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Prof. Lijian Jin
MARRAKESH, Morocco: Oral health professionals and scientists from Africa and around the world recently met in Marrakesh to attend the first FDI African Regional Dental Congress, hosted by the Association Marocaine de Prévention Bucco-Dentaire, the Moroccan association for oral health prevention. Under the theme “Leading Africa towards optimal oral health”, the event featured a distinguished array of speakers and a rich scientific programme.
The congress, held at the Palais des Congrès Marrakech, was attended by more than 800 dentists, oral health practitioners and dental industry exhibitors, who shared their expertise on oral health promotion for Africa’s children and adolescents, as well as the older population.
During the opening ceremony, FDI President Dr Patrick Hescot congratulated the Moroccan hosts on their outstanding efforts to ensure the event’s success: “FDI is proud and happy to partner with its national member, the Moroccan Association of Oral Health Prevention, in organizing this 1st African Regional Dental Congress. I would like to congratulate them on their regional initiative and thank them for all their efforts to make it a success. This congress is an important event that will complete the Strategy for Africa that FDI initiated four years ago. In addition, it will help to fulfil FDI’s great ambitions for dentistry and oral health on the African continent.”
Hescot also addressed the final congress session on oral pathologies, chaired by Prof. Dorte Haubek, from Aarhus University in Denmark. He spoke about the importance of oral health for quality of life of the elderly. “FDI’s advocacy is to highlight the informed leadership of dental surgeons in the field of oral health and their strong socio-economic role. They play a key part in two very essential elements of modern society: self-esteem and quality of life. From this point of view, dental surgeons do not exist only to restore; they are also closely involved in the knowledge, understanding and support of the well-being of their patients.”
Among the other session speakers were Prof. Michael Glick, from the University at Buffalo in the US, who presented a paper titled “The link between oral health and general health: Where are we now?”, and Prof. Juan-Carlos Llodra (from the University of Granada in Spain and Secretary of the Consejo General de Colegios de Odontólogos y Estomatólogos de España, the Spanish dental association), who in his presentation addressed the question “Is oral cancer a public health issue?”.
Hescot welcomed participants to the FDI Africa Forum, where national dental associations presented the outcomes of FDI’s Strategy for Africa in their own countries and their achievements in implementing the Minamata Convention on Mercury and World Oral Health Day 2017.
In his presentation to the forum, the FDI President outlined the main accomplishments of the association’s global strategy, notably a focus on advocacy, campaigning, public health and oral health literacy, working with members and providing regional support.
(News source: FDI)