November 14th is the official World Diabetes Day: this campaign brings awareness about the growing diabetes population. In the coming two years, the organization will tackle the theme ‘Access to diabetes care’. This to indicate that millions are not able to get the medical care they need.
According to the IDF Diabetes Atlas, more than 3 in 4 people with diabetes live in low and middle-income countries. Medical treatment is urgent: untreated patients with diabetes type 2 are at risk of severe health complications. When people who are diagnosed with diabetes type 1 do not have access to insulin treatment, it may be fatal as a result.
As the year 2021 marks the official 100-year anniversary of discovering insulin, the campaign leaders of World Diabetes Day see it as an ideal occasion to bring change for those living with this chronic health condition.
Diagnosed at 17
22-year old student Ilse Faber got diagnosed with diabetes type 1 at the age of 17. On her Instagram page ‘diabetesmetils’, she shares her journey as she feels the urge to create a community. ‘It is concerning how little people know about diabetes and how to handle it. People assume it’s because we had too much of one particular thing: too much sugar, way too overweight. Diabetes type 1 is an autoimmune disease that can occur at any moment, at any time in your life. Insulin treatment is extremely important, my life depends on it.’
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Ilse Faber (diabetesmetils) tells us more about her experience of using a pump, which delivers insulin.
Activities around the globe
Around the world, important buildings are lighting up blue, the official colour for diabetes awareness, to bring attention to the increase of the diabetes population. The International Diabetes Federation encourages sharing these global activities on their online platform.
— World Diabetes Day (@WDD) November 10, 2021
Guangdong projects a blue light on the Canton tower, to bring attention to the rising Chinese diabetes population.
More information on how to shine a light on diabetes can be found on the WDD website.
Text: Marie-Julie Van de Sijpe, final edit: Leilani Duroyaume
Photo: home-ion (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)