WHA71 - 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

Agenda item 11.7 (Document A71/14 and A71/14 Add.1)

FDI World Dental Federation is the official representative body of over one million dentists worldwide.

We thank the Secretariat for the report which shows that advances in the prevention and control of NCDs will stall unless Member States renew efforts.

Oral health is often overlooked, but it is an area that Member States can no longer afford to ignore. Oral diseases are among the most common and preventable NCDs. In fact, oral diseases affect almost 100% of the world’s population.

Moreover, major oral diseases and other NCDs are closely linked and share modifiable risk factors: an unhealthy diet – particularly one high in sugar – tobacco use, and harmful use of alcohol; and the same socio-economic determinants such as poverty. Research shows that effective regional and national strategies to promote oral health and prevent oral diseases result in population-wide improvement of oral health and can contribute to preventing the leading NCDs. We therefore urge Member States to adopt a common risk factor approach for prevention and control of oral diseases and other NCDs.

Leading up to the UN HLM, we encourage Member States to:

  • address oral health within their national NCD action plans and strategies;
  • consult with National Dental Associations and NCD coalitions on effective cross-cutting interventions; and
  • ensure Heads of State/Government attend the UN HLM in order to secure NCD action and investment at the highest political level.

We also request for three critical outcomes of the UN HLM:

  1. Integration and recognition of oral health perspectives within the HLM outcome document in the context of NCD prevention and control
  2. An accountability and monitoring mechanism that includes time-bound and measurable oral health commitments
  3. Increased investment in NCD prevention and control, including oral diseases

We look forward to supporting WHO, the UN and Members States in their preparations for the UN HLM.

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Seventh meeting of Committee A

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