The theme for World Diabetes Day 2018 and 2019 is The Family and Diabetes. A two-year timeframe has been chosen to best align the World Diabetes Day campaign. It has been discovered that diabetes is truly a family issue.
In most parts of the world, people with diabetes live with their families. They eat the same food and share assets, including money, and when diabetes hits, the disease invariably becomes a family issue.
The two years of the campaign will aim to:
- Raise awareness of the impact that diabetes has on the family and support network of those affected.
- Promote the role of the family in the management, care, prevention and education of diabetes.
Diabetes concerns every family
- Over 425 million people are currently living with diabetes. Most of these cases are type 2 diabetes, which is largely preventable through regular physical activity, a healthy and balanced diet, and the promotion of healthy living environments. Families have a key role to play in addressing the modifiable risk factors for type 2 diabetes and must be provided with the education, resources and environments to live a healthy lifestyle.
- 1 in 2 people currently living with diabetes is undiagnosed. Most cases are type 2 diabetes. Early diagnosis and treatment are key to prevent the complications of diabetes and achieve healthy outcomes. All families are potentially affected by diabetes and so awareness of the signs, symptoms and risk factors for all types of diabetes are vital to help detect it early.
- Diabetes can be expensive for the individual and family. In many countries, the cost of insulin injection and daily monitoring alone can consume half of a family’s average disposable income, and regular and affordable access to essential diabetes medicines are out of reach for too many. Improving access to affordable diabetes medicines and care is therefore urgent to avoid increased costs for the individual and family, which impact on health outcomes.
- Less than 1 in 4 family members have access to diabetes education programmes. Family support in diabetes care has been shown to have a substantial effect in improving health outcomes for people with diabetes. It is therefore important that ongoing diabetes self-management education and support be accessible to all people with diabetes and their families to reduce the emotional impact of the disease that can result in a negative quality of life.