Event Precedes UN High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage to Kick-start WHO Global Oral Health Action Plan

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NYU College of Dentistry's World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center for Quality-improvement, Evidence-based Dentistry will host a Sept. 20 event on oral health and universal health coverage on the occasion of the 2nd United Nations High-level Meeting on universal health coverage (Sept. 21) in New York.

The side event, a collaboration with The Lancet, will focus on kick-starting the WHO Global Oral Health Action Plan, a commitment to strengthening and scaling up efforts to include oral health as part of universal health coverage.

The event will feature speakers including WHO Assistant Director-General for Universal Health Coverage Jérôme Salomon and WHO Director of Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health Bente Mikkelsen, as well as innovative approaches to ensuring universal access to essential oral health care and prevention from Egypt, Israel, Malaysia, Tonga, and Canada.

Last year, the WHO released its first-ever Global Oral Health Status Report, which created a comprehensive picture of the burden of oral disease in countries around the world. The report found that nearly half of the world’s population (45% or 3.5 billion people) suffers from oral diseases.

Following the status report, the WHO adopted a Global Oral Health Action Plan with strong support from member states, which calls for 80% of the global population to have access to essential oral health care services by 2030. Currently, only an estimated 23% of population has access to these services.

“Against this backdrop, it is critical that we identify enablers and barriers to accelerating progress in implementing the WHO Global Oral Health Action Plan. Our side event aims to facilitate critical discussion between and among stakeholder groups,” said Habib Benzian, co-director of the WHO Collaborating Center for Quality-improvement, Evidence-based Dentistry at NYU Dentistry. The Center fosters policy dialogue around oral health and the translation of evidence into practice.

The Sept. 20 event is supported by the Ministries of Health from Egypt, Israel, Malaysia, and Tonga, and by The Lancet.

The event will be held both in person (NYU Dentistry, 433 First Avenue, Room 220) and via Zoom webinar. Those interested in attending must register in advance for both in-person and virtual participation. Reporters are invited to attend the event; to register as a journalist and request interviews with high-level government or WHO representatives, please contact rachel.harrison@nyu.edu.

About NYU College of Dentistry

Founded in 1865, New York University College of Dentistry (NYU Dentistry) is the third oldest and the largest dental school in the US, educating nearly 10 percent of the nation’s dentists. NYU Dentistry has a significant global reach with a highly diverse student body. It is the home of the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center for Quality-improvement, Evidence-based Dentistry. WHO Collaborating Centers are designated by the Director-General of WHO as part of an inter-institutional collaborative network of centers worldwide. NYU Dentistry’s WHO Collaborating Center is one of only seven WHO Collaborating Centers in the world. For more, visit: http://dental.nyu.edu/

Press Contact

Rachel Harrison
Rachel Harrison
(212) 998-6797