OHWG Report 2017

The WFPHA Oral Health Working Group (OHWG) considers all aspects of oral health, and aims to influence policies on dental public health.

The OHWG has put into place several important initiatives in 2016. The group has published in the Journal of Public Health Policy the
article “Dental public health (DPH) capacity worldwide: Results of a global survey”. The survey evaluated DPH workforce within the country, funding, and education. In 62% of countries, DPH is only partially integrated in the public health system, while in 25% of countries it has not yet been formally integrated. Over half of countries have 0 to 10 trained DPH professionals. The top DPH services
were oral health promotion (81% of countries), children’s oral health (73%) and education (64%). The results will be presented at the 15th World Congress on Public Health (see graph below).

In May 2016, the resolutions on “The integration of oral health into primary health care and public health systems” proposed by the OHWG have been approved by the WFPHA General Assembly. The resolution recommends the integration of oral health within public health systems. A statement on the same topic has been added to the official documents of the 2016 World Health Assembly. The statement urged 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.

A subgroup of OHWG has been involved in the Advanced Dental Leadership (ADL) program for young dentists and for medical nurses & healthcare professionals, developed by the Global Child Dental Fund. The WFPHA has accredited ADL, recognizing the importance of the program in increasing leadership capacity in oral and public health. The OHWG will actively participate in the 15th World Congress on Public Health, through the world leadership dialogue on ‘Universal Dental Care Provision – Will It Really Improve Oral Health?’. The dialogue will explore how the Charter can be used strategically to promote global oral health with multi-sectoral partners in integrative approaches. Speakers will elaborate on Chair Raman Bedi universal oral health provision and integration of oral health in primary care with tangible examples and key solutions, including Regional Oral Health Centers. Regional Oral Health Centers establishment will represent the main project of the group for the next term and will showcase how the Global Charter for the Public’s Health can be implemented within this setting.

A PDF version of this report can be viewed here.

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