Diabetes is fast emerging as one of the most serious health problems of our time. It is estimated that 246 million people have the disease. It is one of the world’s most important causes of expenditure, mortality, disability and lost economic growth.
The global diabetes epidemic is far more devastating than most people imagine. Diabetes is expected to cause 3.8 million deaths worldwide in 2007, about the same as HIV/AIDS and malaria combined. The burden is particularly heavy in low and middle-income countries. Many children with type I diabetes die because they cannot access life-saving insulin. Others do not receive the education and care necessary to delay and prevent complications.
Simple, cheap treatments can help prevent these losses. Many of these will actually save money in countries rich and poor. For most of the world, solutions to the spiraling diabetes pandemic involve improving access to proven low-cost therapies. This is particularly important for low-income countries facing major environmental and social issues as well as poverty.
November 14th was chosen for World Diabetes Day as it marks the birthday of Canadian Frederick Banting. Working with Charles Best, Banting developed the idea which resulted in the discovery of insulin in 1921. World Diabetes Day reminds millions of people, including healthcare professionals, decision-makers and the media, about the impact diabetes has made around the world.
The blue diabetes circle, a simple and easily adaptable icon, has been officially adopted as the logo for World Diabetes Day. The circle universally signifies life and health, and perhaps most significantly, unity. Together, the global diabetes community can effectively fight this epidemic.
Excerpted from: the World Diabetes Day media kit.