WHA69 - Prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases

WHA69 - Prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases

Agenda Item: 12.4:
Prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases: responses to specific assignments in preparation for the third High-level Meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable diseases in 2018.


Honourable Chair, Distinguished Delegates, 

FDI World Dental Federation is the voice of over one million dentists worldwide. In 2011, we were very encouraged to see that Article 19 of the UN Political Declaration recognized that oral diseases share common risk factors with NCDs and would benefit from a common approach. 

As dentists, we firmly believe that oral disease should be addressed in all strategies and action plans against the NCD epidemic. We trust that an oral health dimension will be included in discussions at the third High-level Meeting of the United Nations General Assembly in 2018, in the context of prevention and control but also taking into account quality of life, co-morbidities and ageing populations. 

Increased oral inflammation can result in increased severity of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and dementia. A decline in oral function affects how long one can expect to remain healthy, as one gets older, and it can therefore place considerable pressure on public resources. 

We congratulate the WHO regional office for Africa on its recent publication ‘Promoting oral health in Africa: Prevention and management of oral diseases and noma as essential interventions against noncommunicable diseases’. It proposes proven interventions that are affordable and feasible to address the daily oral health needs of the population in the African Region. This should serve as a model for integrating oral diseases into NCD action plans elsewhere.


The global momentum for NCDs is a window of opportunity to improve oral health on a global scale. This requires comprehensive inter-sectoral and inter-professional collaboration to achieve improvements in health and oral health. 

FDI fully supports WHO’s nine targets for the prevention and control of NCDs up to 2025 – but sugar intake should, like salt, have been singled out as the most significant risk factor in diabetes, obesity, and dental caries.