Oral Health Atlas Task Team meets to recommend future steps

28 August 2014

The Oral Health Atlas Task Team met in Geneva on 28 and 29 July with two aims: the first was to recommend future steps on FDI’s newly-developed Data Hub for Global Oral Health; the second was to define the specifications for contents and graphic design for the ongoing revision of FDI’s Oral Health Atlas.

The Team was joined on day 1 by Prof Hiroshi Ogawa, Dental Officer/Health Promotion in the service for the prevention of noncommunicable diseases at the World Health Organization. He provided valuable and much-needed input on data control, review and validation.

FDI Data Hub
For the FDI Data Hub, the Task Team outlined steps to ensure clarity of visual message and measures to increase user understanding. They also focused attention on guidelines for contributors such as national dental associations and issues related to copyright and data sourcing.

Team members further discussed ways to expand the number of oral health indicators and develop tools for feedback and evaluation. They also put forward ideas on means to raise oral health to the political level, for example through an FDI-WHO sponsored Chief Dental Officer Forum during future FDI Annual World Dental Congresses.

It was agreed that the focus of the Data Hub official launch should be on its potential to advance the cause of oral health in particular and global health in general. It was further suggested that a paper should be prepared for publication in the December 2014 edition of the International Dental Journal (IDJ) following peer review.

Oral Health Atlas
Turning its attention to the Oral Health Atlas, the Task Team decided that the second edition will focus on oral health advocacy and set its launch for the FDI 2015 Annual World Dental Congress in Bangkok.

Team members proposed a new structure in three parts: Part 1: Oral diseases and health; Part 2: Oral diseases and risk factors; Part 3: Oral diseases and society. Given the absence of patient groups—which exist for other chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular or respiratory diseases—a further proposal calls for the inclusion of patient testimonies to bring the realities of oral diseases home to Atlas readers and users.
Meeting schedule
This is the third time the Oral Health Task Team has met, following its meetings on 12 and 13 January to set the terms of reference and 28 and 29 April to review progress. Task Team members include Prof. Lijian Jin (Chair) and members Dr Fannye Thompson and Dr Habib Benzian. Members Valerie Robinson and Kevin Hardwick were unable to attend the July meeting.

The next meeting is due to take place on 11 September in New Delhi during the FDI 2014 Annual World Dental Congress.