Promoting access to oral care on World Refugee Day to support universal health coverage

20 June 2019 Healthcare

Refugees are some of the most vulnerable people in the world. This World Refugee Day, FDI stands in solidarity with refugees and highlights the importance of ensuring their access to a reliable and complete level of oral healthcare.

FDI promotes access to oral care for refugees

In many cases, refugees usually have limited access to both therapeutic dental care and preventive services. Barriers to oral healthcare vary, but may include high treatment costs, lack of dentists and dental insurance, low oral health literacy, and other cultural and psychological barriers.

The plight of refugees is of critical concern to FDI. The Refugee Oral Health Promotion and Care Project seeks to understand how different countries’ experiences, solutions, and epidemiological data on providing oral care to refugees can be analyzed to develop a practical toolkit that will discuss clinical, policy, and societal recommendations and best practices to improve access to oral healthcare for refugees.

Through the project, FDI also aims to strengthen the infrastructure of oral health services offered to refugees; increase their access to tertiary dental services; build capacity among healthcare- and community workers to help provide oral healthcare to refugees; influence existing legislation to provide dental care services to refugees; and support preventive and therapeutic interventions that may improve refugees’ oral health.

Good oral health is not a privilege, but a basic human right. Oral health is essential to general health and well-being at every stage of life. However, essential oral health services remain out of reach for millions of people. Quality oral health services are essential to achieving universal health coverage and will help improve health outcomes and reduce inequalities in access to care. Together with its member National Dental Associations, FDI is taking steps to improve oral health outcomes for all.

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