WHO EB144 - FDI statement on Item 5.5

FDI and IADR joint statement on Item 5.5 Primary health care towards universal health coverage (EB144/12)

I am speaking on behalf of FDI World Dental Federation (FDI) and the International Association for Dental Research (IADR). FDI is the official representative body of over one million dentists and IADR is the global leader in dental, oral and craniofacial research.

We agree with the Secretariat’s report that primary health care is essential to achieving universal health coverage (UHC). However, UHC cannot be achieved unless primary health care integrates oral health.

Oral health has for far too long been pushed to the sidelines of many healthcare systems, even though it impacts general health and shares the same risk factors associated with over 100 NCDs. By integrating oral health services into primary care, countries can not only reduce their burden of oral disease but also address the needs of people with multiple health and social problems.
We therefore urge countries to evaluate and reconfigure their healthcare systems to better meet the oral health needs of their citizens. Oral health must no longer be separated from primary health care.

To further strengthen primary health care and ultimately achieve UHC, we call on Member States to uphold their commitments made in the recent Astana Declaration, especially the commitment to adopt a Health in All Policies approach to effectively address health inequity and determinants of health.

FDI and IADR request that the outcome document for the upcoming UN High-level Meeting on UHC explicitly acknowledges oral health as a key component of primary health care and UHC that countries need to urgently address. Do not leave oral health behind again.

We also invite Member States to join us in early September this year at the FDI World Dental Congress in San Francisco for a session on UHC and oral health with an international panel of experts.

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