OHWG Statement at the 2016 World Health Assembly
World Health Assembly, Geneva, 23-28 May 2016
Statement on the integration of oral health into primary health care
and public health systems
Chairperson, Excellences, and Distinguished Colleagues,
The WFPHA is an international, nongovernmental organization composed of multidisciplinary national public health associations with an oral health working group.
The World Health Organization Global Oral Health Programme has worked hard over the years to put oral health high on the health agenda of policy and decision-makers in the world and has emphasized the importance of an integrated disease prevention approach. Oral diseases have common risk factors with other major chronic and non-communicable diseases and can be addressed through the integration of oral health within public health systems.
The WFPHA is aware that to recognize oral health as an integral part of overall health, public
health care systems globally must include a comprehensive approach to oral health using the following strategies: integration of oral health into primary health care systems, mechanisms for inter-professional collaboration, community based prevention, and oral health promotion among all healthcare providers.
If we are to achieve this aim, we need to train a cadre of public health leaders, champions who can drive forward progressive agendas and spearhead systemic change at local, national and global levels, mobilizing a genuine political acknowledgement of, engagement with and leadership for the public’s health supported by a global public health system integrating oral health.
The WFPHA therefore urges that particular attention is paid to addressing this problem through high-level continuous education and training of leaders who can implement strategies and advocate for better oral health. This shall be the beginning of a process embracing the development of strategic capacities for all professionals that will be part of a new health era, more dedicated to common integrated preventive solutions.