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This is a statement made at the 148th session of the WHO Executive Board on Agenda Item 6: Political declaration of the third high-level meeting of the General Assembly on the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases by the World Heart Federation and members of the Global Coalition.
Honourable chair, distinguished delegates,
As Members of the Global Coalition for Circulatory Health, the World Heart Federation, International Diabetes Federation, International Society for Nephrology, and World Stroke Organization thank you for the opportunity to make this statement.
The Global Coalition for Circulatory Health brings together international, regional and national stakeholders in circulatory health to drive the urgent action needed to combat heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and diabetes, the world’s greatest killers. Yet we do not seek to tackle these problems in isolation: studies have shown that oral and circulatory health are connected, and people who have poor oral health (such as gum disease or tooth loss) have higher rates of cardiovascular problems such as heart attack or stroke. The spread of bacteria from the mouth to other parts of the body through the bloodstream can result in illnesses such as endocarditis, and other cardiovascular conditions, such as atherosclerosis and stroke, have also been linked to inflammation caused by oral bacteria. In addition, people with diabetes are at increased risk of poor oral health as a consequence of a higher concentration of glucose in their saliva, and many circulatory diseases may lead to disabilities that impair the possibility to maintain good oral health.
We therefore welcome the Director-General’s report and thank Member States for the proposed resolution on oral health. Achieving better oral health through integration with NCD and UHC agendas is critical to the successful delivery of the SDGs.
As Members of the Global Coalition for Circulatory Health, we support the resolution and its call to develop a global oral health strategy by 2022 and an action plan by 2023. We encourage Member States to adopt the proposed resolution to secure the health and well-being of populations and recognize that oral health conditions affect over 3.5 billion people worldwide – disproportionately impacting those from low- and middle-income countries and marginalized groups.
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