World Diabetes Day 2021: Access to Diabetes Care – If Not Now, When?

A century after its discovery, insulin and other fundamental components of diabetes care remain beyond the reach of many who need them. Founders of World Diabetes Day (WDD) say this must change and want to help ensure that the people who need care can access it.

World Diabetes Day (WDD) was created in 1991 by IDF and the World Health Organization in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat posed by diabetes. WDD became an official United Nations Day in 2006.

It takes place every November 14, the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, who co-discovered insulin along with Charles Best in 1922.

“WDD is the world’s largest diabetes awareness campaign reaching a global audience of more than 1 billion people in more than 160 countries,” said representatives from WDD in a press release. “The campaign draws attention to issues of paramount importance to the diabetes world and keeps diabetes firmly in the public and political spotlight.”


The World Diabetes Day campaign aims to be the:

– Platform to promote IDF advocacy efforts throughout the year.

– Global driver to promote the importance of taking coordinated and concerted actions to confront diabetes as a critical global health issue

The campaign is represented by a blue circle logo that was adopted in 2007. The blue circle is the global symbol for diabetes awareness. It signifies the unity of the global diabetes community in response to the diabetes epidemic.

Every year, the World Diabetes Day campaign focuses on a dedicated theme that runs for one or more years. The theme for World Diabetes Day 2021 to 2023 is Access to Diabetes Care – If Not Now, When?.

Millions of people with diabetes around the world do not have access to diabetes care and people with diabetes require ongoing care and support to manage their condition and avoid complications. Organizers of WDD want to see medicine, technologies, support and care made available to all people with diabetes. They also want to see governments increase their investments in diabetes care and prevention.

“The centenary of the discovery of insulin presents a unique opportunity to bring about meaningful change for the more than 460 million people living with diabetes and the millions more at risk,” said the release.


How you can get involved

– Pledge your support for greater access to diabetes care by supporting our online petition. Visit, for more information.

– Engage a local or national policy-maker to ensure that all people with diabetes have access to the care they need.

– Organize a ‘Learn about diabetes’ event in schools.

– Organize or participate in a local diabetes awareness walk.

– Light up a local landmark, your home or workplace in blue.

– Arrange an activity with your work colleagues.

– Help people learn their potential risk of type 2 diabetes with our online test

If your region or community is observing physical distancing guidelines due to COVID-19, you can set up online activities.

Join the Global Diabetes Walk

Regular physical activity is an important part of diabetes management and reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. Whether indoors or outdoors, every step counts to help stay healthy.

Join the Global Diabetes Walk, an initiative created by the World Diabetes Foundation in support of World Diabetes Day. Take to the streets – if circumstances allow – to raise awareness of the impact of diabetes and the importance of physical activity. If outdoor activities in your community are restricted, walk or exercise in your home or workplace and encourage your friends, family and colleagues to join in.


Whichever way you exercise make sure to wear blue and show your support for #WorldDiabetesDay and the #IfNotNowWhen campaign.

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