A personal message from the FDI President

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

One Response to A personal message from the FDI President

  1. Veronika Sumbera says:

    Dear Orlando,
    Beautiful message!!

    After reading your message it came to my mind an email that I received in the past days that still stuck in my mind and I will like to share it with you and with FDI community since maybe you can have the possibility to do something about it, and as you mention in your letter you have the 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.
    FDI is able to maintain its high profile among government officials, external stakeholders, corporations, foundations and other NGO’s. 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, just the same as the effect on PREVENTION!

    Here is a piece of it:
    Veronika,
    Could you resend me the simplest pamphlet you have in Spanish about good Oral Health? I want to use it for my Amazon village in Peru, who has suddenly developed dental problems because the water is so bad they kids drink sugared soda’s!. We are putting in a clean drinking water system, but too late for these kids.
    They are fighting parasites, malnutrition, cholera, malaria, yellow fever, etc., so this new eruption of dental disease is just one more problem. In the nine years I’ve been going to the Amazon I’ve never seen dental disease there, but the kids now have access to sugared cola and Coca Cola is advertising. It’s cheaper and safer than the water.

    So, during these Christmas days, it will be nice if we can take a moment to think about what it can be possible to do to make a difference in people’s health around the world…
    I imagine, that most of us are enjoying a beautiful days with our families some at home others on vacation, but in general, most of us are the “lucky ones” meanwhile in some parts in the world there are people not having the same opportunities as us, some less that others, but at least we have the privilege to have freedom, health access, knowledge and education,
    I loved to read that you add the word “medicine” in our field, since it involves not only the “technical” part of dentistry. Medicine is the science and art of healing. It encompasses a variety of health care practices evolved to maintain and restore health by the prevention and treatment of illness.

    I am wondering if we as a community of professionals can do something about it, if organizations like FDI and other Oral Health Organizations have the possibility to take action in this kind of circumstances with emphasis on policies and measures that will promote healthy and sustainable communities rather than narrowly defined economic growth. We use to “mend the parts” as they fail, rather than seeking out and securing the causes of health, which includes also our environment.

    We are facing many crisis, but our Health as well as our Environment are truly the ones most precious values on earth, and yet there are some realities that are destroying children’s and population’s future, and if we do not make a shift in our choices we all will pay the consequences as we are already seeing. We should see beyond technological fixes and seeing things in more integrated way. In this time of “crisis’ where seems that everything is falling apart it might be the exactly opportunity to raise some questions and see beyond our teeth and mouths…

    Everything in health and nature is interconnected, we must see the “whole picture” of the problem and do not approach it thinking that it is only a “dental problem”.

    Thinking on the beauty of the Amazon and the harmony and balance that we find in nature, and how these people were attuned to the ecological realities of their environment, and they understood how to sustainably manage the rainforest to suit their needs and knowing that now they are facing this “Western or modern reality” where seems that profits are the unique propose of life breaks my heart.

    Hope that we as a community of professionals can lead people in 2012 with better choices and not misleading information that benefit some profits or political interests instead of providing the best scientific evidence possible for their health.

    I wish to all of you a triple “H” 2012!!!!
    Healthy Happy, and in Harmony 2012!

    Warmly,
    Veronika Sumbera C.
    “A Tireless of Oral Health Prevention”

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