Health personnel in rural Bamenda, Cameroon, train elderly diabetes patients to use a new mobile-phone-based monitoring system for diabetes management. ©Felix Holl, Courtesy of Photoshare

Nurses make the difference: World Diabetes Day 2020

10th November 2020

On Saturday 14 November 2020, the global health community will mark World Diabetes Day 2020. This year's theme is The Nurse and Diabetes to raise awareness of the important role that nurses play in helping people with diabetes. 


According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around half of the global health workforce is accounted for by nurses. As the recent COVID-19 pandemic has shown, people who are either dealing with diabetes or at risk of developing the disease will need their help. This year, we join the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the global health community calling for an investment in education and training for nurses because #NursesMakeTheDifference.

According to IDF the number of nurses trained and employed needs to grow by 8% a year to overcome alarming shortfalls in the profession by 2030. 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 – 40% of which should be dedicated to remunerating the health workforce.

IDF has provided several resources for you to join the campaign. Check out the campaign toolkit, resources, infographics and social media graphics for you to share your voice and help amplify people living with diabetes! 

Addressing the burden of diabetic retinopathy and health workforce shortages

People with diabetes often fear the loss of their vision or a lower limb. Awareness, early detection and early intervention are key to preventing both. Nurses on the frontline battle to control diabetes and its complications and are well placed to detect problems early. Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a noncommunicable disease (NCD) and the leading cause of irreversible blindness among the working-age population worldwide, having a severe impact on households and economies. However, DR is preventable and manageable if mechanisms for regular screening, early detection, and treatment are in place, and through optimised blood glucose and blood pressure management. Check out more in a new blog with The Fred Hollows Foundation, International Diabetes Federation and NCD Alliance. 

A global partnership to ensure access to diabetes care for the most vulnerable: Announcement of the WHO Global Diabetes Compact

Committed to achieving real and sustained improvements in diabetes care, with a particular focus on supporting low-and-middle-income countries (LMICs) the WHO has been working to develop a Global Diabetes Compact. The Compact aims to bring together national governments and a wide range of partners around the shared vision of a world where all people living with diabetes can access the care they need. On the eve of World Diabetes Day, the WHO will announce the Global Diabetes Compact during a virtual event on the sidelines of the World Health Assembly. The Global Compact will be launched in April 2021. You can join the virtual launch on Zoom here