Belgium has more than 11 million inhabitants divided over 3 regions:
- Flandres with over 6 million inhabitants;
- Wallonia with over 3,5 million inhabitants;
- And Brussels with over 1 million inhabitants.
The Flemish Association of Dietitians (VBVD) became a member of ICDA earlier this year.
Since 1963, the association of currently 600 full paying members, represents Flemisch dietitians with an official qualification in Nutrition & Dietitics recognized by the Federal Governement.
The association aims to:
- Promote the development of the dietetic profession;
- Provide life-long professional learning/education as to guarantee that patiënts, etc. receive personalized evidence based advice/counselling and of the hightest quality;
- Provide several education moments through the year. One big event in spring and one in autumn and on various themes;
- Raise the quality and profile of dietitians in Belgium;
- Facilitate communication between our members through the bimonthly magazine, the monthly electronic newsletter and several networking opportunities;
- Develop partnerships and relationships with stakeholders so that they fully understand the contribution of dietitians to health and/or the reduction of diseases.
- Members of the VBVD are also active in ENHA (The European Nutrition for Health Alliance) and Onca (Optimal Nutritional Care for All), an international initiative to facilitate greater screening for risk of disease-related malnutrition /undernutrition and nutritional care implementation across Europe;
- Promote the “Week of the Dietitian” yearly in March in association with UPDLF, the French speaking dietitians’ association in Belgium.
- In 2017, kids were celebrated with the theme “Healthy food for kids”. Theme of 2018 is “Malnutrition”.
- Prepare our members for innovations in and the new digital care delivery models.
- Collaborate with the Belgian government for updating the legal framework of our profession
- Collaborate with colleges providing education for (future) dietitians, for adapting their educational requirements to the legal framework
- Collaborate with the Belgian Government for the design of a structural change in Belgian health service. Special attention is paid to multidisciplinary care for non-hospitalised patients and chronically ill to ensure optimal care after hospitalization. Optimal nutritonal care must be part of it.
- Negotiate with the Belgian Government for reimbursement of Oral Nutritional Support and reimbursement of dietetic consultations for all patients (now only existing for diabetes and renal insufficiency)
The VBVD can rely on more than 120 active volunteers in 15 commissions and regional networks. Dietitians in these commissions are specialized in a specific area (such as oncology, elderly, diabetes, …) and share their expertise with colleagues in other areas.