Oral Health Atlas Task Team meets
FDI’s Oral Health Atlas Task Team held its second meeting on 28 and 29 April to review progress and define future steps on the editorial process. The first job was to look at the responses from Atlas reviewers, who had been sent a detailed questionnaire to identify any missing reviews and, in general, to outline the next moves.
Participants also had the opportunity to preview and comment the beta version of the global oral health database, initiated during the first Task Team meeting. This has evolved considerably over the past three months, but there was a general feeling that oral health indicators should already be an integral part of first release of the database. The team also highlighted other opportunities for representing data, for example through maps.
Contrary to traditional databases, the evolving FDI database aims at pointing out that more effort should be made towards filling the gaps in oral health data: as such, it will be a powerful advocacy tool for the huge efforts that urgently need to be undertaken.
The Oral Health Task Team’s terms of reference comprise two distinct project goals: first, update and revise FDI’s Oral Health Atlas in the light of new information and experience gained in developing the first edition, as well as subsequent comments.
The second goal is to collate data from existing sources, identify potential new sources, and put together a series of indicators to measure the state of oral health in the world. Readers will recall that one of the key actions within the context of the UN Political Declaration on the Prevention and Control was for the World Health Organization to develop a comprehensive global monitoring framework including a set of indicators to monitor trends and to assess progress made in the implementation of strategies and plans on non-communicable disease.
By the same token, as the leading international organization in the field of oral health, FDI’s data collection initiative can be seen as the launchpad for a global oral health monitoring framework, available to WHO, to its member national dental associations and to a wider public.