“Why Oral Health Matters”: Platform for Better Oral Health in Europe launches Manifesto in European Parliament
“Oral health is an integral part of general health” said MEP Jane Brophy when opening the Platform’s Manifesto launch event, highlighting the need for EU policy-makers to not overlook the impact that good oral health can have on the health of EU citizens.
MEP Jane Brophy introducing the event
Pr. Richard Watt from University College London, and lead author of the recent Lancet Series on oral health, presented the key findings from this research, namely:
- Oral diseases are among the most prevalent diseases globally, affecting 3.5bn people;
- Oral diseases are socially patterned
- Oral diseases share many common risk factors with other non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as tobacco, alcohol, or poor diet
- Stronger policies are needed to address the determinants or oral diseases and NCDs.
Pr Richard Watt, UCL
Dr. Nigel Carter, Chair of the Platform, presented the Platform’s Manifesto, which outlines why we need oral health in all policies. More specifically, the Manifesto articulates the following five policy asks:
- Promote joined-up policies and adopt adequate budgets to alleviate the burden of oral health inequalities amongst European citizens;
- Support the adoption of the WHO recommendations to reduce sugar consumption among EU citizens through a range of policy options, such as through ensuring proper implementation of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive;
- Encourage countries to adopt European evidence-based best practices on oral health promotion and education throughout the life-course, such as through tooth brushing with fluoride toothpaste in schools and care homes;
- Adopt policy recommendations to support the achievement of Universal Health Coverage and SDG Goal 3, including ensuring access for all EU citizens to affordable quality oral health care;
- Ensure systematic collection of relevant oral health data to allow for better data-driven policy-making to reduce health inequalities and promote better health.
Dr Nigel Carter, Chair of the Platform for Better Oral Health in Europe
Finally, Antonella Cardone, Director of the European Cancer Patient Coalition gave her perspective on the impact that mouth and neck cancer have on patients, and how public policies can be implemented to prevent their development. These cancers have a huge impact on patients’ daily lives, and they are not always properly prepared to deal with these. Prevention is extremely important, and General Practitioners as well as Dentists have an important role to play. As such, a partnership with the Platform is very much welcome.
Antonella Cardone, Director of the European Cancer Patient Coalition
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