WHO EB146 - FDI statement on Item 7.1

FDI statement on Item 7.1 Universal health coverage: moving together to build a healthier world (EB146/6)

I am speaking on behalf of FDI World Dental Federation (FDI) the official representative body of over one million dentists. We thank the member state from Sri Lanka and the 17 supporting countries for their statement and fully support their recommendations on oral health. 

We also applaud world leaders for making a breakthrough commitment to strengthen oral health in the Political Declaration on UHC. 

It is now vital that the Declaration be converted into concrete, sustainable action at the national level. FDI and its 200 National Dental Associations in over 130 countries stand ready to assist governments in implementing their UHC strategies. 

UHC cannot be achieved unless primary health care integrates oral health. This is made very clear in WHO’s report, “Primary health care on the road to UHC” – which reveals that in the WHO European Region oral health care is the third main driver of financial hardship and poor households are more likely to forgo any oral health care due to financial barriers to access. 

This is unacceptable – oral health is a basic human right and access must be improved especially to people from vulnerable groups who have higher levels of untreated oral diseases compared to the general population. 

We stand ready to support WHO’s draft operational framework for primary health care (EB146/5). There is much to be done in realizing oral health for all. FDI recognizes this, and we are currently working on a 2030 roadmap to help tackle challenges and seize opportunities to improve oral health over the next decade. We look forward to sharing this document with Member States later this year. 

We also take this opportunity to congratulate WHO for including the global oral health report, scheduled for release later this year, in its global public health goods official deliverables and stand ready to support its roll-out in the context of UHC. 

We recognize that we need to work together; that multi-sectoral collaboration is the way forward. This year, we invite Member States to join us in Shanghai, China for FDI’s World Oral Health Forum where frontline leaders and experts will discuss pathways and partnerships to deliver oral health for all.

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Sri Lanka affirms oral health as a key element of universal health coverage

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