[Global oral health in the international health policy spotlight-challenges and new opportunities for sustainable improvement]
SourceBundesgesundheitsblatt - Gesundheitsforschung - Gesundheitsschutz, 64, 7, (2021), pp. 871-878
Article / Letter to editor
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Bundesgesundheitsblatt - Gesundheitsforschung - Gesundheitsschutz
SubjectRadboudumc 18: Healthcare improvement science RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences
Oral diseases are a significant global health problem across all countries and populations. With about 3.5 billion cases (2017), more people are affected than by any other disease group. The main oral diseases comprise tooth decay of permanent and deciduous teeth, severe periodontal disease, and oral and lip cancer. With a largely unchanged high global prevalence, but significantly growing population sizes, the pressure on health systems is increasing, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.Nonetheless, in many countries oral health has insufficient priority as a key health topic, including the global health policy discourse of German and international stakeholders. One of the fundamental challenges is ensuring universal and equitable access to basic oral healthcare services for all and without financial hardship (Universal Health Coverage).This paper provides an introductory overview of the global trends for the main oral diseases, which are generally characterized by stark inequalities. Opportunities for improving the situation through population-wide risk reduction and preventive approaches, access to oral healthcare, and policy options are highlighted. In addition, a range of relevant global (oral) health topics with potential for tangible change are discussed. Lastly, the reform areas of the Lancet Series on Oral Health from 2019 are presented and recommendations for the German and international global health policy discourse are provided.
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