WHO EB142 - FDI statement on Item 3.8

Preparation for the third High-level Meeting of the General Assembly on the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases, to be held in 2018 (Documents EB142/15 and EB142/15 Add.1) 

FDI World Dental Federation is the voice of over one million dentists worldwide.

We welcome WHO’s Secretariat report which emphasizes the urgent need to accelerate progress on NCD commitments.

In relation to Annex 1, Clause 4: We urge countries to consult with national dental associations when developing sugar reduction and nutrition interventions. Healthy diets and oral health are closely related. Sugar has a direct impact on oral health and is a leading risk factor for dental caries – the most widespread NCD in the world. Left untreated, dental caries reduces quality of life by causing pain, anxiety, functional limitation, and even social handicap through tooth loss.

Regarding Annex 1, Clause 16: We believe that Targets 1, 2, 5 and 7 cannot be reached unless oral diseases, which affect almost 100% of the world’s population during their lifetime, are addressed. There are currently no baselines and indicators for oral health. To change this, we are developing a measurement tool that will allow for consistent data collection globally. We look forward to sharing our progress with WHO so we can better integrate oral health into the 2030 Agenda and its related SDGs. 

Ultimately, we wish to draw attention to the fact that oral diseases and other NCDs share modifiable risk factors, including tobacco use, harmful use of alcohol and unhealthy diets, and common socio-economic determinants. Addressing these conditions would therefore benefit from a comprehensive, integrated response. We particularly stress the critical need to:

  • encourage Member States to address oral health within their national NCD action plans and strategies;
  • integrate oral health perspectives within the HLM agenda and outcome document in the context of NCD prevention and control; and
  • update the 2007 Global Oral Health Action Plan for 2020-2030 as part of NCD-focused initiatives to advance the SDGs, especially SDG 3.

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