FDI Praises UN Political Declaration on Universal Health Coverage

Dentistry Today


The FDI World Dental Federation (FDI) says that it welcomes the United Nations’ commitment to strengthening oral health in its UN Political Declaration on Universal Health Coverage (UHC), calling it long overdue. The UN will officially adopt the declaration during its UN High-Level Meeting on UHC on September 23 in New York City.

“Oral health is one of the most neglected areas of global health, so we applaud world leaders for this breakthrough commitment that gives teeth to the UN Political Declaration,” said FDI president Dr. Gerhard Seeberger. “It is now vital that the Declaration be converted into concrete, sustainable action at the national level.”

Though oral health is essential to general health and well-being, FDI says, poor oral health continues to afflict 3.58 billion people. Dental caries, gum disease, and oral cancer are the most common forms of preventable communicable diseases, FDI adds, yet the number of people with untreated oral diseases has increased by 38% since 1980, and oral diseases have the fourth most expensive out-of-pocket costs. 

“UHC provides a unique opportunity to improve access to essential oral health services and address substantial out-of-pocket expenses associated with oral healthcare in many countries,” said Dr. Benoit Varenne, dental officer in the NCD Department at the World Health Organization. “The integration of essential oral health services into UHC will help improve health outcomes and reduce fundamental inequalities in access to care.”

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