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FDI World Dental Federation
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  • Date submitted: 1 Nov 2011
  • Stakeholder type: Major Group
  • Submission Document: Download
  • Additional Document:

Statement by the FDI WORLD DENTAL FEDERATION to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development

Rio+20, June 2012

FDI World Dental Federation, Geneva, Switzerland

Contact: Jean-Luc Eiselé, FDI Executive Director; jleisele@fdiworldental.org

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Statement by FDI World Dental Federation: Oral health ? an essential component of poverty  eradication and sustainable development 

FDI reiterates its commitment to the principles outlined in the 1992 Rio Declaration on Environment and  Development, and of Agenda 21. In particular, we believe that human health and well‐being must be a  central tenant of any global agreement made at the UNCSD Rio+20.  

The World Health Organization recognised the relevance of oral conditions in a World Health Assembly  resolution  in  2007  and  adopted  an  action  plan  for  oral  disease  prevention  (WHA60/R17).  We  urge  governments to act on this resolution, which also includes a plea for strengthened global collaboration. 

The  Political  declaration  of  the  High‐level  Meeting  of  the  General  Assembly  on  the  Prevention  and  Control  of  Non‐communicable  Diseases  (NCDs),  adopted  in  New‐York  on  19th  September  2011,  recognized  that  oral  diseases  pose  a  major  health  burden  for  many  countries  and  share  common  risk  factors  with  NCDs,  notably  unhealthy  diet  (particularly  high  sugar  consumption),  tobacco,  and  harmful  alcohol use, related to poverty and social inequalities. 

Furthermore, FDI applauds the Political Declaration on Social Determinants of Health, adopted in Rio de  Janeiro  on  21st  October  2011,  reiterating  in  Art  16.4  ?the  important  policies  needed  to  achieve  both  sustainable development and health equity through acting on social determinants.?  FDI  fully  supports  item  C.42  of  the  Objectives  of  the  Rio+20  conference  (A/CONF.216/PC/):  ?Poverty  eradication  and  enhancement  of  the  livelihoods  of  the  most  vulnerable  deserve  priority  in  measures  promoting a green economy transition.?   

FDI recommendations for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development 

Focus on poverty eradication and the institutional framework for sustainable development 

In the final outcome documents of UN Conference on Sustainable Development, FDI would like to see:  

 Clear recognition that the prevalence of oral diseases should become a key indicator for poverty  eradication and sustainable development 

 Strong support for all measures contributing to a reduction of common risk factors for NCDs such  as unhealthy diet, tobacco, harmful alcohol use, and lack of exercise. 

 A  focus  on  the  environmental,  economic  and  health  benefits  of  adopting  a  collaborative  approach  to  the  prevention  of  oral  diseases  within  the  institutional  framework  for  sustainable  development. 

 Develop policies and strategies to support effective and sustainable 'green dentistry' initiatives,  which emphasise the lifecycle approach. 

These recommendations derive from: 

The link between health, poverty eradication and sustainable development 

Evidence and experience have demonstrated that health and sustainable development are closely linked.  Whilst acknowledging the considerable improvements achieved in development and poverty eradication,  FDI regrets the limited progress made in bringing together historically independent social, environmental  and economic policy at a national and international level.  

This  should  place  health  at  the  centre  of  the  international  negotiation  process  as  a  necessary  precondition  for  sustainable  development  and  fundamental  to  social,  environmental  and  economic  development. Such an approach should address the social, environmental and economic determinants of  health as a means of reducing health inequities through the integration of health into all outcomes of the  summit. These should call for the provision of access to medicines, health services, adequate food and  clean water for drinking and sanitation. FDI looks to Rio+20 to enhance and further validate the social  determinants of health as a core concept in sustainable development.  

We  urge  governments  to  ensure  that  all  people  have  equal  access  to  at  least  basic  oral  care  and  prevention  through  the  integration  of  oral  diseases  into  the  context  of  poverty  eradication  and  NCDs.  The  recognition  of  oral  health  as  part  of  global  priorities  would  provide  a  strong  basis  for  concerted  national and international action.   It is imperative that global, comprehensive strategies to eradicate poverty must include oral diseases; in  addition, effective prevention strategies should also address the social determinants of health.   

The scale of the challenge 

Oral diseases are some of the most common chronic diseases, affecting more than 90% of the world?s  population. They have a significant impact on overall health, mental and physical well‐being, as well as  on  child  development  and  educational  performance.  Moreover,  the  prevalence  and  severity  of  oral  diseases are on the rise due to lifestyle changes, particularly in low‐ and middle‐income countries, which  can least afford to deal with the consequences.  

With  many  countries  reaching  a  critical  threshold  of  development  in  the  near  future,  it  is  even  more  important  to  address  the  rising  trend  of  lifestyle‐related  diseases  in  the  context  of  sustainable  development before it is too late.  

In  terms  of  health  economics,  oral  diseases  are  the  second  to  fourth  most  expensive  area  of  national  health budgets. However, for large segments of the world's population, oral conditions remain untreated  due  to  unavailable  or  unaffordable  oral  health  care  services.  The  socio‐economically  disadvantaged  suffer  most  from  oral  diseases,  as  they  do  from  other  chronic  diseases;  oral  and  general  health  are  closely  interrelated  and  conditions  like  cardiovascular  disease,  HIV/AIDS,  diabetes,  arthritis,  low‐birth  weight infants, underweight children and malnutrition all have significant links to oral conditions.    

The need for enhanced global collaboration 

As a member of the World Health Professionals Alliance WHPA the FDI strongly recommends addressing  workforce  planning,  health  system  strengthening  and  collaborative  practice  for  oral  health  as  integral  part of national planning. An intersectoral approach to poverty eradication should include prevention of  oral diseases and will have significant benefits in terms of strengthening health system care delivery and  improving access to care; thus resulting in measurably improved health outcomes.  

FDI World Dental Federation

Tour de Cointrin, Avenue Louis Casaï 84,

Case Postale 3,

1216 Genève-Cointrin,

SWITZERLAND

www.fdiworldental.org

FDI World Dental Federation is a membership organisation composed of more than 200 member National Dental Associations and specialist groups, altogether representing more than one million dentists worldwide. The FDI vision is leading the world to optimal oral health, acknowledging that oral health is a fundamental part of general health and well-being. This vision is brought to life through being the global voice for oral health and delivering excellence in oral health policy and promotion, continuing professional education, and access to care.

The FDIs Mission Statements are:

 To be the worldwide, authoritative and independent voice of the dental profession

 To promote optimal oral and general health for all people

 To support the member associations in enhancing the ability of their members to provide oral health care to the public

 To advance and promote the ethics, art, science and practice of dentistry

The organisation is governed by a Council of delegates from member associations that are elected by a General Assembly during the FDI Annual World Dental Congress. Five standing committees carry out work in the key areas of communications and member support, dental practice, education, science, and world dental development and health promotion. FDI World Dental Federation is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) in official relations with the United Nations (UN) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
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