Trees at Ly Thai To Park and around Hoan Kiem Lake glow in blue, the symbolic color of the World Diabetes Day, 14 November. Photo: Embassy of Denmark in Vietnam
On 13 November 2016, the Embassy of Denmark in Vietnam and Vietnam’s Ministry of Health co-organised a ceremony at Ly Thai To Park and Hoan Kiem Lake in connection with the 2016 World Diabetes Day. They lit up the lake blue to create awareness and show their commitment to change the diabetes situation in Vietnam.
Diabetes is among the biggest urgent health care problem globally of the 21st century, slowing economic development and hindering the achievement of sustainable development goals, particularly in low and middle income countries. In 2015, Vietnam had 3.5 million people with diabetes, according to IDF Diabetes Atlas, and the figure is estimated to reach 6.1 million by 2040.
The ceremony was attended by policy makers, healthcare professionals, students and pupils, and national and international organisations, and a lot of pedestrians on walking streets around Hoan Kiem Lake, thus increasing awareness about diabetes, especially the importance of early screening and discovery of diabetes and diabetic complications.
“Though more and more Vietnamese may actually be living with diabetes, many have neither been diagnosed nor received optimal treatment, making it impossible for them to take the necessary precautions. By lighting up Hoan Kiem Lake, we hope to increase awareness of the illness itself, and to encourage people to be screened early, as untreated diabetes can lead to unnecessary complications,” Ms Charlotte Laursen, Danish Ambassador to Vietnam, says.
Representatives from the Embassy of Denmark in Vietnam, Vietnam’s Ministry of Health, Novo Nordisk and other related agencies participated in the ceremony, the first time Hoan Kiem Lake was lit up in blue in celebrating the World Diabetes Day. Photo: Embassy of Denmark in Vietnam
“Early diagnosis can help people with diabetes to avoid complications and improve control in diabetes,” Mr. Omar Sherief Mohammad, Chief Representative of Novo Nordisk in Vietnam, says.
Via the lighting up ceremony, the Ministry of Health emphasised, “The increase in diabetes worldwide does not seem to stop, and we are obliged to do anything we could to prevent its development.”
The Ministry of Health in Vietnam will also be launching a website on diabetes, which is sponsored by Novo Nordisk. The website will provide information about diabetes prevention, diagnosis, treatment and management. This will serve as a valuable source of information for diabetes patients, diabetes care professionals and the general public.