About World Diabetes Day

14 November

Find out more about World Diabetes Day

Key messages
1 in 10 people are living
with diabetes

Nurses and diabetes

The theme of World Diabetes Day 2020 is The Nurse and Diabetes. The campaign aims to raise awareness around the crucial role that nurses play in supporting people living with diabetes.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO)*:

  • Nurses accounts for 59% of health professionals
  • The global nursing workforce is 27.9 million, of which 19.3 million are professional nurses
  • The global shortage of nurses in 2018 was 5.9 million. 89% of that shortage is concentrated in low- and middle-income countries

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.

Investing in the health workforce also has the capacity to impact other SDGs on eradicating poverty, ensuring inclusive and equitable education, achieving gender equality through the employment and empowerment of women, and promoting decent work and sustainable and inclusive economic growth.

IDF is speaking to policy-makers and nurses directly about the steps that can be taken to ensure health professionals are best prepared to support people living with diabetes in their communities – through better education and funding.

Nurses: make the difference for diabetes

As a highly valued member of the community, nurses 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. IDF wants to facilitate opportunities for nurses to learn more about the condition and receive training so that they can make a difference for people with diabetes.

An online course – The Role of the Diabetes Educator – is available to help nurses assess what they know about diabetes and improve their knowledge and understanding of the condition.

Diabetes: nurses make the difference

As the number of people with diabetes continues to rise across the world, the role of nurses and other health professional support staff is becoming increasingly important in managing the impact of the condition. Nurses are often the first and sometimes only health professional that a person interacts with and so the quality of their initial assessment, care and treatment is vital.

Nurses play a key role in:

  • Diagnosing diabetes early to ensure prompt treatment.
  • Providing self-management training and psychological support for people with diabetes to help prevent complications.
  • Tackling the risk factors for type 2 diabetes to help prevent the condition

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.

*State of the World’s Nursing Report – 2020

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