You might have noticed more diabetes stories than usual in your local newspaper this month. That’s no surprise: each year, several diabetes organizations promote November as “Diabetes Month” and encourage the media to publicize diabetes.
Among them: the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), at what they call National Diabetes Awareness Month, and the American Diabetes Association (ADA), at American Diabetes Month.
The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International (JDRF) also has promoted National Diabetes Awareness Month last year, and previously, but I can’t find a mention of November 2006 at their website.
It’s been a long tradition to have a period of time in November, which once was merely a “Diabetes Week” but which was expanded to a month many moons ago. Interestingly the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) went the other way, and focused on a single day: November 14 is “World Diabetes Day.” (See their press release). World Diabetes Day even has its own website, www.WorldDiabetesDay.org, where they say “World Diabetes Day, celebrated every year on November 14, was established by IDF and WHO in 1991 with the aim of co-ordinating diabetes advocacy worldwide.” The IDF website explains why only one day: and it should be an important day to everyone with diabetes:
World Diabetes Day is celebrated every year on 14 November. The date commemorates the birthday of Frederick Banting, who, along with Charles Best, is credited with the discovery of insulin in 1921.
And this year, I was informed of yet another commemoration of diabetes in November: it’s also Pet Diabetes Month!
I wonder if maybe someday, every day will be Diabetes Day and every month will be Diabetes Month, or better still, every year will be “Diabetes Year”, and we can keep hammering the message to the media and the general public: Get diagnosed early; diabetes is treatable; there are lots of treatment options. Get treatment from doctors, diabetes nurses, dietitians, and diabetes teams who know what they are doing. Get your A1c under 7 (or better still, under 6). And enjoy life: diabetes is something you can live with, and not to die from.
Or maybe someday, everyone will know about diabetes, the potential of complications, and the treatment options that we have available, and “Diabetes Month” will no longer be needed. I wonder?