Reinforcing contacts in Saudi Arabia …. and among dental students
Held under the auspices of HRH Prince Dr Faisal Bin Mesahl Al Saud, Vice Governor of Qassim Province, the 5th Dental Student Scientific Meeting (DSSM), 12 to 14 February, provided an ideal opportunity for FDI to reinforce its contacts in Saudi Arabia, and among dental students.
The DSSM, this year held in the Saudi Arabian oasis town of Buraidah equidistant from the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf, first started as a local event in the College of Dentistry, Qassim University (CDQU). Since then, its participation has expanded throughout Saudi Arabia and, in its latest format, has become truly international.
Guest speakers at this year’s event, held under the theme ‘Global Knowledge Local Creativity’, included FDI President Dr Orlando Monteiro da Silva, Pavel Scarlat, former General Secretary and current President of the International Association of Dental Students (IADS) and Irina Florentina Dragan, Postgraduate representative at the American Dental Education Association and former General Secretary and President of European Dental Students’ Association.
In his wide-ranging address, Dr da Silva shared his own thoughts after some 16 months as FDI President. He also focused on FDI commitments in its goal of ‘leading the world to optimal oral health’ and, particularly relevant for a student audience, provided an in-depth analysis of the expanded role of the dental profession called for in FDI’s landmark Vision 2020.
World Oral Health Day
He concluded his remarks by inviting the assembled students to take advantage of the opportunities of raising awareness offered by World Oral Health Day on 20 March. “But let’s not forget: you are also students: World Oral Health Day is the opportunity for you to celebrate and have fun with the concept: the aim is to get the message across to your fellow students, to your teachers and, wherever possible, to the general population: ‘Healthy teeth for a healthy life’,” concluded the FDI President.
In the ensuing question and answer session, DSSM participants showed a great deal of interest in FDI and its activities. Said the FDI President: “It was very rewarding for me personally – but, the fact that several of the dental students came up to me afterwards to tell me “I want to be President of the FDI one day!” also shows that FDI is fulfilling its objectives.”