World Diabetes Day 2012 - a day to remember

From Chennai to Copenhagen, Delhi to Doha, Mumbai to Melbourne the world once again came together on 14 November to raise awareness of the ever-increasing threat posed by the diabetes epidemic in every part of the world, and to help bring about improvements to the lives of the 371 million people currently affected by diabetes. In a powerful display of unity around a shared cause, millions have been going blue for diabetes throughout the month of November.

A debt of gratitude is owed to the more than 200 member associations of the International Diabetes Federation in over 160 countries and the thousands of other dedicated organizations and individuals that organised events and joined together to make the day a special one.

The International Diabetes Federation chose 14 November to announce the latest figures on the worldwide prevalence of diabetes. Those numbers throw into stark relief the real dimensions of the epidemic. The first annual update of the IDF Diabetes Atlas showed that the total number of people with diabetes has risen to 371 million and continues to grow in every country. Our task, to identify and promote for workable solutions to the diabetes epidemic, remains immense. But the millions who went blue for diabetes on World Diabetes Day showed the world that the unity and commitment are there and a healthy future is possible.

The pictures and reports that we have received and which continue to come in tell the story of a remarkable shared experience. Here are some of the initial results:

  • Over 600 blue lightings in 60 countries
  • Over 400 personalities pinned with the blue circle
  • Over 3,500 people have included the blue circle picbadge on their Facebook or Twitter profile picture
  • #WDD and #diamundialdeladiabetes were trending topics on Twitter on 14 November
  • Over 23,500 followers on Facebook
  • Over 9,000 followers on Twitter
  • Over 800 pictures tagged #WDD on Instagram on 14 November
  • Over 40,000 blue circle pins distributed

See how the global diabetes community went blue for diabetes on 14 November:

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We would like to offer our congratulations to the Turkish Diabetes Foundation for having set a new Guinness World Record for the number of blood glucose tests carried out over an 8 hour period. Some 7,042 tests were performed at a special event in Istanbul on 18 November.

We would also like to extend our sympathy to the organisers of World Diabetes Day celebrations in San Marcos, Guatemala who were forced to cancel their planned activities as a result of the earthquake that hit the country on 7 November. They are now focusing on ensuring the wellbeing of people with diabetes in the city and hope to be able to organize their awareness events in the coming months.