WHA72 - Primary health care towards universal health coverage

WHA72 - Primary health care towards universal health coverage

Agenda item 11.5 (Document A72/12, EB144.R9)

This statement is made by FDI World Dental Federation (FDI) supported by the International Association for Dental Research (IADR). FDI is the official representative body of over one million dentists and IADR represents the world’s dental, oral and craniofacial researchers.

We support the adoption of Resolution EB144.R9 by the Assembly.

Oral health is essential to general health and well-being at every stage of life, but it continues to be pushed aside and siloed off from the healthcare system. This can no longer continue.

Oral diseases are the most common and preventable NCDs worldwide, affecting 3.58 billion people. In fact, oral diseases and other NCDs share modifiable risk factors and the same socio-economic determinants. It makes sense to address these conditions with a comprehensive and integrated response.

We therefore request that countries commit to implement a One Health Approach at the upcoming UN HLM on UHC in order better integrate health systems and address co-morbidities.

Countries must integrate oral health into primary care. There is no one-size-fits all approach to this, but it is unacceptable that basic oral healthcare remains out of reach for millions of people.

We urge countries to add essential oral health services to their national essential package of health services. All countries must commit to provide at a minimum the WHO Basic Package of Oral Care, which includes access to emergency care and pain relief, affordable fluoride toothpaste and tooth decay management.

We also invite Member States to join us on 7 September at the FDI World Dental Congress in San Francisco for a session on UHC and oral health. The session will discuss the challenges and opportunities for integrating oral health into the emerging UHC policy agenda.