FDI statement on Item 6.4 Promoting the health of refugees and migrants (EB144/27)
FDI World Dental Federation is the official representative body of over one million dentists worldwide.
Essential oral healthcare remains out of reach for millions of people especially among refugees and migrants. The consequences of untreated oral diseases and oral health emergencies can result in pain, dysfunction, systemic illnesses and poor quality of life.
Member States should implement at a minimum WHO’s Basic Package of Oral Care, which includes access to emergency care and pain relief, affordable fluoride toothpaste and tooth decay management.
We commend the WHO ERO 2016 Strategy and Action Plan for Refugee and Migrant Health, which states that “Member States [should] provide within available resources … early access to essential dental health”. We call for WHO regions who are developing their plans to also recommend that Member States provide access to essential oral healthcare.
In relation to Priority 1 of the draft Global Action Plan, we call for essential oral healthcare to be included within the meaning of “essential health care service packages” as mentioned in clause 27 of the Secretariat’s Report. We urge Member States to also develop preventive and therapeutic strategies and interventions with input from their national dental associations (NDAs) to reduce the oral disease burden among refugees and migrants.
Regarding Priority 2, we encourage Members States to develop national plans of action and policies protecting and promoting the health of all workers in consultation with their NDAs so that oral health professionals are not left behind.
Finally, we request that Priority 6 mandates Member States to monitor the oral health of refugees and migrants in order to effectively meet their oral health needs. Such data should be generated through Member State periodic progress reports and country profiles.