Sciensano & Diabetes

Last updated on 10-2-2023 by Marinka Vangenck

Type-2 diabetes is the most widespread kind. Its onset may be delayed or avoided by adopting a healthy lifestyle (healthy nutrition, physical exercise and weight watching). Type-1 diabetes, on the other hand, cannot be prevented.

Sciensano measures the prevalence of diabetes in the population and monitors the quality of care given to diabetic patients with the aim of improving it.

Monitoring of the prevalence of diabetes

Sciensano publishes a Health interview Survey every 4 years which provides an extensive overview of the health of Belgians.

Among the subjects studied (State of health and well-being) are chronic illnesses, one of which is diabetes. The prevalence of a disease is the number of cases of this disease at a given time in a given population.

Sciensano also monitors the quality of care provided for diabetics with a view to improving it. 

Monitoring of care pathways

Sciensano assesses the quality of the care pathways for diabetic patients via the ACHIL project [Ambulatory Healthcare Information Laboratory].

The ACHIL project consists of collecting information about diabetic patients who have access to a care pathway:

  • through general practitioners (height, weight, blood pressure, cholesterol)
  • through the Intermutualistic Agency (visit to dieticians, blood test etc.)
  • through the sentinel network of general practitioners and “Intego” network (smoking, physical activity etc.).

A care pathway is a contract signed by a patient suffering from a chronic disease, his/her family doctor and a specialist doctor.

It makes it possible to organise and coordinate the management, treatment and monitoring of the diabetic patient.

In this programme, general practitioners play an essential role as orchestrators of the multidisciplinary care given to the patient and as an interface with specialists.

Monitoring of the diabetes self-management healthcare agreement

Sciensano also supervises and assesses the quality of care provided by specialised centres in the management of diabetic patients (IQED, Initiative for Quality Improvement and Epidemiology in Diabetes).

The agreement for the self-management of diabetes is a specific programme reserved for people suffering from Type-1 diabetes or from Type-2 diabetes at an advanced stage who must be treated by injections of insulin several times a day.  

It is an agreement between the National institute health and disability insurance (Inami-Riziv), the health-insurance companies and the specialist care centres. The aim of these agreements is to provide the best possible care to patients throughout their lives and so prevent or delay the complications related to diabetes. 

The results of the IQED study of the contracted diabetology centres in Belgium are compared anonymously (benchmarking). This makes it possible for the centres to identify their strong and weak points and to improve the quality of care.

Similar monitoring is organised in the paediatric diabetology centres (IQECAD) and diabetic foot clinics (IQED-Foot).


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