Oral health given due prominence at 77th World Health Assembly in Geneva

Delegates seated in the main hall at the forum
Australian Dental Association
19 June 2024
7 min read
Oral health

At the recent 77th World Health Assembly in Geneva, held from 27 May to 1 June, The FDI World Dental Federation, of which the ADA is an active member, ensured that key oral health issues were given due prominence and "that oral health remains a vital component of the global health agenda." 

 The forum, which carried the theme “All for Health, Health for All", promoted the universal importance of health as a fundamental human right with FDI emphasising that the right to good oral health is integral to this outlook.

As part of their efforts at the event, FDI worked with partner, the International Association for Dental, Oral and Craniofacial Research (IADR), on a range of joint statements “directed towards maintaining oral health as a significant aspect of public health discussions.”

1. Universal Health Coverage
To advocate for the integration of essential services for oral health into universal health coverage plans to ensure comprehensive care.

2. Follow-up to the Political Declaration of the Third High-Level Meeting of the General Assembly on the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases
To encourage aligning national oral health plans to the Global Oral Health Action Plan (2023 – 2030) and ensure adequate surveillance systems.  

3. Antimicrobial Resistance: Accelerating National and Global Responses
To address the critical issue of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and advocate for dentists to be an integral part of multi-sectoral national action plans to tackle AMR.

4. Maternal, Infant, and Young Child Nutrition 
To urge governments to tax sugar-sweetened beverages and other unhealthy foods and beverages, implement front-of-package nutrition labeling, and regulate the marketing of unhealthy foods, especially those targeting children and adolescents, while highlighting the impact of oral health on the nutrition and overall well-being of mothers, infants, and young children.

5. Well-being and Health Promotion
To promote oral health as an integral component of overall well-being and health promotion initiatives. FDI and IADR also urged governments to include oral health in national health and well-being surveillance by fully implementing the Global Oral Health Action Plan and its monitoring framework report.

6. Draft of the Fourteenth General Programme of Work
To ensure that oral health is adequately represented in the WHO's strategic planning for the coming years. 

In addition, FDI co-organised and participated in side events with the likes of The World Health Professions Alliance which sought to "to further elevate the importance of oral health on the global stage".

Read the full original article