Oral health

Planning conference for oral health in the African region, April 2004

Nairobi, Kenya, 15-16 April 2004 - Organized by the FDI World Dental Federation and co-sponsored by the WHO Oral Health Programme

Conference declaration

A call for action

The participants at the "FDI World Dental Federation/World Health Organization Planning Conference for Oral Health in the African Region" representing 48 countries (36 from AFRO, 12 from EMRO) welcomed the initiative to examine the impact of oral health problems and their relation to general health in the region and endorsed the aims of the conference.

The participants emphasised that oral health is an integral part of general health subject to the same determinants. They expressed concern about the growing oral disease burden and disparity in health in and between countries in Africa, as well as low availability and access to programmes and services for oral health.

In particular they took note of the following valuable documents:

The participants hereby affirm their commitment to general and oral health as a basic human right and resolve to work together emphasising the following areas:

  • The development of appropriate oral health policies at national and local level backed by a sustainable oral health dataset to facilitate subsequent evaluation
  • The pursuit of environmental changes and the promotion of lifestyles to the benefit of health
  • The support of affordable preventive strategies, services and the strengthening and rationalisation of human resources for oral heath
  • Policies enabling all people access to an appropriate locally determined programme of essential oral health care that includes pain relief, oral disease control and promotion of oral health and the integration of oral health care in primary health care programmes in an environment that is free from the transmission of infectious disease.

The participants commend the partnership between the FDI and WHO for this initiative and call upon all parties to use their best endeavours to support improvements of oral health.