Tomorrow the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) is leading World Diabetes Day, the primary global awareness campaign of the diabetes world.
World Diabetes Day is celebrated annually November 14th, the birthday of Frederick Banting, who in 1922, along with Charles Best, conceived the idea that led to the discovery of insulin.
The theme for this year and for 2007 is ‘Diabetes in Children and Adolescents’. The incidence of type 1 diabetes in children is increasing at a rate of 3% each year and is increasing fastest in preschool children (a rate of 5% per year). Type 2 diabetes has been reported in children as young as 8 years old. Over half of all children with diabetes develop complications – such as heart disease and blindness – within 15 years.
The World Diabetes Day 2007-2008 campaign aims to:
• Increase the number of children supported by the IDF Life for Child Program, a international aid endeavor that provides life-saving medication to children with diabetes in developing countries.
• Raise awareness of the warning signs of diabetes.
• Encourage initiatives to reduce diabetic ketoacidosis.
• Promote healthy lifestyles to help prevent type 2 diabetes in children.
One of the key events of is the lighting of buildings and monuments in blue – the colour of the diabetes circle. In 2008, the aim is to encourage a total of 500 monuments and iconic buildings to light up to mark World Diabetes Day. The owners of the London Eye have already pledged to light up their monument; the Sears Tower in Chicago, Niagara Falls on the US/Canada border and the Alamo in Texas are also going blue. You can see pictures of buildings that were lit up in 2007 on the IDF Flickr page.
The global diabetes community is organizing a range of activities, including radio and television programmes, public information meetings, poster and leaflet campaigns, newspaper and magazine articles, events for kids, and walks, runs, and bicycle races.
Members of the public encouraged to show their support of diabetes awareness by lighting blue World Diabetes candles; a percentage of the sales of these candles will go to support children with diabetes on the Life for a Child Program.
The World Diabetes Day website includes lists of activities in various cities worldwide, so check it out and get involved!