Products News|Healthy oral health, healthy lifestyle: Pacific region’s commitment to 2030


Healthy oral health, healthy lifestyle: Pacific region’s commitment to 2030

In the Pacific island countries and regions, one in every two children suffers from dental caries,

which is the highest incidence rate in the world.

If dental caries is not treated, it can cause pain and make children feel uncomfortable while eating, speaking, and playing.

Poor oral health can also lead to gum disease and future tooth loss,

further reducing people’s health level and quality of life.

Outside the Pacific region, poor oral health is also a challenge.

Throughout the Western Pacific region of the World Health Organization (WHO),

over 800 million people -42% – suffer from dental caries, severe gum disease, tooth loss, or oral cancer.

In the past three decades, the incidence rate of oral diseases in this area has increased by 30%,

and the poor and vulnerable groups have been particularly affected.

Although most oral diseases can be prevented and treated in the early stages,

the high out of pocket cost of oral health makes it difficult for many families to afford.

Oral health is usually not included in most countries’ universal healthcare (UHC) packages.

However, in 2021,

WHO member states passed a historic resolution on oral health,

calling on countries to include oral health prevention and treatment as part of universal healthcare.

Countries and regions in the Pacific region are working to ensure that everyone enjoys a healthy smile.

“Having good oral health can enhance overall health and well-being at every stage of life,”

said Dr. Saia Ma’u Piukala, Regional Director of the World Health Organization

Global Oral Healthy lifestyle Action Plan: Implications for the Pacific Region

The Global Oral Health Action Plan (2023-2030) of the World Health Organization promotes preventive measures,

early detection, and timely treatment of oral diseases.

The action plan focuses on making oral health a part of universal healthcare, aiming to ensure that

everyone has access to high-quality oral health services without causing economic difficulties.

The action plan also emphasizes the importance of integrating oral health into primary healthcare systems to

improve access to oral health services, especially for vulnerable groups.

“Let us acknowledge the progress made in oral health in the Pacific region and reaffirm our commitment to the Global Oral Health Action Plan, ensuring that everyone has access to the necessary oral health services,” said Dr. Saia Ma’u Piukala.

Everyone has the right to a healthy smile.


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