WHA70 - Progress in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Agenda item 16.1 (Document A70/35)

FDI represents over one million dentists in some 130 countries through its member National Dental Associations.

We thank the WHO secretariat for their report and the excellent analysis of the status of 32 indicators as well as the timely publication of World Health Statistics 2017.

Oral health is absent from both documents and we understand why. Until now, it has been impossible to establish baselines and indicators for oral health with information available – and countries need guidelines on what and how to measure. We are happy to report that we have made considerable progress over the past few months.

Last September, our General Assembly adopted a definition for oral health. We are now developing a measurement tool to monitor oral health outcomes. We will share results with WHO when they become available and see how we can work together to integrate oral health in a concrete way into Agenda 2030 and its related SDGs.

Oral conditions are closely associated with other health conditions, in particular NCDs – and the global momentum for NCDs is an opportunity to improve oral health on a global scale.

Furthermore, Sustainable Development Goal 3 has twin objectives: one, to ensure healthy lives, with progress measured according to the indicators in Secretariat document A70/35. The other objective is to promote well-being for all at all ages. Here, progress is far more difficult to measure - but oral health needs to be present as integral to well-being, quality of life and personal self-confidence.

Finally, a Member State representative at the January WHO Executive Board remarked that every Minister should be a Minister of Health. Unfortunately, the approach of the Secretariat document A70/35, while useful for measuring each target taken separately, is unhelpful for demonstrating to Member States this ‘Health in All Policies’ approach. The 2014 Framework for Action on Nutrition still provides the best template of how to engage all sectors in policy.

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