WHO EB 148 - IADR statement on Item 6

WHO EB 148 - IADR statement on Item 6

IADR statement on Item 6 Political declaration of the third high-level meeting of the General Assembly on the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases (Oral health, EB148/8)

This statement is delivered by the International Association for Dental Research (IADR) representing over ten thousand researchers around the world.

The Mission of the IADR is to drive dental, oral, and craniofacial research for health and well-being worldwide. IADR welcomes the Director-General’s report and thanks the Member States for the resolution on oral health. The IADR is strongly supportive of the report and the resolution and has the following comments for emphasis/clarification:

  • In order to significantly improve oral health, research must be prioritized as an action item including basic, translational, and population-level oral health research, research into associations between oral diseases and other diseases, research into dental amalgam alternatives, and oral health surveillance and monitoring. Research will strengthen the evidence-base for oral disease prevention and oral health promotion. As noted in the Lancet Oral Health Series, oral health research is often given low priority by funding agencies and there is an urgent need for more funding in this area.
  • Cleft lip with and without cleft palate (CL/P) is the second most common birth defect amongst live births and can occur in isolation or associated with genetic conditions or syndrome. A comprehensive research agenda to reduce risk factors for CL/P should be an action item included to improve oral health.
  • In preventing dental caries, “promoting legislation to increase the affordability and accessibility of high-quality fluoride toothpaste” is commendable but should be expanded. As stated in Resolution WHA 60.17, countries should “consider the development and implementation of fluoridation programmes, giving priority to equitable strategies such as the automatic administration of fluoride, for example, in drinking-water, salt or milk, and to the provision of affordable fluoride toothpaste.”

IADR supports the resolution’s call to develop a global oral health strategy by 2022 and an action plan by 2023.