Full year ahead for FDI

30 January 2019


Full year ahead for FDI - President's Letter January 2019

FDI President Kathy Kell

Dr Kathryn Kell

FDI President

Happy New Year! I hope you all enjoyed the holiday season and are ready to tackle the new year. I look forward to a very busy and productive 2019 for FDI.

Bonjour from Paris

Before welcoming in the New Year, I attended the annual meeting of the French Dental Association (FDA – Association Dentaire Française) in Paris, France, at the end of November 2018. I came a day late due to a major snowstorm in the United States that cancelled my flight, but I arrived in time for the luncheon meeting with FDA Secretary Generals Drs Joel Trouillet and Jean-Patrick Druo and many others involved in the organization of their Congress. FDI was founded in Paris, so FDA was our original member. We appreciate FDA’s strong membership from the beginning.

Strategy pit stop

From Paris, I flew to FDI’s HQ in Geneva, Switzerland, for the FDI Executive Council meeting. We reviewed and set priorities for implementing Year 2 of FDI’s 2018-2021 strategic plan. We also discussed the global health agenda for 2019 – this year will be an important year for oral health with the United Nations High-level meeting on Universal Health Coverage (23 September 2019) and the third Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury (23 -25 November 2019). FDI’s Advocacy Task Team are working on developing resources to support our members in the lead up to these meetings, which will be available soon.

A culture of giving back

From Geneva, my next stop was Cairo, Egypt, for the first International Dental Congress of the Arab Dental Federation (ADF) organized by the Egyptian Dental Syndicate, where the Egyptian Minister of Higher Education Prof. Khalid Atef Abdul Ghaffar gave an address during the opening ceremony. It was a pleasure to see so many colleagues from the region at the congress. The ADF held its first business meeting at the Future University, where I gave an update on FDI’s activities. While in Cairo, I went to the Egyptian Parliament and met Ahmed Saad El Deen, the secretary general of the Egyptian House of Representatives, along with other presidents of the ADF and members of the Egyptian Dental Association (EDA). I also met with General Raafat Riad, the chief of the Armed Forces Oral and Dental Health Care Services in Egypt. We discussed the upcoming meeting of the FDI Military Section at the 2019 FDI World Dental Congress during a panel where I was invited to discuss oral health issues.

This was the ADF’s first congress and many volunteers donated their time to help make it a success. There was a celebration with all the volunteers who contributed to the congress with lots of accolades for all the young people who volunteered, and I highly encouraged them to stay active. I got my start volunteering to serve at local, national and international congresses.

My final day was spent at the British University. Both the British University and Future University see about 500-700 patients per day for no fee. They feel this is giving back to their communities; it was obvious that the patients really appreciate this service, as many came from all over Egypt. Special busses transport patients at no charge for their oral health care. There are also private care patients that do pay, and this is how they can afford to treat so many others for no charge. I was very pleased to see Dr Tarek Abbas, dean of the Faculty of Dentistry at the British University and EDA president, greet us and give us a personal tour of the university. Both the British University and Future University have state-of-the-art facilities and beautiful campuses.

Empowering women in dentistry

My final trip in January was to Berlin, Germany, for the first Women Dentists’ Leadership Conference held during Quintessence’s congress, 7 Decades of Experience, celebrating 70 years of Quintessence publishing. There was an all-day symposium on leadership issues for women. I gave one of the opening speeches and other presentations were given by women in education, research, leadership, and specialty practice. During the conference, I went to a working dinner in honour of Dr Henriette Hirschfeld-Tiburtius, the first woman graduate of a dental college who was educated in Pennsylvania, United States, and then went back to practice in Germany 150 years ago. The theme of the conference was Togetherness is Strength and by the end of the meeting we were all inspired to continue the good work together that was started in Berlin. A big thank you to Dr Juliane von Hoyningen Huene, a member of FDI’s Section of Women Dentists Worldwide, for organizing this empowering conference.

Dr Kathryn Kell

FDI President


New resources

Keep checking the World Oral Health Day website to download the latest campaign resources. The latest WOHD resources include checklists with accompanying tips to Act on Mouth Health:



Upcoming travel

São Paulo's International Odontology Congress (CIOSP)
30 January - 2 February 2019 • São Paulo, Brazil

FDI Latin American Regional Organization (LARO) Meeting
1 February 2019 • São Paulo, Brazil

UAE International Dental Conference & Arab Dental Exhibition – (AEEDC Dubai)
5–7 February 2019 • Dubai, United Arab Emirates

FDI Executive Council Meeting
21–23 February 2019 • Chicago, United States


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