World Diabetes Day is today [Monday 14 November] marking its 25th anniversary with the theme ‘Eyes on Diabetes’ to raise awareness of the disease.

The annual awareness day, which is organised by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), this year highlights the importance of the early diagnosis of type 2 diabetes in order to lower the risk of complications later on in life.

Nearly 500 events will take place across 135 countries to recognise the importance of early detection of the disease, with local awareness groups in the UK holding open days, exhibitions and illuminating monuments and buildings in town centres blue, in honour of the international symbol for diabetes awareness, the blue circle.

Diabetes, if left untreated for too long, can cause serious injuries and illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, blindness, nerve damage and even result in amputation.

According to the IDF, in 2015 roughly 415 million adults were living with diabetes. This figure is expected to rise to more than 640 million by 2040.

Internationally, five million people died as a result of the disease in 2015.

Diabetes UK figures recently reported a staggering 20 diabetes-related amputations are carried out in England every day, with the annual total of diabetes-related amputation reaching 7,370. Despite this, the charity argues that four out of five of all amputations could be prevented if treatment was provided sooner.

Gwen Kirby-Dent, senior clinical negligence solicitor at Thompsons Solicitors, said: “Diabetes is one of the biggest health challenges currently facing the UK. The growing obesity epidemic is putting considerable strain on the NHS and makes early detection and treatment of the disease ever more important.

“When warning signs of the disease are missed, the consequences can be devastating. One of our clients, Ian, had part of his left leg amputated after a hospital failed, on several occasions, to properly manage his diabetes. Had his condition been monitored and treated correctly, an infection in his toe would have been detected sooner and he wouldn’t have lost the use of his leg.

“We’d like to commend the IDF for 25 years of tireless campaigning to reinforce the importance of managing diabetes properly. The government need to back up their campaigning with adequate NHS funding to ensure that medical staff are fully trained to identify the disease as soon as possible. It is also the government’s responsibility to ensure that the public is better-educated on the risks associated with type 2 diabetes, so that they can make the appropriate life changes to prevent them from developing the condition.”