FDI’s 1st African Regional Dental Congress in Marrakesh welcomes more than 800 participants
Oral health professionals and scientists from Africa and around the world met in Marrakesh, Morocco, 27-29 April to attend the 1st FDI African Regional Dental Congress. The Moroccan Association of Oral Health Prevention hosted the event under the theme ‘Leading Africa towards Optimal Oral Health’. It featured a distinguished array of speakers and a rich scientific programme.
The event took place in the Palais des Congrès Marrakech (Marrakesh Convention Centre) and was the meeting point for more than 800 dentists, oral health practitioners, and dental industry exhibitors to share expertise on oral health promotion for Africa’s children and adolescents, as well as the ageing population.
In his address to the Opening Ceremony, 29 April, FDI President Dr Patrick Hescot, congratulated the Morrocan hosts on their excellent efforts to ensure the events success:
“FDI is proud and happy to partner with its national member, the Moroccan Association of Oral Health Prevention, in organizing this 1st African Regional Dental Congress. I would like to congratulate them on their regional initiative and thank them for all their efforts to make it a success. This congress is an important event that will complete the Strategy for Africa that FDI initiated four years ago. In addition, it will help to fulfill FDI’s great ambitions for dentistry and oral health on the African continent.”
Dr Patrick Hescot, FDI President
Dr Hescot also addressed the final congress session on oral pathologies, chaired by Prof. Dorte Haubeck (Aarhus University, Denmark). He spoke about the importance of oral health for quality of life in ageing populations.
“FDI's advocacy is to highlight the informed leadership of dental surgeons in the field of oral health and their strong socio-economic role. They play a key part in two very essential elements of modern society: self-esteem and quality of life. From this point of view, dental surgeons do not exist only to restore; they are also closely involved in the knowledge, understanding and support of the well-being of their patients.”
Dr Patrick Hescot, FDI President
Other session speakers were Prof. Michael Glick (University at Buffalo, USA), who spoke on ‘The link between oral health and general health: where are we now?’. The lecture by Dr Juan-Carlos Llodra (University of Granada and Executive Director of the Spanish Dental Association) asked the question ‘Is oral cancer a public health issue?’, while a representative from the Social and Economic Council of Morocco covered the subject of ‘Managing dental practice waste’.
Dr Hescot also welcomed participants to the FDI Africa Forum, where National Dental Associations presented the outcomes of FDI’s Strategy for Africa in their own countries and their achievements in implementing the Minamata Convention and World Oral Health Day 2017.
In his presentation to the Forum, Dr Hescot outlined the main accomplishments of FDI’s global strategy, notably a focus on advocacy, campaigning, public health and oral health literacy, working with members and providing regional support.
The 1st African Regional Dental Congress marked the end of the initial phase of the FDI Strategy for Africa, making it a milestone in the capacity-building for leaders of Africa-based NDAs.