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Make Oral Health a Priority, Urges World Health Organization

Mouth being examined

The importance and integration of oral health measures in disease prevention efforts was the main focus of a United Nations event hosted by the New York University College of Dentistry and its World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center. At the event, oral health stakeholders and United Nations member states were called upon to strengthen their commitment to making oral health a top priority.

Positioning oral health as integral to overall health has been a long-term objective of various organizations, including WHO and the FDI World Dental Federation. For this reason, WHO’s goals consist of reducing oral disease burden, promoting healthy lifestyles, framing polices based on integration of oral health into national and community health programs, and developing systems that improve oral health outcomes.

In her keynote address at the New York meeting, Svetlana Axelrod, MD, PhD, WHO assistant director general for noncommunicable diseases and mental health, called on countries to “include essential oral health care services as part of universal health coverage initiatives to ensure that no one is left behind.”


From Decisions in Dentistry. December 2018;4(12):8.

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