The World Health Organization (WHO) action plan recognizes an association between oral disease and cardiovascular diseases, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes—the 4 biggest contributors to global deaths due to noncommunicable diseases in 2008. The WHO Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases 2013–2020 mentions oral diseases as one of many “conditions of public health importance that are closely associated with four major noncommunicable diseases.”
The action plan also notes that a comprehensive response for the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases must take oral diseases into account. One of the proposed individual interventions calls for “oral cancer screening in high-risk groups (e.g. tobacco users, betel-nut chewers) linked with timely treatment.”
FDI president Dr. Orlando Monteiro da Silva commented, “This is a considerable achievement for our profession and a milestone towards the inclusion of oral health in global health.”
The plan was adopted by WHO member states on May 27 at the 66th World Health Assembly held in Geneva, Switzerland.
Visit the WHO website for details of the global action plan for the prevention and control of noncommunicable disease.