FDI Emphasizes Role of Oral Health in Global Health Strategies

Dentistry Today


The World Health Organization Executive Board (WHO EB) held its 146thsession in Geneva, Switzerland, early in February to review reports and resolutions ahead of the World Health Assembly in May. As a non-state actor in official relations with WHO, the FDI World Dental Federation delivered three statements pressing for further commitments in oral health. 

First, FDI asserted the importance of oral health as an essential element of primary healthcare and universal health coverage (UHC). The September 2019 declaration at the United Nations High-Level Meeting on UHC showed that member states have a strong political vision and commitment to ensuring UHC for the people they serve, FDI said. FDI applauded the commitment to strengthen oral health within the declaration. 

Also, FDI urged member states to convert the words of the declaration into concrete, sustainable action at the national level and said it stands ready to assist governments in implementing their UHC strategies. FDI further underlined the importance of solidarity and collaboration in achieving oral health and UHC for all.

Second, FDI said it supports WHO’s vision for the Decade of Healthy Aging, which WHO is developing with member states and input from partners including United Nations entities, other international organizations, and non-state actors. FDI also asked WHO to specifically include oral health in the action plan’s progress indicators.

Finally, FDI called for oral health to be included in national digital health strategies. The purpose of the WHO draft global strategy on digital health is to advance and apply digital technologies toward the vision of health for all. It aims to encourage international collaboration and support countries in their national, digital health enabled programs. 

FDI encourages member states to consult national dental associations when developing and implementing their national digital health strategies so oral health is integrated into health services and overall health outcomes are improved.

The 146thWHO EM approved the agenda for the 72ndsession of the World Health Assembly, which will take place May 17 to May 21 in Geneva. FDI will attend and continue to push for oral health to be integrated within the global health and development agenda so governments understand that you can’t be healthy without good oral health.

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