UN declaration on universal health coverage finally has some teeth

teeth universal health coverage

FDI World Dental Federation (FDI) has welcomed the long overdue commitment to strengthening oral health in the UN Political Declaration on Universal Health Coverage (UHC). The declaration was officially adopted earlier this week by world leaders at the UN High-Level Meeting on UHC in New York.

“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.”

Although most oral diseases are preventable, it has been estimated that the number of people with untreated oral diseases has increased by 38 per cent since 1990 and oral diseases are the fourth most expensive out-of-pocket disease to treat.

“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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