Associação Protectora dos Diabéticos de Portugal

The Portuguese Diabetes Association (Associação Protectora dos Diabéticos de Portugal - APDP) has been designated an International Diabetes Federation (IDF) Centre of Diabetes Education for the period 2009-2012.

APDP is a private social solidarity institution, founded in Lisbon in 1926. It is the world’s oldest diabetes association and a long-standing member of the International Diabetes Federation. APDP has always been active in healthcare, with a national scope and established international relationships. Throughout its history, APDP has consistently reinforced the importance of education for people with diabetes, namely through its Therapeutic Patient Education (TPE) Department.

The association has evolved over the past years into a modern institution and is now an international reference as a specialized diabetes healthcare centre. Its activities focus on 4 major areas:

a) Social:

  • Defend and promote of the rights of people with diabetes
  • Collaboration with other associations
  • Cooperation with national (eg. Portuguese Societies of Diabetology and Endocrinology; Union of the Private Institutions of Social Solidarity) and international (IDF, DESG, FEND) institutions.

b) Clinical:

  • Provision of integrated and specialized healthcare services to the more than 40.000 people with diabetes in Portugal, in areas such as diabetology, paediatrics, nutrition, ophthalmology, cardiology, podiatry, nephrology, urology, women's health, and mental health.
  • Collaboration with National Health System bodies like local healthcare Centres and hospitals. APDP has a protocol with the National Health Ministry regarding healthcare services to people with diabetes and training courses for HCPs.

c) Research:

  • Promotion of the development of scientific investigations in epidemiology and clinical investigations in diabetology.
  • Implementation of protocol investigations with external reference institutions such as the Gulbenkian Science Institute, the Medical Sciences University of Lisbon, the Portuguese Cancer Institute and the Curry Cabral Hospital in Lisbon.
  • APDP has participated in international study projects of clinical trials on new molecules for the treatment of diabetes, and is involved in international diabetology network studies such as EURODIAB and DIRECT.

d) Training:

  • Organization of training courses, diabetes educator meetings, and seminars on therapeutic education in chronic diseases aimed at health professionals (physicians, nurses, dieticians, nutritionists, psychologists). This training is fundamental for preparing interdisciplinary teams to provide quality assistance to the rising number of people with diabetes.
  • The training courses intend to provide participants with a new approach towards people with diabetes, based on improved self-knowledge and, consequently, better knowledge of the other.Therapeutic Education actively involves the person with diabetes in his/her treatment and demands several pedagogical skills from the healthcare professional, which are not included in their initial academic curricula.

APDP has considerable experience in the training of health professionals, and people with diabetes and their families, and has been developing training courses in the area of prevention and control of diabetes since 1974, on request and in collaboration with the Portuguese Ministry of Health. The association offers a highly-skilled interdisciplinary team made up of physicians, nurses, dietitians, nutritionists, psychologists, and podiatrists.

For more information about APDP, visit