The Blue Lighting

Globally over 900 monuments and buildings will be lit up in blue today

Deadly Disease


World Diabetes Day (WDD) is celebrated every year on November 14 and it commemorates the birthday of Frederick Banting, who discovered insulin in 1921 in Canada. It was initiated by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 1991 with the aim of coordinating diabetes advocacy all over the world. Since then, it has become the primary global awareness campaign of the diabetes. On December 20, 2006, the United Nations (UN) also passed a resolution to designate November 14 as World Diabetes Day. Governments, non-governmental organizations and private businesses are encouraged to participate in raising the awareness of the disease, particularly among the general population and the media. The global efforts on this day are to raise awareness of diabetes, its prevention and complications and the care that people with the condition need.
The World Diabetes Day campaign is led by the International Diabetes Federation and its member associations around the world, including the American Diabetes Association, Diabetes UK, Diabetes Australia, the Canadian Diabetes Association, Diabetes South Africa, Diabetes New Zealand and the Diabetic Association of India. These organizations arrange various events at international, national and local levels and different themes are followed over different years as follows
1. The distribution of information to encourage at risk individuals to be screened for diabetes.
2. The World Diabetes Day bike races to increase awareness of diabetes.
3. Conferences, workshops and seminars for health and public policy professionals.
4. Events to highlight diabetes in local and national media, including television, newspapers and Internet publications
5. Marathon races led by public figures or celebrities.
6. The distribution of geocoins for use in geocaching (a game for global positioning systems users).
7. Some events aim to raise money for research into treatments for diabetes.
This year the theme is blue lighting as the circle in IDF logo is blue. Globally over 900 monuments and buildings will be lit up in blue today.  UN for first time asked member states to establish national policies to prevent and treat Diabetes. In India Union Health Ministry and activists have asked Archeological Survey of India (ASI) to permit us to lit up world famous Taj Mahal in blue on WDD.  Several monuments will be lit up in blue to mark the World Diabetes Day, which includes Old Fort, Red Fort, Qutub Minar and Humayun Tomb in New Delhi, Imambada in Lucknow, Manek Chowk and City Palace Ground in Udaipur, Sidhivinayak Mandir and CST Station in Mumbai, Sahniwada Fort in Pune, Victoria Memorial in Kolkata, 13 Gates of Ahmedabad and Konark Temple in Orissa.
Diabetes, common name for a range of conditions, is characterized by high glucose (a form of sugar) in blood circulation (hyperglycemia). The blood glucose in absence of insulin (mediator hormone from pancreases) accumulated in blood and tissues and causes damage of tissue such as nerves, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, heart etc.
The importance of this day is because of the global burden of the disorder estimated to be 346 with India being top in the list. By 2030, it could be the seventh leading cause of death in the world and In India it is estimated to go up by 240%. Every 6th person is likely to be affected in the country and it is more so in the Valley. Increased urbanisation, a more westernised lifestyle, unhealthy eating habits, general unawareness, increased cases of smoking and a sedentary lifestyle has made Asians extremely vulnerable to diabetes.  Of all the diabetics in the world, 90% are type 2; their ailment is caused by obesity or other related lifestyle choices. An estimated 85% people in urban areas never get their blood levels checked. Ignorance is very dangerous because it can lead to various complications.
Depending on the type and severity, diabetes can be prevented and controlled by healthy life style including dietary measures, weight loss, exercise etc. Some basic lifestyle modifications – like diet and exercise, avoiding smoking and alcohol and frequently checking your blood glucose levels can go a long way in managing these symptoms. There’s a general myth that avoiding sweets and other sugary food items is enough for diabetics. That is not the case. Patients will need to address their entire eating habits. Ideally, they should eat at least five meals a day and put more complex carbs on their plate.  In addition treatment may involve   oral medication or injected or inhaled insulin towards the advancement of the disease.  There is a wide range of short and long-term complications of diabetes including foot and eye problems and vascular diseases. It is estimated that one in three residents of the United States will develop diabetes at some point in their life.
To avoid this menace I request all citizens, NGO’s, Government agencies, health care workers, Medicos, paramedics and more importantly respresentives of media to launch a multipronged attack to on diabetes by  spreading awareness about:
1.  Healthy living (diet, exercise and de-stressing) 2, Preventive strategies 3, Detecting unknown diabetics 4, Prevent complications in Known ones 5, Limit the damage in complicated ones.

Author is Senior Consultant, Deaprtment of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Diabetes AIIMS New Delhi.

Lastupdate on : Tue, 13 Nov 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 13 Nov 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 14 Nov 2012 00:00:00 IST

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