Worldwide events coincide with annual day – including DRWF and DPC’s United Through Diabetes virtual conference on Saturday, 14th November.

The theme for World Diabetes Day 2020 is The Nurse and Diabetes.

This year’s campaign aims to raise awareness around the crucial role that nurses play in supporting people living with diabetes.

World Diabetes Day was created in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organization in response to growing concerns about rising new diagnoses of diabetes globally.

World Diabetes Day takes place every year on 14th November, the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, who co-discovered insulin along with Charles Best in 1921 - first used in treatment of diabetes in 1922.

World Diabetes Day is the world’s largest diabetes awareness campaign reaching a global audience of more than 1 billion people in more than 160 countries. The campaign draws attention to issues of paramount importance to the diabetes world and keeps diabetes firmly in the public and political spotlight.

Banting and Best


Picture: Charles Best (right) and Sir Frederick Banting (right) at the University of Toronto after the discovery of insulin. 

Statement from World Diabetes Day:

“Nurses currently account for more than half (59%) of the global health workforce. They do outstanding work to support people living with a wide range of health concerns. People who either live with diabetes or are at risk of developing the condition need their support too.

“People living with diabetes face a number of challenges, and education is vital to equip nurses with the skills to support them.

“As the number of people with diabetes continues to rise across the world, the role of nurses and other health professional support staff becomes increasingly important in managing the impact of the condition.

“Healthcare providers and governments must recognise the importance of investing in education and training. With the right expertise, nurses can make the difference for people affected by diabetes.”


According to latest figures compiled by the World Health Organization (WHO) it is estimated that the global nursing workforce is 27.9 million, of which 19.3 million are professional nurses.

However, the global shortage of nurses in 2018 was 5.9 million, with 89% of that shortage concentrated in low- and middle-income countries.

To combat this deficit WHO recommends that the number of nurses trained and employed needs to grow by 8% a year to overcome alarming shortfalls in the profession by 2030.

A statement from the IDF said: “There remains a significant need for more education and funding to equip nurses around the world with the skills to support people living with diabetes and those at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

“Healthcare providers and governments must therefore recognise the importance of investing in education and training. With the right expertise, nurses can make the difference for people affected by diabetes.

“On behalf of people living with, and affected by diabetes, IDF is requesting national governments to recognise and advance the role of nurses in diabetes care.”

WHO estimates that the total investment required to achieve the targets outlined in the Social Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 stand at 3.9 trillion USD (£29.85 trillion) – 40% of which should be dedicated to remunerating the health workforce.

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