Accelerating progress together

31 July 2019


Dr Kell participating in panel discussion

FDI President Kathy Kell

Dr Kathryn Kell

FDI President

My recent travels reaffirmed that the challenges we face in oral health transcend borders and require us to work hand in hand to find solutions.

Fostering stronger research ties

At the end of June, I attended the 98th General Session of the International Association for Dental Research (IADR) in Vancouver, Canada. It was great to connect with our fellow research colleagues and give an update to the IADR Council on FDI’s projects and accomplishments over the last year.

During the conference, I attended many thought-provoking sessions, including a joint IADR-FDI-NCD Alliance session, Oral Health and Noncommunicable Diseases: Lessons from the 2018 United Nations High-Level Meeting. I also went to a session called Antimicrobial Resistance and Stewardship: An Evolving Agenda. Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one of the most pressing global health issues and requires urgent multi-sectoral action. Dentists plays a significant role in tackling AMR – up to 10% of antibiotics are prescribed by dentists. I am very much looking forward to FDI’s Science Committee Forum on antimicrobial stewardship, The Role of Dentists and Dental Teams in Mitigating Antibiotic Resistance, at the ADA FDI World Dental Congress this September. I strongly encourage you to register for this session.

The final event at the conference was the passing of the IADR Presidential Chain from President Rena D’Souza to President-Elect Paula Moynihan. At this event I presented a plaque of appreciation from FDI to President D’Souza in recognition of her service to optimal oral health. It was touching to see how deeply moved she was with receiving this award.


Empowering women as leaders in health

After Vancouver I went home for a short stay and then flew to Georgia for the World Women’s Forum. The Forum was held during the 15th International Congress of the Georgian Dental Association (GDA). On the eve of the conference, I had a tour with other congress speakers of the Albius Ketevan Gogilashvili Dental Center in Tbilisi, Georgia – the dental office and clinic of GDA President Ketevan Gogilashvili. This is also the building that houses the GDA. After the tour, we enjoyed an evening celebrating the upcoming conference with traditional folk music and dancing. From Tbilisi we took the train to Batumi, Georgia on the west coast of the Black Sea for the Forum and GDA congress. In the lead up to the event, I spoke with local newspapers and TV journalists about the congress and how good oral health practices lead to excellent health for all.

A memorable highlight of the congress was Georgia President Salomé Zourabichvili’s opening address to the Forum. It was inspiring to listen to so many speakers discussing the importance of involving women in leadership and oral health. At the Forum, I gave a presentation on how women can use political and economic interest to attain their advocacy goals. I was also very pleased to hand deliver President Zourabichvili an invitation to attend and open FDI’s World Oral Health Forum (WOHF) on Universal Health Coverage (UHC). Since Georgia is a co-facilitator of the UN High-Level Meeting on UHC, this event was an excellent opportunity to extend the WOHF invitation. We hope to see you and Georgia there! The WOHF will take place on 7 September at the ADA FDI World Dental Congress.

Dr Kathryn Kell

FDI President


New resources

Reach out to your policymakers and talk about the importance of integrating oral health into Universal Health Coverage.



Upcoming travel

Vietnam International Dental Exhibition and Congress
22—24 August 2019 • Hanoi, Vietnam

ADA FDI World Dental Congress
4—8 September 2019 • San Francisco, United States


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