A personal message from the FDI President

December 29, 2011

Dear colleagues and members of FDI,

It is now three months since our meeting in Mexico and the occasion when I took over the FDI presidency. During the intervening period, I have, along with members of the Council and Executive Committee as well as the Executive Director, put my best efforts into ensuring FDI is perceived as a reliable, trustworthy and venerable institution by our members, stakeholders and corporate partners.

I have had the good fortune to visit a number of countries as the federation’s representative, among them India, Uruguay, Brazil, Argentina and the United States (Las Vegas and New York), an also a few FDI institutional high level stakeholders, such as WHO and IFPMA. Everywhere, I was impressed by the tremendous prestige that FDI enjoys, the goodwill it inspires and the high honour in which it is held.

I also had opportunity to share our vision with ministers, officials and the leadership and members of our national dental associations; and heighten their awareness of the latest international trends and best practice with regard to access to oral health, which today increasingly involves all medical professions within a context of holistic care.

It is heartening to see that, in the field of dental medicine, FDI is able to maintain its high profile among government officials, external stakeholders, corporations, foundations and other NGO’s. It is this high profile that contributes to the federation’s added value during this period of global economic crisis.

As an institution with worldwide outreach, FDI is in a unique position to make things happen. Its initial impact may appear slight but, just like a stone falling on the surface of a lake, the long-term effect of FDI actions ripple out to all parts of the globe

Whether in the field of Noncommunicable Diseases, the Global Caries Initiative, international policy on amalgam/mercury within UNEP, Continuing Education, the Annual Congress and Vision 2020, a recent project mapping oral health for the next nine years, we can be sure that FDI will, with the support of its members and partners, continue to have an impact and continue to make a difference.

With FDI staff

With FDI staff

Next year, 2012, will be crucial, not only because we will be holding our 100th Annual World Dental Congress in Hong Kong, SAR China, but also because we will be taking major steps towards achieving our aims within the context of the overarching FDI vision of ‘Leading the World to Optimal Oral Health’.

During this special festive season, let me, on behalf of the Council, Committees and Staff, take this opportunity to wish you good luck and happiness and reiterate our firm commitment to fulfilling the high expectations of our members, our partners and, most of all, people around the world for whom we are determined to make FDI’s vision of “optimal oral health” a reality.

Orlando Monteiro da Silva

FDI President

FDI at the WHO

December 28, 2011

FDI is an NGO with official relations with WHO. In that capacity, we had a high level meeting in WHO headquarters, in Geneva, the 21nd December. I attended it with Jean-Luc Eiselé, FDI executive director, and Julian Fisher, FDI Associate Director, Science & Professional Affairs. Of course oral health promotion was the main topic of discussion.

From left, Poul Erik Petersen, WHO Global Oral Health Programme, myself, Ala Alwan, WHO Chronic Diseases Prevention and Management coordinator, and Jean-Luc Eiselé, FDI executive director.

From left, Poul Erik Petersen, WHO Global Oral Health Programme, myself, Ala Alwan, WHO Chronic Diseases Prevention and Management coordinator, and Jean-Luc Eiselé, FDI executive director.

CNOP’s delegation met Assembly Republic’s president

December 21, 2011

Last December I met with the president of the Assembly of the Republic, Assunção Esteves, which is the assembly that represents all Portuguese citizens.

The main issue of our conversation was the importance of the qualified professions in Portugal, once that I was there as president of the National Council of the Professional Orders (CNOP).

CNOP’s delegation met Assembly Republic’s president

FDI at the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers (IFPMA) reception

December 15, 2011

The next stage, which IFPMA has agreed to support, is to test and assess the NCD Toolkit in the field, that is, to answer the question: can health practitioners around the world use it in their daily work to educate patients on the risks of behaviours and to assess their current exposure to NCDs. 

My speech at the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA) reception, held in Geneva last 1st December:

Thank you for your kind invitation: it is indeed a great pleasure to be here today to address and touch base with IFPMA, one of FDI’s most valued partners and friends.

Last time I spoke to you was on 7 July, at the very well attended IFPMA reception during ECOSOC at the United Nations. That, of course, was also an early stage of what turned out to be a highly successful and visible campaign on noncommunicable diseases.

From left, Eduardo Pisani, IFPMA director general, and David Brennan, IFPMA president and CEO of AstraZeneca.

From left, Eduardo Pisani, IFPMA director general, and David Brennan, IFPMA president and CEO of AstraZeneca.

It was particularly important for FDI to lead the NCD campaign: it meant we could help our partners in the World Health Professions Alliance in their efforts to accomplish goals in the field of public health.

For FDI, it meant that we could achieve a long-standing need—and personal goal of mine—to better integrate dental medicine into the general practice of medicine. This is particularly important in NCDs where dentists will be called upon to play a key role identifying tell-tale signs of high risk behaviour, such as tobacco use, as well as early signs of chronic illness.

In effect, practitioners in oral health are one of the few medical professions that patients visit routinely for a check-up and whose work involves visual inspection of the mouth and gums

In addition, as IFPMA and its members well know, saliva testing is becoming increasingly used as a means of disease diagnosis and monitoring, due to its convenience, accuracy and non-invasive nature – and, once again, dental practitioners are in privileged position.

Just to recapitulate, the campaign itself involved two major processes: the first was educational and included the development of a health improvement scorecard and scorecard user manuals targeting health professionals, on the one hand, and patients and public, on the other.

I think we all agree that the resulting product was pleasing to the eye, conveniently packaged, and well-conceived in terms of content and usability.

We will know the answers to those questions during the next few months of field testing.

The other part of the campaign was to launch the toolkit prior to and during the United Nations Summit on NCDs in New York. We did the launch in three places and in my presence, although my presence at the Geneva event was via a recorded message!

Both I and former FDI President addressed some 40 participants at a media launch in Mexico City. The location was aptly chosen because WHO had already held a high-level regional consultation of the Americas on NCDs in February of this year, which meant the media were already sensitized to the issue.

Finally, the toolkit was presented at number of side events held during the UN Summit itself, including the event ‘Putting the teeth into NCDs’ sponsored by the Republic of Tanzania, Australia and Sweden – and, of course, the IFPMA reception, held at the United Kingdom Mission to the UN in New York.

Further, I was able to introduce WHPA and the Toolkit as a prime example of inter-professional collaboration on NCDs during two of the parallel sessions at the World Conference on Social Determinants of Health last October in Rio.

One of the sessions was moderated by Jorge Venegas, Ministry of Health of Uruguay; the other, in the presence of Dr. José Luiz Amaral, President-Elect of the World Medical Association, was entitled ‘the Changing the role of public health’.

These have been exciting times and, from the point of view of FDI, an excellent opportunity to promote our product and consolidate our working relationship with IFPMA.

For our part, we very much look forward to the field testing, to be carried out jointly with our WHPA partners – and of course, to our continued excellent relations with our friends at IFPMA.

Thank you for your attention!

Noites de Medicina Dentária: “Ser Médico Dentista”

December 13, 2011

“Ser Médico Dentista” foi o tema da palestra que proferi nas Noites de Medicina Dentária, evento organizado pelo Núcleo de Medicina Dentária da Associação de Estudantes do ISCS-N (CESPU), no último dia 5 de dezembro, no Campus Universitário de Gandra, Paredes.

Esteve presente uma vasta audiência de alunos dos vários anos do mestrado integrado em medicina dentária. Marcaram presença também vários docentes e responsáveis da CESPU.

Apesar de fortemente engripado, foi para mim um enorme prazer partilhar com a audiência a minha experiência do que é “Ser médico dentista” e interagir numa animada sessão de comentários com alguns dos presentes. Os meus agradecimentos ao Núcleo de Medicina Dentária da Associação de Estudantes do ISCS-N (CESPU).