Sen. Connie Johnson and Rep. Randy McDaniel will be joining agency and community advocates in celebrating the 5th Annual World Diabetes Day on Thursday, November 14, 2013. The public is invited to attend the free event, taking place on the first floor of the State Capitol from 5:30-7:45pm, to help raise awareness of a devastating disease that affects more than 350 million people worldwide.
“I am excited about how far we’ve come in five years of raising awareness and educating Oklahomans about diabetes management and prevention,” said Johnson, D-Oklahoma County. “This year’s event captures the spirit of commitment and participation of a lot of people and groups who care about Oklahomans’ health and well-being.”
Over eight percent of the U.S. population, or nearly 26 million people, including children, have diabetes. One in six Oklahomans suffers from diabetes, which is the sixth leading cause of death in the state, giving Oklahoma the fourth highest diabetes death rate in the country.
This year’s theme is “Diabetes: Don’t Deny It; Defy It!” The program will focus on the importance, especially for those who are most affected, of knowing the facts about diabetes prevention and management, and your personal numbers related to controlling the disease; the effectiveness of story sharing in advocating for policies that help improve diabetic and overall health outcomes; and the importance of increasing education/awareness about diabetes prevention and management in order to advocate for policy change. The program will also focus on increasing youth awareness about diabetes prevention and management as well as policy initiatives that affect them.
“The goal of this year’s program is to empower those who have diabetes as well as those at-risk of getting it to take control of their lives and to move from denial to defiance,” said McDaniel, R-Edmond. “Someone is diagnosed with diabetes every 17 seconds and 200 people die each day from this disease. This tragic situation can often be prevented and managed with proper nutrition. We hope that people will attend this great event and learn how they can help prevent this disease.”
The event will include free screenings, supplies, information and referrals as well as prizes and promotions from various vendors.
Agency and community partners include the African American Community Diabetes Prevention Partners, Oklahoma City/County Health, Robert Lemon, the State Department of Health, the Midwest City Regional Hospital Authority, the Harold Hamm Diabetes Center, the JDRF, Areawide Aging Agencies, and others, all of whom share goals in the prevention and management of diabetes in Oklahoma.
Each year, over 1,100 monuments worldwide are lit blue in observance of the special day.