Face-to-face meetings strengthen cooperation

01 December 2016

My recent visits to the Japan and Germany Dental Associations left me well briefed on the priorities, activities and achievements of our member organizations and I am happy to confirm that we continue to enjoy excellent working relations. In Japan, I also addressed and participated in anniversary events with a key partner GC Corporation.

In the past few weeks, I have also held important meetings at the World Health Organization (WHO) and with the International Association for Dental Research (IADR). Furthermore, I'm pleased to report significant progress on the Oral Health Observatory (OHO) during a recent Task Team meeting.

Within FDI, we are progressing rapidly with our plans for World Oral Health Day 2017. I invite you all to visit the website where you can find out more about the 'Live Mouth Smart' campaign, understand its aims and messages, get advice on designing your own campaign and download materials in English, French, German and Spanish.

Meetings in Tokyo

Earlier this month in Tokyo I had the pleasure of exchanging views with JDA President Dr Kenro Hori on FDI and its activities and the new challenges for oral health and the dental profession in the Asia-Pacific region.

My stay in Tokyo coincided with GC Corporation commemorating two major anniversaries: the 95th anniversary of GC and the 60th anniversary of GC Membership Society, celebrated on 12-13 November with the 4th lnternational Dental Symposium.

The Symposium was an important event that assembled some 6,000 participants. In my address to the opening ceremony, I congratulated GC on the event agenda and the excellent line-up of world experts to deliver lectures in key areas of dental aesthetic and prosthetic restoration.

In addition, in my address to a media event, organized later by GC, I took the opportunity to announce the new FDI definition of 'oral health'. I pointed out that the positioning of oral heath as an integral part of general health and well-being is an important milestone for the oral health profession.

Updates on FDI-BZAEK and FDI-ERO in Berlin

I also held meetings in Berlin with our members at the German Dental Association (Bundeszahnärztekammer (BZAEK)) and the European Regional Organization. Together with FDI Executive Director Enzo Bondioni we shared views on a variety of issues touching on the current priorities of our two organizations with our BZAEK counterparts President Dr Peter Engel and Director Florian Lemor.

I also attended the BZAEK General Assembly, where I had the opportunity of discussing relations and opportunities for closer cooperation with some of the NDAs present in Berlin. In particular, I held talks about activities in Europe with the President of the European Regional Organization, Dr Anna Lella.

High-level discussions on oral health

In late October, I led a delegation from the FDI Geneva office in a series of highly constructive talks WHO executives Dr Douglas Bettcher, Director, Prevention of NCDs, Dr Faten Ben Abdelaziz, Coordinator, Health Promotion Prevention of NCDs, Dr Hiroshi Ogawa, Dental Officer, Oral Health Programme and Dr Yuka Makino (YM), Technical officer, Health Promotion.

Our talks ranged over wide variety of major issues touching on the areas mentioned above. There was agreement on the need to identify the current 3-year workplan on oral health and draft the next version, which will include a section on dental restoration materials. We also briefed WHO about our new Toolkit on Sugars and Dental Caries and the new definition of oral health.

Rapid progress on the Oral Health Observatory

During its 16 November meeting, the OHO Task Team agreed on key short-term action points to ensure the roll-out of the OHO in the early part of 2017. The meeting focused on the aims of the OHO data collection and reviewed the relationship between the OHO project and FDI's new oral health definition.

For my part, I recently had the opportunity of meeting with Prof. Jukka Meurman (Finland), current President of the International Association for Dental Research (IADR). We discussed a variety of issues pertaining to FDI-IADR relations and the activities of our two organizations.

Start planning your WOHD 2017 campaign

I would like to extend my appreciation to the WOHD Task Team who have been working hard to develop and review all the campaign material. Since FDI first launched its WOHD 2017 'Live Mouth Smart' campaign during a special workshop at the World Dental Congress in Poznań, further material has been produced to help support our members in their national campaigns.

All the resources are available at www.worldoralhealthday.org, which will make it a lot easier for you to access the material. There is a simple login step so that we can track requests, but you can now download the following in either the ready to print format or the design files for local adaptation: Campaign Toolkit, six campaign posters, and six social media headers, in English, French and Spanish.

Visit the website regularly, get the latest information about the WOHD17 campaign and watch out for new material as it becomes available!

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