In September 2011, the United Nations Summit on the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs) was held in New York.
It yielded a Political Declaration which, for the first time, specifically referenced oral diseases within the context of NCDs.
In Article 19, UN Member States recognize:
“that renal, oral and eye diseases pose a major health burden for many countries and that these diseases share common risk factors and can benefit from common responses to non-communicable diseases.”
In the aftermath, the challenge was how to make national governments accountable for the commitments they had made in the Political Declaration. For FDI the challenge is to ensure follow-up on the commitments relating to oral health.
A guide for national dental associations
FDI decided that the best way to motivate governments to uphold their commitments in the Political Declaration was to produce the FDI Guide to Advocacy. The purpose of the guide is to provide a brief, thematic analysis of the document, which FDI member national dental associations (NDAs) might then draw upon the Guide in their discussions with ministers, chief dental officers and senior health officials.
The objective is to be of service to governments in following up their commitments. In doing so, NDAs are respecting one of the key themes of the Political Declaration, which calls for civil society (i.e. NGOs) to be involved in the process.