The Global Oral Health Conference in Taiwan wrapped up May 4 in the central city of Taichung, strengthening international cooperation on integrating dental services into general health promotion strategies.
Co-organized by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, the two-day event was themed Total Patient Care. The conference drew more than 300 academics, experts and officials from home and abroad to discuss policies and practices across such areas as betel nut and smoking cessation, comprehensive periodontal care and denture subsidies for seniors.
Keynote speakers included Dr. Wang Ying-wei, director-general of the MOHW Health Promotion Administration; World Federation of Public Health Association Director Bettina Borisch; and Raman Bedi, co-chair of the WFPHA Oral Health Working Group.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, MOHW Minister Chen Shih-chung said the government is committed to providing comprehensive dental care to citizens and residents of all ages. By assisting local and foreign experts in sharing experiences, the conference is expected to further bolster oral treatment delivery in Taiwan as well as deepen international awareness of the nation’s high-quality medical services, he added.
Following the remarks, the minister and other dignitaries, including Borisch, Bedi and Taiwan Dental Association President Hsieh Shang-ting, inked the Taiwan Declaration on the Integration of Oral and General Health.
The signatories pledged to expand public health education initiatives; enact legislation for enhancing tobacco controls and tackling alcohol abuse; and include oral health screenings and preventive services in primary care networks.
According to the MOHW, periodontal disease is correlated with major public health challenges like dementia and diabetes. As Taiwan is an aged society, the government is leaving no stone unturned in boosting communication among experts and officials from home and abroad on integrating oral care into public health strategies, the ministry added.
Related efforts include the International Summit of Geriatric Dentistry for Aging Society in Taiwan. Held in Geneva, the conference was staged on the sidelines of last year’s World Health Assembly, during which a declaration on fostering collaboration in combating oral health problems among aging populations was concluded, the MOHW said. (CPY-E)