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November 14th is World Diabetes Day, and this year, the world is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin by Frederick Banting and Charles Best, a landmark development that transformed the daily lives of people with diabetes.

World Diabetes Day (WDD) was created by the International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organization in 1991 to highlight the diverse issues people with diabetes face and to educate the public on lifestyle changes to slow the progression of type 2 diabetes. In 2006, it was recognized as an official United Nations day. Today, WDD is the largest diabetes awareness campaign around the globe.

The official celebration date for the campaign every year is November 14th. This date was chosen to honor Frederick Banting, who was born on November 14, 1891.

Why Is World Diabetes Day Important?

The diabetes epidemic is one of the most important public health issues of our time. Currently, 460 million people around the world are living with diabetes, and many more are at risk. But the disease’s impact often goes unrecognized. WDD is an opportunity to change this by raising awareness about these issues:

  • The needs of people with diabetes
  • The rapidly increasing number of all types of diabetes diagnoses
  • The serious health risks associated with the disease
  • The value of healthy lifestyle habits
  • The importance of getting tested and starting treatment

Each year, a theme is chosen to draw attention to topics such as preventing diabetic eye diseases, understanding how diabetes affects women, and honoring healthcare workers who treat diabetes. These themes bring to the forefront issues that might otherwise be overlooked in conversations about diabetes.

WDD coincides with National Diabetes Month. November was designated as diabetes awareness month by President Reagan in 1982 as a way to increase public knowledge about the types of diabetes, risk factors, and symptoms. Like WDD, National Diabetes Month revolves around an annual theme. This year’s focus is prediabetes, a serious health condition that affects one in three adults in the U.S.

What Is the Theme for World Diabetes Day 2021?

The theme for WDD 2021 is “Access to Diabetes Care.” With the slogan “If not now, when?” the campaign raises awareness about the millions of people with diabetes without appropriate care and calls for immediate global action to increase access.

Key facts:

  • Over 700 million people are expected to be living with diabetes by 2045.
  • Half of all people living with diabetes are undiagnosed.
  • Half of all people who need insulin cannot afford it.

What can be done:

  • Governments must increase funding and develop effective strategies for diabetes care and prevention.
  • Diabetes diagnosis, treatment, and support must be made available to all. This includes access to testing, insulin, monitoring devices, oral medication, nutrition, education, and support systems.

How Can You Observe World Diabetes Day?

World Diabetes Day invites everyone to participate in raising awareness about diabetes and supporting the campaign. Here’s how you can get involved:

  • Wear clothing or accessories with the blue circle logo. This logo was adopted as the official symbol of WDD in 2007 and has become an emblem of diabetes awareness and unity with the global diabetes community.
  • Organize a local diabetes awareness walk or run or join one by checking out WDD activities in your area.
  • Sign online petitions supporting increased access to diabetes care.
  • Discuss diabetes risks with people you know, and get tested if you have any risk factors. You can learn more by taking a risk assessment test created by the International Diabetes Federation.
  • Organize a diabetes awareness event with lectures, workshops, and literature to educate others on how they can prevent or better treat diabetes.
  • Volunteer to assist with diabetes screenings.
  • Call or write to your representatives to urge them to take action.

You can also show your support for WDD online.

  • Use the campaign hashtags #WorldDiabetesDay and #IfNotNowWhen on social media.
  • Share campaign posters, infographics, and other visuals to relay campaign facts to your online community.
  • Use the Blue Circle selfie app to take a picture and share it on social media.

By taking these simple steps, you will be joining a worldwide movement to support people living with diabetes.

How Do We Support World Diabetes Day?

WDD brings awareness to the issues people with diabetes face in their daily lives. We amplify that awareness and bring innovative health solutions to the diabetes community.

Our POGO Automatic® Monitor was developed to provide a discreet, simple, and reliable way to check blood glucose levels and make regular monitoring more accessible. By creating opportunities for smarter diabetes management, we make living with diabetes easier.

Help us raise awareness and agitate for meaningful change by supporting World Diabetes Day on November 14th. Together, we can make a difference.

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POGO Automatic is the only FDA-cleared blood glucose monitor that lances and collects blood automatically, in one simple step, with its 10-test cartridge technology, eliminating the need to carry separate lancets and test strips. Reach out today to learn more about how you can test your blood without interrupting your day.