November 14 was World Diabetes Day. The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) calls for more nurses to be trained to help people living with diabetes understand and manage their condition.

Over 460 million people are currently estimated to be living with diabetes worldwide, a number expected to rise to 578 million by 2030. Last year alone, the condition was responsible for 4.2 million deaths and at least $760 billion in health expenditure – 10% of the global total spent on healthcare. The impact of diabetes has come into even sharper focus this year, with half of the people diagnosed with COVID-19 in some regions found to be living with the condition.

Nurses play a pivotal role in helping people with diabetes understand and manage their condition and tackle the risk factors for type 2 diabetes in those most susceptible. As the prevalence of diabetes continues to rise across the world, more trained nurses are required to help people affected avoid life-changing complications – such as heart attacks, strokes, loss of vision, kidney disease, and lower limb amputation – and promote healthier lifestyle behaviors. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned of a global shortfall of 5.9 million nurses and indicated that nursing graduates would need to increase by 8% a year to overcome the deficit by 2030.