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Global Oral Health Conference at COP26 Glasgow

03 November 2021

The Health Argument for Climate Action WHO 2021

Integrating Sustainability, Climate Change, and Planetary Health into Educational Programmes for Health Workforce Training

Discussions are taking place this week at COP26 Glasgow about integrating Sustainability, Climate Change and Planetary Health into Oral Health and how to link into the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.

According to ‘Youth for Sustainable Oral Health’, 4 priorities to make oral health more sustainable should include UHC, climate change and planetary health, education and people, digital health and artificial intelligence.

Speakers emphasised that most oral diseases are preventable and there is a need to change the perception of the patient, I.e. they should not expect to get gum disease – re-educate the patient with new expectations.  Far more oral health prevention is required with more oral health professionals going into the community to support this.

It was pointed out that the WHO Oral Health Resolution puts a lot of emphasis on inequalities and that there needs to be much more integration of oral health into overall healthcare.

'Oral health problems lead to a lot of medical problems'

- Professor Jeremy Bagg Emeritus Professor, University of Glasgow. Global Health Director RCPSG

The COP26 special report on climate change and health: the health argument for climate action has been published with 10 Recommendations

Commit to a healthy recovery

Our health is not negotiable

Harness the health benefits of climate action

Build health resilience to climate risks.

Create energy systems that protect and improve climate and health.

Reimagine urban environments, transport, and mobility.

Protect and restore nature as the foundation of our health.

Promote healthy, sustainable, and resilient food systems.

Finance a healthier, fairer, and greener future to save lives.

Listen to the health community and prescribe urgent climate action.

The full report can be read here

Dr Brett Duane, Dublin Dental Universtiy Hospital led discussions on the need to keep patients healthy without affecting planetary health -  innovative ‘new ways of thinking and working’ around sustainability in delivery of oral and dental care, with a focus on essential medicines, minimal intervention and disease prevention at the session on Climate Change, Oral Health and Sustainability, Tuesday 2nd November.