WHO unveils new global strategy for oral health

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Major contributors revitalise WHO global strategy for oral health

An updated global oral health action plan from the World Health Organization has gained support from key contributors such as FDI World Dental Federation. (Image: Richard Juilliart/Shutterstock)

GENEVA, Switzerland: The World Health Organization (WHO) has unveiled a new global oral health action plan, seeking to improve oral health outcomes and reduce the burden of oral disease worldwide by 2030. Part of a greater plan to integrate oral health into the universal health coverage framework and address the social and commercial determinants of oral health, the new action plan aims to enable people to achieve the best possible standard of oral health, thus improving their overall well-being and ability to participate fully in society.

Oral disease affects around 3.5 billion people worldwide and, despite being preventable for the most part, remains widespread owing to various risk factors and socio-economic variables. The WHO strategy is the first concrete step towards implementing the World Health Assembly’s resolution on oral health, which was adopted in 2021. It outlines actions for WHO member states, international partners, civil society and the private sector. The overarching goal is to foster a comprehensive and coordinated approach to improving oral health around the world.

The actions the WHO will take according to the plan:

  1. developing ambitious national responses to promote oral health;
  2. reducing the incidence of oral disease and oral health inequalities;
  3. strengthening efforts to integrate oral health into universal health coverage; and
  4. establishing a framework for tracking progress, including specific targets and indicators, by 2030.

It will take serious collaboration with a number of stakeholders, according to WHO, to achieve a global difference in oral health. One key stakeholder, FDI World Dental Federation, has contributed to the action plan, helping to ensure that the strategy is effective and can better meet the diverse needs of different populations.

More information and access to the documentation of the WHO 2023–2030 global oral health agenda, including the resolution on oral health, the global strategy on oral health and the global oral health action plan, can be found here.

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