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Recognizing the growing number of individuals with diabetes and the specific concern for women’s rights regarding health, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), with the support of the World Health Organization (WHO), established November 14 as World Diabetes Day.

High blood glucose and diabetes diagnosis increases the risk for women during pregnancy. The WHO reported in low-income countries, almost half of women who die due to high blood glucose, die prematurely.  Without proper treatment and monitoring, diabetes can lead to serious complications including blindness, kidney failure, heart attack, stroke and lower limb amputation.

The World Diabetes Day 2017 Campaign promotes affordable and equitable access for all women with diabetes or at risk of diabetes to the essential medicines and technologies, self-management education and information they require to achieve optimal diabetes outcomes and strengthen their capacity to prevent type 2 diabetes.

Access to proper treatment can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes from developing, WHO presented recommendations as part of their Global Report on Diabetes [launched in 2016].  This report showed 422 million adults were living with diabetes; a number four times the total in 1980. This dramatic rise is largely due to the increase in risk factors for diabetes, including overweight and obesity leading to diagnosis of type 2 diabetes.

WHO used the report as a call to action for governments and individuals to ensure access to and use of resources to make healthy choices, including proper treatment of diabetes, eating right and exercising.  A social media campaign has been established by the International Diabetes Foundation to encourage individuals from all over the world to increase awareness of World Diabetes Day.

The Great Plains Quality Innovation Network provides resources and technical assistance for quality improvement efforts and diabetes self-management education programs across the four-state region.  Learn more on the diabetes care initiatives page of our Web site.