FDI makes statement to WHO Executive Board on behalf of health professionals

27 January 2014

In a statement on healthy ageing to the World Health Organization Executive Board, FDI highliighted in particular good oral hiygiene throughout life as a means of retaining the continued capacity to chew, an important contributor to quality of life.

The FDI intervention took place on 22 January under agenda item 8.2, the report 'Multisectoral life course approach to healthy ageing'.FDI also recommended the report should make more explicit links with interprofessional collaborative practice and interprofessional education, and called for greater emphasis on morbidity and quality of life for healthy ageing.

FDI was speaking on behalf of the dentists, physicians, nurses, pharmacists and physical therapists that constitute the World Health Professions Alliance. Oral health during ageing has long been an FDI concern, with sessions dedicated to the subject at this and previous year’s Annual World Dental Congress.

Statement by FDI to the WHO Executive Board on behalf of the WHPA

‘Honourable Members of the Executive Board,

Thank you for the opportunity to speak on behalf of the World Medical Association, the International Council of Nurses, the International Pharmaceutical Federation, the World Confederation for Physical Therapy and FDI World Dental Federation. Together, we form the World Health Professions Alliance WHPA, which represents the collective views of more than 26 million health professionals worldwide.

Our organizations welcome the Secretariat’s report on healthy ageing, which identifies very clearly the global challenges we are facing. We appreciate WHO’s efforts and as healthcare professionals we concur with the presented approach.

We would like to raise several points which could be further developed:

  1. Strengthen the emphasis on prevention at all ages. For instance, good oral hygiene has a significant impact on the continued ability to chew and therefore constitutes a key factor for a healthy ageing and for preserving the quality of life. We would suggest a specific recommendation on the importance of prevention.
  2. Make more explicit references to interprofessional collaborative practice, interprofessional education as emphasized in the WHPA statement issued last year, and provide a reflection on the recommendations presented in the 2013 WHO Education guidelines on Transforming and scaling up health professionals’ education and training, and the discussions during the Third Global Forum on Human Resources for Health.
  3. Reinforce the importance of ensuring that the health workforce and others providing care are fit, healthy and supported, as they will continue to be intrinsic to solutions.
  4. Finally, acknowledging the importance of data gathering and the leading role that WHO can play, we encourage WHO to focus not only on mortality but also on morbidity and quality of life, which are essential considerations when monitoring the health of older adults. 

We appreciate WHO`s willingness to engage and work with all stakeholders and look forward to the continued involvement of health professions in the life course approach to healthy ageing.’

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