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Global report sets four steps to address oral diseases as 3.5 bn people suffer
A global report set four steps to address oral diseases for which 3.5 billion people are suffering from them worldwide. with 3 out of every 4 affected people living in low- and middle-income countries, global cases of oral diseases have increased by 1 billion over the last 30 years—a clear indication that many people do not have access to prevention and treatment of oral diseases.
The Global Oral Health Status Report – published by the World Health Organization (WHO) – called for adopting a public health approach by addressing common risk factors through promoting a well-balanced diet low in sugars, stopping use of all forms of tobacco, reducing alcohol consumption and improving access to effective and affordable fluoride toothpaste.
It also called for planning oral health services as part of national health and improving integration of oral health services in primary health care as part of universal health coverage.
The report also urged redefining oral health workforce models to respond to population needs and expanding competencies of non-dental healthcare workers to expand oral health service coverage.
It also called strengthening information systems by collecting and integrating oral health data into national health monitoring systems.
“Placing people at the heart of oral health services is critical if we are to achieve the vision of universal health coverage for all individuals and communities by 2030,” said Dr Bente Mikkelsen, WHO Director for Noncommunicable Diseases.
She added that “This report acts as a starting point by providing baseline information to help countries monitor progress of implementation, while also providing timely and relevant feedback to decision-makers at the national level. Together, we can change the current situation of oral health neglect.”
“Oral health has long been neglected in global health, but many oral diseases can be prevented and treated with the cost-effective measures outlined in this report,” said WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “WHO is committed to providing guidance and support to countries so that all people, wherever they live and whatever their income, have the knowledge and tools needed to look after their teeth and mouths, and to access services for prevention and care when they need them.”