World Diabetes Day – November 14

November 14, 2020

Diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease in which blood glucose (sugar) levels are elevated. The pancreas produces insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels and thus allows sugar to enter cells where it is converted into energy for the body. There are two basic types of diabetes: type 1 when the pancreas does not produce insulin and type 2 when the effect of the insulin produced is reduced.

The theme of World Diabetes Day 2020 is Nurse and Diabetes. The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness of the key role that nurses play in providing support to people living with diabetes.

Nurses currently make up more than half of the global health workforce. They do an outstanding job supporting people living with a wide range of health problems. People who either live with diabetes or are at risk of developing the disease also need their support.

People living with diabetes face a number of challenges, and education is crucial to train nurses in the skills that will support them.

As the number of diabetics continues to grow worldwide, the role of nurses and other paramedical staff is becoming increasingly important in managing the impact of the condition.

Health care providers and governments must recognize the importance of investing in education and training. With proper expertise, nurses can make a difference for people affected by diabetes.


  • 463 million adults lived with diabetes in 2019. The number of people living with diabetes is expected to rise to 578 million by 2030.
  • 1 in 2 adults with diabetes remain undiagnosed (232 million). Most have type 2 diabetes.
  • More than 3 out of 4 people with diabetes live in low- and middle-income countries.
  • 1 in 6 live births (20 million) is affected by high blood glucose (hyperglycaemia) in pregnancy.
  • Two-thirds of people with diabetes live in urban areas, and three-quarters are of working age.
  • One in five people with diabetes (136 million) is over 65 years old.
  • Diabetes caused 4.2 million deaths in 2019.
  • Diabetes is responsible for at least $ 760 billion in health care in 2019 – 10% of total health care spending.


  • Nurses make up 59% of health workers – the largest occupations.
  • The global nursing workforce is 27.9 million, of which 19.3 million are professionals.
  • The global shortage of nurses is estimated at 5.9 million, of which 89% are in low- and lower-middle-income countries.
  • The share of graduate nurses needs to increase by 8% per year to overcome the projected global deficit by 2030.
  • Approximately 90% of the nursing workforce is women.
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