International Diabetes Federation launches diabetes awareness campaign
29 September 2008
The International Diabetes Federation is calling on groups and individuals worldwide to get involved in activities to raise awareness of diabetes leading up to World Diabetes Day on November 14. The theme for this year’s campaign is “Diabetes in Children and Adolescents.”
Diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases to affect children. It can strike children of any age, even toddlers and babies. Every day more than 200 children are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, requiring them to take multiple daily insulin shots and monitor the glucose levels in their blood. It is increasing at a rate of 3% each year among children and rising even faster in pre-school children at a rate of 5% per year. Over 70,000 children a year under the age of 15 get diabetes.
If not detected early enough in a child, diabetes can be fatal or result in serious brain damage. The obvious warning signs of increased urination, increased thirst, weight loss and tiredness are at times completely overlooked and the disease is misdiagnosed as the flu or not diagnosed at all.
“Every parent, school teacher, school nurse, doctor and anyone involved in the care of children should be familiar with the warning signs and alert to the diabetes threat,” said Dr Martin Silink, President of the International Diabetes Federation.
“Children who are not diagnosed or misdiagnosed can die from DKA (diabetic coma). In the developing world insulin is not reaching many children who need it and the children are dying. The International Diabetes Federation is advocating that access to appropriate medication and care should be a right for a child with diabetes and not a privilege.”
World Diabetes Day made a global splash last year, organizing the lighting of several of the world's most recognizable monuments in blue. For 2008 the Federation is reaching out to the global community for their ideas on how to raise awareness.
“There are activities planned worldwide. We hope to have them all listed on the World Diabetes Day website,” said Campaign Director Phil Riley. “We’re encouraging people to join in with activities in their community and contact us with their ideas.”
Some of the projects already underway include:
“One of the most popular and visible projects is to identify a monument in the community and arrange to have it lit blue,” said Phil Riley. “We hope that 500 monuments will be lit this year and are looking to promote these projects worldwide.”
At this early stage more than 100 monuments are already confirmed including the Pyramids (Giza) and the Sphinx in Egypt; the Hofburg in Austria; Christ the Redeemer in Brazil; Tokyo Tower in Japan; Burj al Arab and Jumeirah Emirates tower in the UAE; Manneken-Pis in Belgium and the Brandenburger Tor in Germany.
Some examples of blue-lit monuments:
International Diabetes Federation:
World Diabetes Day Projects
Desert Dingo Racing: