FDI Releases Guide to Promote Oral Healthcare for Refugees

Dentistry Today


The FDI World Dental Federation has released Promoting Oral Health for Refugees: An Advocacy Guide to help clinicians and other parties plan and implement successful strategies and advocacy to improve the oral health of refugees around the world.

“To improve oral health for refugees, special attention should be directed to education, raising awareness, developing best practices, and advocating for policy change,” said Elham Kateeb, lead author of the guide.

The plight of refugees is of critical concern to FDI, the organization said. Its Refugee Oral Health Promotion and Care Project serves to strengthen the infrastructure of oral health services offered to refugees by increasing access to tertiary dental services, FDI said.

In many cases, refugees have limited access to therapeutic dental care and preventive services, FDI said. Barriers to oral healthcare vary, but may include high treatment costs, lack of dentists and dental insurance, low oral health literacy, and other cultural and psychological obstacles.

Through the project, FDI said it also aims to build capacity among healthcare and community workers to help provide oral healthcare to refugees, influence existing legislation to provide dental care services to refugees, and support preventive and therapeutic interventions that may improve refugees’ oral health.

Good oral health is not a privilege but a basic human right, FDI said, adding that it is essential to general health and well-being at every stage of life. However, FDI continued, essential oral health services remain out of reach for millions of people.

Refugees are some of the most vulnerable people in the world, FDI said. With World Refugee Day celebrated globally on June 20, FDI said it stands in solidarity with refugees and highlights the importance of ensuring their access to a reliable and complete level of oral healthcare.

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