IFDH President's Report:

December 2022

Reflections and Wishes

As we approach the end of 2022, we find ourselves reflecting on the successes and challenges of the past year. We had hoped to see the Covid virus put to rest, but unfortunately, we are still faced with the day to day reality of providing oral health care with the added threat of Covid 19 transmission in our workplace. We did, however, enjoy a “face to face” international symposium in Ireland in August and hopefully the conference world will open up even more.

Virtual meetings have their place and at times, are the only way to meet. My experience has been that the in-person meetings allow for collegial interaction on a more robust level and we find ourselves discussing the topics of presentations over a coffee after the meetings have ended. Unlike virtual meetings, on a flat screen, that end abruptly and further discussion isn’t possible. My wish for the new year is that our world opens up even more and we find ourselves sitting side by side hearing the latest news in the oral health care world.


Supporting the WHO Resolution on Oral Health

We have collaborated with the European Federation of Dental Hygienists on a joint statement contributing to the newly released draft of the steps to success from the World Health Organization to reduce the burden of oral disease. The WHO Steps to Success final document is scheduled to be released in the new year with guidance on achieving the goal of reduction of oral disease. As Dental Hygienists, we are key in the journey to reduce the presence of poor oral health.

Realizing that only 20% of our global citizens carry the burden of 80% of oral disease, calls us to action as key providers of preventive oral health care. Access to care is impacted by many factors with financial ability being one, but geographical location can also be a huge factor in accessing oral care services.

We can come together as 35 countries and look to our world to identify the areas of greatest need and also within ourselves to see if there are areas in our own location that may be lacking in access to oral care providers. Further to this, we hope to provide opportunities for our members to come to the assistance of other nations in reducing their oral disease burden by bringing the message of daily oral health care to their area. Watch our website and the future e-news messages for your chance to get involved.


Impact Award Opportunities for Your Organization

We know you are all very busy and have been making an impact in our profession. Why not share your achievements with your IFDH colleagues. Our Impact Awards, sponsored by Colgate, are designed to recognize our members that are going above and beyond the day-to-day activities of a national association. There are three categories of award recognizing countries based on their number of members. When you let us know what you are doing you are also inspiring others to join with you in creating activities that have an Impact on the profession of Dental Hygiene.

Welcome Our New Website

Wonderful NEWS!!!!! Our new website is up and running. Drop by to see the freshly designed format and catch up on the latest developments at IFDH. This has been a year long project with many Board and staff members working tirelessly to transfer and update the countless items of IFDH business and history. I know you will find the layout easy to navigate and I believe it elevates our Federation’s presence on the web. A big thank you to everyone for their input and expertise.

My Virtual Journey Continues

After leaving the warm south Pacific region of the globe, I was anxious to keep the climate mild and headed for the Mediterranean.

I stopped by the Israel Association of Dental Hygienists web page and our delegates Sharon Freidman and Dikla Barzilai. I enjoyed the many public information articles discussing brushing, toothpastes, floss and how it works. Seeing the history going back to 1979 with the first dental hygiene graduates and shortly thereafter, the birth of your association, was quite interesting and having the English translation button definitely helped:)

I then turned my mouse to Malta and visited their Facebook page. Emma Schembri and Mary Jane Galea represent Malta on our House of Delegates and they are great supporters of IFDH information on their page. There is an interesting course to receive a degree in health science for health professionals at the University of Malta. I am sure Dental Hygienists pursuing this education would benefit the profession as we strive to reduce the burden of oral disease through public health initiatives.

A short slide across the desk and I arrived in Italy, to the smiling faces of Antonia Abbinante and Enrica Scagnetto. It was beautiful to see the photo of you both with our past president Corrie Jongbloed Zoet. The Italian Dental Hygienists are a busy group with conferences and continuing education. I was very glad to see the research article on the perioperative mouth rinses in relation to control of the Covid 19 virus. When Covid 19 became a reality for us we tried our best to protect ourselves and our patients and reviewing the literature to assess if some measures were effective, or not, is invaluable. Bravo!

I was enjoying the area so much I stayed for one more visit and I was greeted by House of Delegate members Maria de Fatima Duarte and Sandra Ribeiro Graca from Portugal. I wish I had been able to attend your Congress in 2022 – the video presentation was excellent. I loved the music, the videography and the variety of speakers looked so interesting. Then of course, the smiling faces of your members as they greeted each other kept me smiling as well.

I guess it’s time to rest my weary eyes and let the memories of my visit keep me company for now. You are doing a remarkable service to our profession and I invite everyone to visit each other and allow that international feeling to engulf you. Remember, we are all under one big internet sky…

Until next time I remind you

Be the Dental Hygienist You know You Are!

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