IFDH President's Report

March 2021

Discussing Oral Health for All

Now that the global rollout of COVID-19 vaccines has begun, there is new hope to fight the pandemic. Nevertheless, all major events like the International Dental Show (Germany) and EuroPerio10 (Copenhagen) have been cancelled for 2021 and the symposia of IADR and FDI are replaced by virtual meetings. I sincerely hope that we will be able to meet again in person in the fall of 2021!

Earlier, IFDH encouraged each member country to engage with their government health officials to ensure Dental Hygienists – being frontline health workers – as priority in the vaccination programs. See our member summary to date.

A study among US Dental Hygienists showed that only 3.1 % (n=149) of the respondents had ever tested positive or been diagnosed with COVID 19. The majority of the respondents (99%; n=3,328) reported their primary dental practice had enhanced infection prevention or control efforts in response to the pandemic. Although circumstances and level of PPE supplies available differ from country to country, our earlier statement does not apply to all dental hygienists. See more.

Preparing for our virtual IFDH Global Oral Health Summit (June 2021), we are curious about the WHO Global Oral Health Report (expected this month) “Achieving Oral Health for All by 2030” as part of WHO’s NCD and UHC Agendas.

The same goal – “Oral Health for All” – is described in FDI’s new vision document “Vision 2030”. The report is contructed around three pillars, each with a major goal. In brief, by 2030:

  • Essential oral health services are integrated into healthcare in every country and appropriate quality oral health care becomes available, accessible and affordable for all;
  • Oral and general person-centred healthcare are integrated, leading to more effective prevention and management of oral diseases and improvd health and well-being;
  • Oral health professionals will collaborate with a wide range of health workers to deliver sustainable, health-needs-based, and people centred healthcare.

I hope we can discuss both documents during our Summit in June and by doing so, make more Dental Hygienists aware of the role they can play to reduce the global burden of oral diseases and oral health inequalities. We believe that the solution to many of the oral health problems lies in the promotion of oral health, as well as general health, and the prevention of oral diseases – the core business of Dental Hygienists!

The Summit will also be the start of our 35th Anniversary year. In this special year for IFDH, I am happy to announce and welcome our 35th member, the Belgium Dental Hygienists Association – 35 in 35 and growing!

Stay safe, stay healthy.
Corrie Jongbloed, President IFDH