World Diabetes Day was established by IDF and WHO in 1991 with the aim of co-ordinating diabetes advocacy worldwide. It has become the primary awareness campaign of the global diabetes community.
Through the activities of IDF member associations and partners, the World Diabetes Day campaign reaches millions of people all over the world. It unites the diabetes communities from more than 145 countries in what is both a targeted campaign to raise awareness of diabetes and its complications and a celebration of the lives of people with diabetes everywhere.
World Diabetes Day events centre on a theme chosen to highlight issues that are of particular concern to people with diabetes. As of this year, IDF is devoting more resources in support of its membership. Rather than focus all our efforts on one day, we are spreading activities over the year in order to extract maximum benefit from the awareness-raising opportunities that present themselves.
In recent years, World Diabetes Day has focused on the complications of diabetes affecting the heart, the eyes, and the kidneys. This year, the emphasis falls on foot problems caused by diabetes, one of the more serious and costly complications of the disease. The slogan for the 2005 campaign is:
Somewhere in the world, a leg is lost to diabetes every thirty seconds. Given the high incidence of diabetic foot ulcers and the frequency with which, though often treatable, they lead to amputation, the choice of theme is highly appropriate. It is also fitting that 2005 marks the shift towards year-long campaigning. This will enable IDF to promote forcefully the message that, with relatively low investment, governments can advance education and prevention that will result in lower rates of amputation than the unacceptable figures we see today. It is possible to reduce amputation rates by between 49% and 85%.
It is imperative that we increase awareness among carers at all levels of healthcare services worldwide. It is imperative that we reduce the unnecessary suffering that foot complications can bring. It is imperative that we act now!
World Diabetes Day brings together our member associations, the World Health Organization and its regional offices, organizations involved in diabetes or diabetes-related areas, industry partners, health professionals, and individuals with an interest in diabetes from all over the world. Let us once again join forces to give visibility to diabetes and improve the lives of all who are, directly or indirectly, affected by the condition.
We look forward to working in collaboration with all of you to make a success out of the 2005 campaign.
With best wishes
Professor Pierre Lefebvre
Professor Martin Silink