International Diabetes Federation launches diabetes awareness
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
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
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:
- A team of Silicon Valley professionals is racing the official
World Diabetes Day race car — a 1969 VW Beetle — in the Baja 1000 in
November. The team, Desert Dingo Racing, is conducting a
drive-a-thon fundraiser for the Federation’s 'Life for a Child'
program and working with the Federacion Mexicana de Diabetes to
distribute educational material in Mexico during the race.
- In the Middle East, an Australian motorcycle enthusiast, Youcef
Cummings, is piloting the World Diabetes Day motorcycle in World
Cross Country Rally events in the region. Youcef is also conducting
a ride-a-thon fundraiser for the Federation’s Life for a Child
Program’. Following a top-10 finish in the Rally of Tunisia in May,
Youcef’s next race will be the UAE Desert Challenge in Dubai on
- In Italy, Diabete Italia has partnered with current Italian
League Champions, Inter Football Club to have children sketch the
World Diabetes Day logo on the field during the matches on the Nov.
10 and 16. The players plan to sign balls and t-shirts which will be
“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:
Gifu Castle Japan
Niagara Falls, USA
Millennium Bridge, Gateshead, UK
International Diabetes Federation:
World Diabetes Day:
IDF Life for a Child program:
World Diabetes Day Projects
Desert Dingo Racing: