The Platform welcomes World Health Assembly Resolution on oral health

The Platform for Better Oral Health in Europe (OHP) warmly welcomes the new Resolution on Oral Health, adopted by the 74th World Health Assembly, which will provide for a global strategy on addressing oral ill-health  – accompanied by an action plan and clear, measurable targets for public oral health to be achieved by 2030.

The Resolution shares our commitment to integrating oral health as part of general health and promoting cross-sectoral cooperation on good oral health. We support the provisions of the Resolution that encourage integration of oral health into national policy, consider oral healthcare to be an essential health service, and make oral health an integral part of health agendas throughout people’s lives. Sharing ‘best buy’ interventions on oral health within the WHO’s database of Universal Health Coverage services and interventions aligns with the OHP’s aim to facilitate best-practice sharing on health promotion and education.

In line with our Manifesto recommendation to ensure collection of relevant oral health data, we also welcome the Resolution’s specific commitment to establish surveillance and monitoring systems on oral health. This will give Member States concrete goals and provide data to inform oral health policy making and research going forwards.

The Platform is also pleased to see a mention in the Resolution of the need for guidance to ensure dentals services remain active during health emergencies. During the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic dental services have been limited or non-existent in many EU countries, and there remains a backlog in the number of patients to be seen. It is a priority of the Platform to reverse the neglect of oral care, and keep dental care services open, so that people with oral cancer do not receive their diagnosis too late to make a difference.

Finally, the Platform welcomes the remarks of the Portuguese delegate to the World Health Assembly (acting on behalf of the EU as a whole), in which he expressed the EU’s full support for such an oral health global strategy and action plan and its preparedness to assist with this.
The Platform is looking forward to helping to ensure this resolution becomes a reality, to ensure that, by 2030, good oral health can also become a reality for all.