My taking office ceremony as FDI president took place yesterday, 14th September, in Mexico City. It’s an exciting new step. I’m very grateful for your support. Please read my speech below.
Ladies and gentlemen
When I attended my first FDI Congress in Paris in 2000, I did not imagine that, 11 years later I would be here, addressing my colleagues in a few days at the Opening Ceremony as FDI President.
It’s a moment of great emotion for me and I would like to take this opportunity to thank those who have supported me along the way, my family, my friends, and my colleagues from the Portuguese Dental Association, Ordem dos Médicos Dentistas, who supported my candidacy.
The work of each president is to lead, strengthen and update policy and strategy in response to new social, political, economic and technological developments. Here are some of my thoughts:
For decades, the dental profession – dental medicine as it should be designated – has limited its scope to the “operative or restorative” approach to dentistry. Today, it is generally agreed that we must move closer to the medical sphere., especially as co-related classic areas of dental medicine, education, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation demand this approach:
Why? Three reasons
- One, a more and more invasive approach in dental treatment and rehabilitation as well as FDI’s strategic vision of leading the world to optimal oral health;
- Two, population ageing in some areas of the world; an increased number of medically compromised patients; and increased awareness of patient safety issues;
- And the third reason: the unequivocal link between noncommunicable diseases like cancer, cardio vascular and respiratory diseases and diabetes with tooth decay and periodontal diseases.
In fact, after this Congress, I will travel to New York to attend the United Nations Summit on NCDs. I will also be there to for the UN launch of an NCD Action Toolkit that FDI has developed, demonstrating its commitment to work through partnerships such as the World Health Professions Alliance.
As for me:
- My first commitment is to ensure that FDI intensifies its great work with its private sector partners, for example in our Landmark programme Live.Learn.Laugh, or community-based oral health programmes in Africa.
- My second is to identify ways to complement FDI’s considerable experience in the field of continuing education and ensure FDI continues to fulfil this great tradition.
- My third commitment is a personal goal as the first Portuguese President: to better integrate the millions of inhabitants of Portuguese-speaking communities of the world into the work of FDI (once in Portuguese, once in English)
It is my personal ambition to support FDI in its efforts to lead them, and the world population in general, to optimal oral health.