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Ever heard of Frederick Banting? The Canadian medical scientist was born on 14th November 1891 - and he’s the reason World Diabetes Day is celebrated on the same date every year. Find out what he did, how it changed history and the strong message that World Diabetes Day has for its global audience of one billion people. 

In 1920 Canadian medical scientist Frederick Banting co-discovered insulin and its importance in diabetes. His research on the pancreas and influence on the discovery of insulin is the reason World Diabetes Day is held each year on 14th November - Banting’s birthday.

But let’s back up a second.

What is World Diabetes Day?

It’s the world’s largest diabetes awareness campaign, reaching a global audience of one billion people. The event, which involves thousands of individual campaigns, was created in 1991 by the International Diabetes Foundation and the World Health Organisation.

Each year World Diabetes Day has a different theme. This year’s is entitled: Women and diabetes - our right to a healthy future. It’s calling for equitable and affordable access - globally - to education, care and treatment for diabetes. And it aims to mobilise women, acting as a call-to-arms for the role they can play in diabetes prevention.

Why does it matter?

1 in 10 women across the globe is living with diabetes. And it’s not just those in the autumn of their lives. 2 in 5 women living with the condition are of reproductive age. The total number of female sufferers stands at 199 million people. By 2040 that number is projected to swell to 313 million people.

Many women living with diabetes are without access to the education, treatment and care necessary to help manage their disease. And yet the sad reality is that up to 70% of cases of type 2 diabetes could be prevented, simply through the adoption of a healthy lifestyle. It’s a shocking statistic, isn’t it?

That’s why World Diabetes Day seeks to raise awareness and improve education on diabetes.

Together with the World Health Organisation, IDF want to shout from the rooftops the crucial role that women, as mothers, can play on the long-term health of their children. After all, it’s thought that 70% of premature deaths are linked to behaviour(s) that take root during the teenage years.

Is there anything you can do to help?

Actually, there is. The World Diabetes Day website has a number of ways you can get involved. It could be as simple as encouraging your colleagues to wear something blue to work. Or forming a humungous blue human circle. Or you could preen your political plumage and lobby your regional health, education and society organisations to prioritise diabetes awareness. Anything you can do - however small - will help the cause.

Diabetes travel insurance...

Medical conditions are a fact of life. A diagnosis of diabetes is no reason to stop enjoying the things you love most - such as going holiday. Unfortunately many travel insurers inflate their prices a lot when they find out you are living with diabetes. (And before you ask, yes you do have to declare medical conditions to your travel insurer - otherwise you could invalidate your entire policy).

Here at World First we do things differently. Our medical screening system allows you to tell us about the nuances of your condition and how you manage it. That means we get a far broader understanding of your condition - and the result is that we can often offer far cheaper policies than many of our competitors. Sounds good? Try us!

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