World Diabetes Day 2018: Organising interactive events for patients, their families, and doctors will help improve their knowledge on diabetes management

Currently affecting 425 million adults worldwide, India has already earned a sobriquet ‘the diabetic capital of world’.

Prof. M. Ashraf Ganie/ Prof. Shariq Rashid Masoodi / Dr. Imtiyaz Ahmad Wani
Srinagar, Publish Date: Nov 13 2018 11:42PM | Updated Date: Nov 13 2018 11:42PM
World Diabetes Day 2018: Organising interactive events for patients, their families, and doctors will help improve their knowledge on diabetes managementFile Photo

Diabetes mellitus being a multi-factorial metabolic disease characterized by chronic hyperglycaemia (high glucose) that damages various organs like kidneys, nerves, heart, eyes etc. is rising in epidemic proportions throughout the world with more than 72 million  (49%) in India alone.  Currently affecting 425 million adults worldwide, India has already earned a sobriquet ‘the diabetic capital of world’. The frequency of diabetes epidemic in India is expected to double to 134 million by 2025. The complications of diabetes including cardiovascular disease, stroke, nephropathy, retinopathy etc. pose tremendous burden on the country’s health care besides changing the complexion of the of almost all families. Awareness of the risks and consequences of the disease remains pitifully low and education to address diabetes complications is lacking. The daily insulin injections, oral agents, diet modifications, constant monitoring consumes immense amount of family time and income. The sedentary life style, growing urbanization, unhealthy dietary pattern have been recognized as the key causes of the increased burden of diabetes.  Besides regular and other treatment options remain out of reach for large number of families. According to International Diabetes Federation (IDF), less than 1 in 4 family members have access to diabetes education programmes. With escalating prevalence of diabetes and its burden, early diagnosis, preventive and innovative management programs are a prerequisite to overcome the disastrous effects of this scourge.. 

World Diabetes Day (WDD), a globally-celebrated event on the 14th November to increases awareness about diabetes. The IDF has announced that the theme of World Diabetes Day 2018-2019 will be The Family and Diabetes.

Why November 14th?

November 14th is celebrated globally as WDD, since it marks the birthday of the gentleman who co-discovered insulin, F. Banting in 1922 with Charles Best. WDD was introduced in 1991 by IDF and the World Health Organization [WHO] in reaction to emergent concerns regarding the escalating health threat posed by diabetes. 


The Family and Diabetes 

Diabetes with its escalating frequency becomes a dual dilemma when it encompasses women in a family or community. Women with diabetes are subjected to gender discrimination- a deep rooted social evil. Diabetes has devastating consequences for women in a family/community/organization and we as responsible citizens need to support and change unwanted existing stereotypes. The consequences may be divorce, discrimination at work, problems in fertility and childbirth. Besides mother’s diabetes can leave metabolic foot prints (future diabetes risk) in the offspring. There is an immense need to train and equip families with the knowledge for the management of diabetes. Accordingly the present theme demands for family support, imparting awareness and education for preventing and management of diabetes.  World diabetes day campaigns should be advocated for diminishing the discrimination and defeating diabetes and its consequences across families.  


How to celebrate the event?

The world diabetes day, a truly global event falls on Wednesday 14th November. It is celebrated to spread awareness about its escalating frequency expected to double by 2025. Diabetes is linked with a significant financial burden both to the family and to the health care system. The quantum of diabetes care is still far from adequate in India and there insufficient number of dialectologists and endocrinologists to curb the menace. Although general physicians or general practitioners are generally managing diabetics, unfortunately because of their meagre numbers (less than 9 lacs in the country) adequate care and treatment is missing. The lack of appropriate counselling about diet, exercise, short term or long-term complications, the cornerstone of care in management of diabetes in countries like India is still missing. 

Thus events like WDD, the awareness events will aim to elevate awareness of the impact of diabetes on the family and promote the role and responsibility of the family in the education, prevention management and care of diabetes through lectures, seminars, screening drive etc. Awareness has to be created both among the professionals as well as among the general population.

The date is coming up in just a couple of days, people from all families should keep an eye for an event (physical/online) to participate with an aim to improve health outcomes, equip and update themselves with recent guidelines for self management, prevention and care of diabetes and associated complications. People should get involved with World Diabetes Day 2018 via organizing and participating in “go blue” campaigns, organizations/institutes and other workplaces should encourage people to wear blue for World Diabetes Day, lightening blue, organizing diabetes walk, remain active on social media to share the event and disseminate diabetes awareness using Hashtag #WDDThe Family &Diabetes.                


We, at SKIMS, are planning to hold a pack of activities on young diabetics and the family. Since the day also coincides with Children’s day, we will involve groups of school children in various awareness activities like run for diabetes, quiz competition etc. Organising interactive workshops/events for families, patients and doctors will help to improve their knowledge on diabetes management, the need for innovative approaches in the management and also on the importance of the primary prevention of the disease. The events will incite interest to enhance awareness among public, thus creating a cascading effect to penetrate in the affected families. 


Authors are from Department of Endocrinology SKIMS, Srinagar / 



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