It is World Diabetes Day on Sunday, a day to fight a ’silent killer’ that often goes undiagnosed or untreated.
The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) has released new figures showing that 1 in 9 adults, or 4 million people, in South Africa now live with diabetes ‒ a rise of 118% since 2011. South Africa also has 16 million people with either impaired glucose tolerance or suffer from impaired fasting glucose, conditions known as pre-diabetes.
World Diabetes Day was created in 1991 by IDF and the World Health Organization in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat posed by diabetes. It became an official United Nations Day in 2006 with the passage of United Nation Resolution 61/225. It is marked every year on November 14, the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, who co-discovered insulin along with Charles Best in 1922.
The development of therapeutic insulin in 1921 was a landmark breakthrough in the history of medicine. 100 years on, millions of lives have been saved and improved but insulin and other diabetes medicines and care still remain beyond the reach of many who need them.
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 2021-23 is Access to Diabetes Care – If Not Now, When?
Get yourself tested. St John is doing free testing at its Durban office, 129 KE Masinga Road, on Monday and at the Denis Hurley Centre on Tuesday.
The Independent on Saturday