This summer in the EU the EU4Health 2021-2027 programme has been called to focus on preventive health, while at the international level the World Health Organisation (WHO) has just started to organise a new consultation (12 August/16 September) to complete its Global Oral Health Action Plan.
The plan will be applicable from 2023 to 2030.
The aim is to achieve “universal health coverage for all individuals and communities by 2030“.
The coverage target is “access to essential quality health services“, which includes “oral health promotion and interventions for the prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of oral diseases and conditions throughout the life cycle“.
The plan submitted for consultation includes :
- a set of possible actions (less than 100) that are offered to the needs of the states according to their oral health status,
- a set of benchmarks (about 40) to monitor the most important progress and to compare the national situation with a set of targets to be achieved by 2030.
The consultation on these is divided between :
- the 194 WHO member countries,
- the WHO secretariat responsible for coordinating and monitoring the action plan;
- international & official partners such as the FDI, which has been advising the WHO for years, in particular with its document Vision for 2030 whose 3 priorities have been actually incorporated into the draft WHO plan, namely (1) the integration of oral health into primary health care, 2) the emphasis put on oral prevention, 3) the use of task sharing among the dental team and among healthcare providers, with the dental practitioner being presented in this Vision as the conductor of oral health care;
- the civil society, being strongly featured as partner in the implementation of the action plan (at national scale as in the case of domestic dental regulators or at regional level as with FEDCAR or instance);
- the private sector (e.g. insurance companies, the food industry).
It is therefore an exceptional consultation in terms of the breadth of topics covered, the number of stakeholders consulted, but also the ambition to monitor the oral health situation country by country : the collection of indicators of the national oral health status will take place in 2025, 2027, 2029/2030 and will start in 2023. This WHO initiative is not intended to remain a dead letter.