Webcast and proceedings from 'No health without oral health' session now available

07 February 2018 Noncommunicable diseases

FDI organized a joint session with the NCD Alliance at the FDI World Dental Congress 2017 Madrid on how the dental community can leverage the noncommunicable disease (NCD) agenda to deliver on the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The full-length webcast of the session, along with detailed proceedings are now available.

Interconnected diseases, common solutions

The session focused on leveraging the NCD movement to advance oral health, with a particular focus on the United Nations SDGs. Presentations provided insights into the efforts by FDI, the oral health community, and the NCD movement to drive policy change and achieve relevant targets included in the SDGs. Prof. Claudio Fernandes from the Fluminense Federal University in Brazil introduced the importance of prioritizing the inclusion of NCDs in the health targets of the SDGs, using his home country as an example of oral health integration into primary healthcare.

©FDI/Gilberto Lontro

Other presentations covered FDI’s oral health definition to help bridge the gap between oral health and general health for better patient care; the role of the oral health community in driving policy to deliver on the global commitments for NCDs and development; dentists as advocates for a common risk factor approach focusing on sugar policies; and oral health in all policies. The session led to discussions around the need for evidence-based interventions, implementing measurements to document the impact of interventions, integrating oral health into general health, and engaging civil society to build coalitions with different sectors outside the oral health community.

The global context

NCDs – including cancer, diabetes, heart disease, chronic respiratory diseases, and mental and neurological disorders – cause more deaths than all other diseases combined. An estimated 39.5 million people die of NCDs every year, equivalent to 70% of all deaths globally. Oral diseases affect almost the entire world’s population during their lifetime. Yet despite their magnitude and impact on general health and well-being, awareness of oral diseases remains low among the public health community and politicians.

Oral diseases and other NCDs are driven by the same risk factors and socio-economic determinants, namely poor diet – particularly high in sugar – together with tobacco and alcohol use. With increasingly ageing populations, there is an urgent need to strengthen and reorient health policies and healthcare systems for comprehensive and integrated prevention and management of chronic conditions.

What’s in store for 2018

The United Nations will organize the third High-level Meeting on the prevention and control of NCDs, which will undertake a comprehensive review of the progress achieved in putting measures in place that protect people from dying too young from heart and lung diseases, cancers and diabetes. FDI will continue to watch closely as more details of the meeting become available and will continue its collaboration with the NCD Alliance with a new joint session at the World Dental Congress in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

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