World Diabetes Day is celebrated each year to draw attention to issues of utmost importance to the diabetes community. Between 2021 and 2023 the theme is a topic close to our heart: ‘Access to Diabetes Care’.
Today, approximately 537 million people worldwide live with diabetes, according to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the number is expected to rise to above 700 million by 20401. For the vast majority, the fundamentals of daily diabetes management are still beyond reach. This is especially true for the people living in low- and middle income countries – which is three out of four of all adults living with diabetes. Moreover, almost 1 in 2 people with diabetes are unaware of their condition, which results in over 200 million people being undiagnosed.1 The diabetes epidemic and its existing health disparities need to be urgently addressed and overcome so people living with diabetes get access to early diagnosis and therapy support so they can manage their chronic condition and prevent serious secondary complications.
These numbers dramatically illustrate why the IDF’s theme for this year’s World Diabetes Day is once again "Access to Diabetes Care." People around the world need access to medicines, innovative technologies, education, support and care to manage their diabetes every day, because diabetes needs constant attention and takes no breaks.
Since 1991, we commemorate on November 14 the great achievement of the discovery of insulin by two extraordinary scientists - Sir Frederick Banting and Charles Best, whose birthday it was. Despite the undoubted significance of the discovery of insulin and its first therapeutic use about a century ago, this day is not only an occasion to look to the past. Quite the contrary, November 14 is a day to raise awareness on how people are living with diabetes today and how to address the prevalent challenges and sustainably advance access to care moving forward.
Is it funding? Is it the capacity of the healthcare system? Is it awareness or diagnosis? Looking at the innovations brought to market over the past decades shows - the diabetes epidemic cannot be solved by just one single player. It takes a network of strong partners working together to address the existing challenges and alleviate the individual and societal burden of this disease.
Aiming to strengthen the response to the diabetes epidemic, the World Health Organisation has put out the first-ever
Roche Diabetes Care is committed to advance access to diabetes care and overcome health disparities so that we can help people with diabetes experience true relief from their daily therapy burden irrespective of where they live. We believe in the power of partnerships and that united we can make a sustainable impact that goes beyond offering medical support. It involves creating holistic care structures that enable early diagnosis and treatment, and provide the required socio-economic support critical to access to care and therapy adherence. This year, Roche Diabetes Care’s dedicated support for World Diabetes Day includes awareness activities highlighting the need for better access to high-quality diabetes education for people living with diabetes and healthcare professionals everywhere in the world.
IDF Diabetes Atlas, 10th edition, International Diabetes Federation, 2021