disease and its associated complications.

Theme for WDD 2017: Women and Diabetes

The World Diabetes Day 2017 campaign will promote the importance of affordable and equitable access for all women at risk for or living with diabetes to the essential diabetes medicines and technologies, self-management education and information they require to  achieve optimal diabetes outcomes and strengthen their capacity to prevent type 2 diabetes.There are currently over 199 million women living with diabetes and this total is projected to increase to 313 million by 2040. Gender roles and power dynamics influence vulnerability to diabetes, affect access to health services and health seeking behavior for women, and amplify the impact of diabetes on women.
Diabetes is the ninth leading cause of death in women globally, causing 2.1 million deaths each year. As a result of socioeconomic conditions, girls and women with diabetes experience barriers in accessing cost-effective diabetes prevention, early detection, diagnosis, treatment and care, particularly in developing countries. Socioeconomic inequalities expose women to the main risk factors of diabetes, including poor diet and nutrition, physical inactivity, tobacco consumption and harmful use of alcohol.Two out of every five women with diabetes are of reproductive age, accounting for over 60 million women worldwide.

Women with diabetes have more difficulty conceiving and may have poor pregnancy outcomes. Without pre-conception planning, type 1 and type 2 diabetes can result in a significantly higher risk of maternal and child mortality and morbidity.Approximately one in seven births is affected by gestational diabetes (GDM), a severe and neglected threat to maternal and child health. Many women with GDM experience pregnancy related complications including high blood pressure, large birth weight babies and obstructed labour. A significant number of women with GDM also go on to develop type 2 diabetes resulting in further healthcare complications and costs.Stigmatisation and discrimination faced by people with diabetes are particularly pronounced for girls and women, who carry a double burden of discrimination because of their health status and the inequalities perpetrated in male dominated societies. These inequalities can discourage girls and women from seeking diagnosis and treatment, preventing them from achieving positive health outcomes.
School of Diabetes: IDF
IDF recognises the value of providing continued professional education for health professionals and resources for people with diabetes and caregiver in a sustainable and convenient manner.
The IDF School of Diabetes features three tailor-made certified courses:
1.    IDF Certified Course for Diabetes Educators: intended to enhance core skills and competencies of health professionals to effectively educate people with diabetes, to promote healthy lifestyles and effective self-management for optimal diabetes control.
2.    IDF Certified Course for Primary Care Physicians and General Practitioners: intended to impart up-to-date evidence-based knowledge and to enhance core competencies of primary care physicians and general practitioners to address the prevention, early detections and management of diabetes.
3.    IDF Certified Course for Specialists: intended to provide diabetelogists, endocrinologists, consultants and equivalent specialists with the latest advances in the treatment and management of diabetes.

Measures to be done:
1.    Health systems must pay adequate attention to the specific needs and priorities of women.
2.    All women with diabetes should have access to the essential diabetes medicines and technologies, self-management education and information they need to achieve optimal diabetes outcomes.
3.    All women with diabetes should have access to pre-conception planning services to reduce risk during pregnancy.
4.    All women and girls should have access to physical activity to improve their health outcomes.
5.    Type 2 diabetes prevention strategies must focus on maternal health and nutrition and other health behaviours before and during pregnancy, as well as infant and early childhood nutrition.
6.     Antenatal care visits during pregnancy must be optimised for health promotion in young women and early detection of diabetes and GDM.
7.     Screening for diabetes and GDM should be integrated into other maternal health interventions and services at primary healthcare level to ensure early detection, better care for women and reduced maternal mortality.
8.     Healthcare workers should be trained in the identification, treatment, management and follow up of diabetes during pregnancy.
9.    Women and girls should be empowered with easy and equitable access to knowledge and resources to strengthen their capacity to prevent type 2 diabetes in their families and better safeguard their own health.
10.    Promoting opportunities for physical exercise in adolescent girls, particularly in developing countries, must be a priority for diabetes prevention.

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