World Diabetes Day (WDD) is celebrated on the 14th of November every year. Created by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), World Diabetes Day is an advocacy effort on an international scale, relying on the cooperation of millions of people. Created in 1991 by the IDF and World Health Organization (WHO), the goal of creating a diabetes day was to respond to the ever-increasing rates of diabetes cases and the health complications the disease poses. World Diabetes Day became a United Nations Day in 2007 when UN Resolution 61/225 passed. Initiating the second five-year campaign, one of the greatest benefits of World Diabetes Day is the consistent attention it brings to diabetes issues and the need for educational and prevention programs.


International Diabetes Day


International Diabetes Day is celebrated by the IDF’s 200 member associations, located in more than 160 countries. For the years 2009 – 2013 the World Diabetes Day theme is Diabetes Education and Prevention. World Diabetes Day events vary though they often take the form of: radio and TV programs; sporting events; diabetes screenings; information meetings; workshops; press conferences; human circles; walks, runs, and cycling events; and political events. The logo for World Diabetes Day is the blue circle, which was created as part of the Unite for Diabetes Campaign. Since 2010 the IDF has held a Blue Monument Challenge. The challenge is to light in blue a monument or building to reinforce the link between the color blue and diabetes. Photos can then be submitted to the IDF website ( Another World Diabetes challenge is the Flash Mob for Diabetes. Flash mobs are encouraged to wear the color blue, use the circle them, and use World Diabetes Day keywords.


Diabetes Awareness Day


Drawing awareness to diabetes is the primary goal of World Diabetes Day. The Diabetes Association of Sri Lanka received praise for their 2011 campaign. The campaign, named Forkspoon, replaced normal teaspoons with the Forkspoon and a World Diabetes Day sugar saucer in popular restaurants.  The idea was to prevent restaurant patrons from piling sugar into their tea and coffee, bringing their attention to their sugar consumption and diabetes risk and management. In a video released on YouTube ( the association further disseminated their message, which was also publicized in local media.

For those interested in holding their own awareness events the IDF provides materials, general information, and video on their website as well as the opportunity to share photos and video of your event. The World Diabetes Day Campaign Book is available in downloadable pdf and is full of useful tools and information for making your event a success.