IFDH President's Report

December 2020

Discussing Oral Health for All

When I accepted my position as President of the International Federation of Dental Hygienists (IFDH) in August 2019, Brisbane, Australia, I had a clear vision of what to do and how to represent and propagate not only IFDH and its goals, but also the main goals of the Dental Hygiene profession worldwide: the promotion of oral health and the prevention of oral diseases by dental hygienists embedded in the dental community.

In order to do so, I was supposed to visit many national and international conferences, but due to the COVID-19 situation, most of them were postponed, cancelled or replaced by virtual meetings.

International virtual meetings like the IADR, ORCA, ADEE and FDI give us a wonderful opportunity to learn about new developments in reserach, education, policies etc., as well as discussions in smaller settings like the ACFF Expert Panel Meeting and the European Oral Health Platform Associate Member Meeting (both discussed below). But, I very much missed the chance to network and to introduce the IFDH and the Dental Hygiene profession, not only to those who are not familiar with IFDH or the profession itself, but also to explain the importance of good oral health and the relation with general health to opinion leaders and policy makers.

Fortunately the development of a COVID-19 vaccine is hopeful and I expect to be able to visit national and international conferences in 2021 in person. In the meantime, IFDH focusses on the virtual IFDH Global Oral Health Summit and IFDH’s 35th Anniversary in June, 2021 (see below). I hope we will meet there in good health and better circumstances.

Alliance for a Cavity-Free Future (ACFF) – Expert Panel Meeting

October 14-16, 2020
The current global focus of ACFF is, among others, supporting and expanding the local ACFF Chapters and aligning on best practice. ACFF organised the fifth annual World Cavity-Free Future Day ‘Smiles across Generations’ with a strong engagement and involvement from the ACFF Chapters (see www.acffglobal.org).

During the Expert Panel Meeting, the “CariesCare Guide Practice Guide”, launched in April 2020 and published in the British Dental Journal, together with a clinical case study ‘Caries OUT’, was presented. E-learning modules with the title “How to Implement CariesCare International in the dental practice” are now available online: https://cariescareinternational.com. I would really like to encourage national Dental Hygiene Associations to collaborate with ACFF Chapters in their part of the world, or if there aren’t any, to start a Chapter in collaboration with the national dental association. A “cavity free future” is after all one of the main goals of preventive oral health care and the dental hygiene profession as well!

European Oral Health Platform (OHP) – Associate Member Meeting

November 23, 2020
During the meeting, it was stated that the COVID-19 crisis continues to have sgnificant impact on oral health and access to care and that ‘it is now time to accelerate prevention and oral health promotion’. The Platform’s 2021 priorities and strategic approach were discussed as well as the 2020 edition of “Health in a Glance: Europe and the EU4Health Programme” (see www.oralhealthplatform.eu).

Dr. Benoit Varenne, Oral Health Programme Officer in the NCD Prevention Department of the World Health Organization (WHO) provided an overview of WHO plans, the place and prioritization of oral health care in the health care system and the economic impact of dental care: the 4th most expensive in health care. Dr. Varenne drew attention to the WHO Global Oral Health Report, expected by the end of March 2021.


IFDH Global Oral Health Summit
& IFDH 35th Anniversary

With much input from our House of Delegates and our sponsors, the IFDH Board of Directors is announcing a 2-phase set of events – virtual and in-person, as the kick-off to the IFDH 35th Anniversary:

IFDH Global Oral Health Summit

Perspectives, Challenges & Insights
on Preventive Oral Health Care

International leaders present their mission and goals concerning oral health, and how the Dental Hygienist fits into the international prevention agenda. This 4-hour summit will be available live and as a recorded event to be made available on the IFDH website.

Part 1:
Saturday, June 26, 2021 (8 am ET, 2 pm CET)
Virtual Seminar

Part 2:
Thursday, August 11, 2022
Dublin Ireland

IFDH Leadership Forum

Tuesday, August 9, 2022
House of Delegates Business Meeting (Day 2)
Dublin Ireland

A one-day program for your organization’s IFDH House of Delegates, current board members and future leaders. Learn from experts on how to advance your leadership skills through strategic thinking and collaboration, integrated with proven principles of personal and organizational management, and Interactive discussions. We will keep you informed when more details are available!

NEW: IFDH Impact Awards
The new IFDH Impact Awards program, to be sponsored by Colgate, will be offered annually and is open to Full Association Members of the IFDH. The awards are based on “your association’s most impactful program which has promoted improved oral health of your country’s citizens during a one-year period.”

The first awards will be based on 2021 programs, and will be presented at ISDH in Dublin, Ireland in August 2022 under the umbrella of the much appreciated IFDH Social Responsibility Program. There will be a total of 3 monetary prizes awarded, based on the membership size of the association. Watch for more details coming soon!

Stay safe, stay healthy.
Corrie Jongbloed, President IFDH