What is World Diabetes Day, you may ask? World Diabetes Day marks the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, who, along with Drs. Charles Best, John Macleod and James Bertram Collip co-discovered insulin 91 years ago. The World Diabetes Day campaign is led by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and its member associations. It engages millions of people worldwide in diabetes advocacy and awareness. World Diabetes Day was created in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organization in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat that diabetes now poses. World Diabetes Day became an official United Nations Day in 2007 with the passage of United Nation Resolution 61/225. The campaign draws attention to issues of paramount importance to the diabetes world and keeps diabetes firmly in the public spotlight.
WHO estimates that more than 346 million people worldwide have diabetes. This number is likely to more than double by 2030 without intervention. Almost 80% of diabetes deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries. Monuments are lighting up in blue all over the globe today to help raise awareness and encourage much-needed advocacy around diabetes.