Diabetes Programme

World Diabetes Day 2014

The World Diabetes Day logo.

World Diabetes Day raises global awareness of diabetes - its escalating rates around the world and how to prevent the illness in most cases. The theme for 2014 is “Healthy Living and Diabetes”.

Started by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and WHO, the Day is celebrated on 14 November to mark the birthday of Frederick Banting who, along with Charles Best, was instrumental in the discovery of insulin in 1922, a life-saving treatment for diabetes patients.

The Cambridge Seminar on the epidemiological and public health aspects of diabetes mellitus

23rd- 29th August 2015: The Cambridge Seminar on the epidemiological and public health aspects of diabetes mellitus will be held at Clare College, Cambridge, U.K.
Applications are now open and should be submitted by email or post to arrive by Sunday 22nd February, 2015 (full information on the Seminar website). For any queries please email query-CDS2015@mrc-epid.cam.ac.uk.

WHO Call for Interest for Development of HbA1c tests suitable for Low and Middle Income Countries

Diabetes test, Brazil.
WHO/Chris de Bode

WHO is interested in increasing access to HbA1c tests for diabetes treatment monitoring in developing countries. Through an expert consultation, WHO has facilitated the development of a Preferred Product Profile (PPP) for an HbA1c test suitable for low and middle income countries. This PPP is freely available on this site and will also be sent to relevant diagnostics associations and NGOs. In order to further facilitate access to such tests, WHO is particularly interested in tests that could be locally produced in developing countries.

Health experts accept use of HbA1c for diagnosing diabetes

Diabetes test, Brazil.
WHO/Chris de Bode

A new test for diagnosing diabetes mellitus has been accepted by a WHO-backed group of experts, offering a more practical approach to test for the disease that affects close to 350 million people worldwide.


fact buffet

347 million347 million people worldwide have diabetes.

Fact sheet: diabetes

80%More than 80% of people with diabetes live in low- and middle-income countries.

Health topic: diabetes

2030WHO projects that diabetes deaths will double between 2005 and 2030.

10 facts about diabetes

About the Diabetes Programme

The mission of the WHO Diabetes Programme is to prevent diabetes whenever possible and, where not possible, to minimize complications and maximize quality of life. Our core functions are to set norms and standards, promote surveillance, encourage prevention, raise awareness and strengthen prevention and control.

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. Hyperglycaemia, or raised blood sugar, is a common effect of uncontrolled diabetes and over time leads to serious damage to many of the body's systems, especially the nerves and blood vessels.