World Diabetes Day is being observed today. Its aim to raise create awareness about the disease and suggest steps for its prevention.
The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) has launched the World Diabetes Day (WDD) 2016 campaign under the theme Eyes on Diabetes. The year’s activities and materials will focus on promoting two key messages:
- Screening for type 2 diabetes is important to modify its course and reduce the risk of complications
- Screening for diabetes complications is an essential part of managing type 1 and type 2 of diabetes
IDF has estimated that globally as many as 193 million people, or close to half of all adults living with diabetes in 2015, are unaware of their disease. Most of these cases are type 2 diabetes. The earlier a person is diagnosed, the earlier treatment can be initiated in order to reduce the risk of harmful and costly complications. A person with type 2 diabetes can live for several years without showing any symptoms, during which time high blood glucose is silently damaging the body. There is therefore an urgent need to screen, diagnose and provide appropriate treatment to people with diabetes. WDD 2016 will highlight the feasible and cost-effective solutions that exist to help identify people with undiagnosed type 2 diabetes and those at risk of developing it in the future.
Diabetes is a leading cause of cardiovascular disease, blindness, kidney failure and lower-limb amputation. Over one third of all people currently living with type 1 and type 2 diabetes will develop some form of damage to their eyes that can lead to blindness. These complications can be prevented or delayed by maintaining blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol levels as close to normal as possible. Many complications can be picked up in their early stages through screening, so that treatment can be given to prevent them becoming more serious. WDD 2016 will highlight the importance of integrating screening for diabetes complications into ongoing care for people living with diabetes.
Supporting materials for WDD 2016 will be released from May through to September to help campaign stakeholders and the wider diabetes community prepare for activities on November 14.