WHA74 - FDI statement on Items 13.1, 13.5, and 13.8 (preview)

WHA74 - FDI statement on Items 13.1, 13.5, and 13.8

FDI statement on Items 13.1 Global action on patient safety, 13.5 Antimicrobial resistance, 13.8 Immunization Agenda 2030

(Documents A74/9, A74/10 Rev.1 and EB148/2021/REC/1, reports EB148/6, EB148/11, EB148/14 and decision EB148(5))

On behalf of FDI World Dental Federation (FDI), the official representative body of over 1 million dentists, we applaud efforts by WHO and Member States to minimize AMR and increase patient safety and immunization. We are however, concerned by the limited engagement of oral health professionals in multisectoral AMR working groups and national action plans, despite dentists prescribing up to 10% of antibiotics worldwide.

For the implementation of the Global Action Plan on AMR, we urge Members States to recognize the role of dental teams in raising awareness (Objective 1), preventing and controlling oral infections (Objective 3), and antibiotic stewardship (Objective 4). Lack of access to dentistry during COVID-19 lockdowns led to increased antibiotic prescribing. FDI is forming a dental AMR early career researcher network, and we ask Member states to support such initiatives, to better understand variations in use and find evidence-based solutions.

We welcome the strategy for infection prevention and control to minimize AMR under SO3 of the draft Global Patient Safety Action Plan 2021-2030, which must include preventing dental infections. As highlighted by FDI’s white paper on AMR, antibiotic stewardship is also crucial given the patient safety risk of severe allergy (anaphylaxis) and C.difficile infections. We commend the recognition that health workers safety is essential for patient safety, as further stressed by the updated DG’s report, and ask Member States to include oral health professionals in their actions under SO5.

For the Immunization Agenda 2030, under the strategic priority objective 1.2, we ask Member States to consider the role of dentists in administering vaccines where possible within national regulations to support the roll-out of immunization programmes. Several countries have permitted dentists to administer COVID-19 vaccines, including in countries where dentists were not previously permitted to vaccinate.