"On World Diabetes Day, I voice my support for all individuals around the world living with diabetes, and reaffirm the commitment of the United Nations to fight for their needs and wellbeing on our path towards health for all." — UN Secretary-General António Guterres

Globally, an estimated 422 million adults were living with diabetes in 2014, compared to 108 million in 1980. The global prevalence of diabetes has nearly doubled since 1980, rising from 4.7% to 8.5% in the adult population. This reflects an increase in associated risk factors such as being overweight or obese. Over the past decade, diabetes prevalence has risen faster in low and middle-income countries than in high-income countries.

Diabetes is a major cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attack, stroke and lower limb amputation. Healthy diet, physical activity and avoiding tobacco use can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. In addition diabetes can be treated and its consequences avoided or delayed with medication, regular screening and treatment for complications.

In 2007 General Assembly adopted resolution 61/225 designating 14 November as World Diabetes Day. The document recognized “the urgent need to pursue multilateral efforts to promote and improve human health, and provide access to treatment and health-care education.”

The resolution also encouraged Member States to develop national policies for the prevention, treatment and care of diabetes in line with the sustainable development of their health-care systems.

 

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Diabetes: Protect your Family

The focus for World Diabetes Day 2019 is on Family and Diabetes. The Day is raising awareness of the impact that diabetes has on the family and support network of those affected and promoting the role of the family in the management, care, prevention and education of diabetes.

 

Why do we mark International Days?

International days are occasions to educate the public on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity. The existence of international days predates the establishment of the United Nations, but the UN has embraced them as a powerful advocacy tool. More information available here.