WHO Executive Board 144 (EB144)

WHO EB144 - FDI statement on Item 5.4

FDI and IADR joint statement on Item 5.4 Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (EB144/11 Rev.1)

I am speaking on behalf of FDI World Dental Federation (FDI) and the International Association for Dental Research (IADR). FDI is the official representative body of over one million dentists and IADR is the global leader in dental, oral and craniofacial research.

Although the Secretariat’s report shows that Member States have made remarkable progress on several fronts in health, it is clear that many challenges remain. Among them is addressing oral health within the context of the SDGs – particularly SDG 3, the health goal. There cannot be health without oral health.

Oral diseases, such as tooth decay, gum disease and oral cancer, are the most common and preventable NCDs affecting humankind. Most oral diseases share the same modifiable common risk factors with the leading NCDs. These risk factors include tobacco use, harmful use of alcohol, unhealthy diets, and socio-economic determinants.

We therefore encourage Member States to adopt a Common Risk Factor Approach when developing and implementing SDG 3.4 strategies to reduce the NCD burden. Research shows that effective regional and national strategies to promote oral health and prevent oral diseases result in population-wide improvement of oral health and can contribute to preventing the leading NCDs.

We are concerned by the report’s finding in Clause 28 that at least half of the world’s population do not have full coverage of essential health services. We urge Member States to include basic oral healthcare as part of UHC to improve health outcomes and reduce inequalities in access to care.

Finally, we welcome the launch of the Global Action Plan for Healthy Lives and Wellbeing to support Member States to achieve the health-related targets of the SDGs. FDI and IADR stand ready to contribute to the next phase of the plan’s development mentioned in Clause 47.