FDI calls for global leaders to prioritise action against oral diseases at major UN meeting on health

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FDI World Dental Federation (FDI) recently called on governments and global health bodies to prioritise action against oral diseases, including through integrating oral health, at the upcoming United Nations (UN) High Level Meeting (HLM) on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) discussions, to be held in September.

The meeting will take place in New York and is a key opportunity for countries and stakeholders to assess progress on UHC following the first HLM in 2019, and identify areas for concrete action to provide health for all.

“Good oral health is a vital part of our daily lives, both in terms of physical health and mental wellbeing,” said FDI president Professor Ihsane Ben Yahya.

“With oral diseases impacting billions of people every year, it is time for governments and global health agencies to draw a line in the sand and act. That means ensuring equitable access to affordable, quality oral healthcare for all, and making oral health central to plans for universal health coverage.”

In recent years, there has been increasing action against oral diseases at the global level. In 2021, countries supported a groundbreaking WHO resolution on oral health, and this year, the 76th session of the World Health Assembly will adopt the Global Oral Health Action Plan (2023-2030), which calls on governments to ensure that “80% of the global population is entitled to essential oral healthcare services”. This would be achieved through, among other measures, countries prioritising the integration of oral health into their national health services and ensuring there are enough trained dental health professionals.

“We welcome the growing momentum on oral health, including the upcoming adoption of the Global Oral Health Action Plan, which aligns with FDI’s Vision 2030 to Delivering Optimal Oral Health For All,” Prof Ben Yahya said.

“It is now vital that this momentum is converted into tangible action against oral disease so that the people most affected can enjoy a lifetime of smiles.”

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