The number of people benefitting from the charity’s resources continues to grow. Regional and global initiatives being delivered by leading agencies / organisations and institutions are a key factor in this expansion:
The Lancet Commission on Oral Health
A grant has been made to help establish a Lancet Commission on Oral Health.
In July 2019, a ground-breaking oral health series was published in The Lancet. The series highlighted the global public health importance of oral diseases and the need for a radically different policy agenda to tackle this major problem. It comprised two major papers (Peres et al. 2019; Watt et al. 2019), two associated commentaries (Beaglehole and Beaglehole 2019; Kearns and Bero 2019), a perspective piece on the historical origins of modern dentistry (Barnett 2019) and a profile of a UK dental public health researcher (Davies 2019). Oral health was also the focus of the editorial. Never before in the 196-year history of the Lancet has oral health been given such a high profile.
The series generated considerable interest and led to the decision to establish The Lancet Commission on Oral Health. Twenty-seven experts, from 16 countries, engaged in academic research, policymaking, health and human rights advocacy, and clinical dentistry, have been appointed as commissioners. Their work will focus on four key priorities:
- Global advocacy and policy development: explore best ways to raise the political and policy profile of oral health and integrate oral health within the wider policy and development global frameworks
- Equity, social justice and oral health: develop improved monitoring systems to assess oral health equity, review evidence of effectiveness of interventions to reduce oral health inequalities, and inform policy development to promote oral health equity
- Health system reform, governance and transformation: assist policy and decision makers develop robust and resilient (oral) health care systems across the globe including human resources, payment systems, integrated delivery models, appropriate technology, and minimising environmental impact
- Commercial determinants: highlight and expose the influence of industry and profit motives on all aspects of oral health including education, research, service delivery and policy, and develop appropriate means of minimising this influence and improving the transparency of industry relationships with oral health stakeholders
Oral health related birth cohort (OHRBC) studies
The Foundation was proud to support a workshop held in Bangkok, Thailand, that brought together, from five continents, 12 researchers that had been closely engaged in oral health birth cohort studies (OHBCS).
The meeting, the first of its kind, provided the opportunity to consider:
- In conducting such studies, how the main obstacles might be overcome
- How cutting-edge analytical methods could enhance the understanding of the scientific evidence gained
- The principal areas of OHRBC studies on which members of the group had worked
- Producing a scientific article to be submitted to the Journal of Dental Research (JDR).
Since the meeting, a manuscript entitled 'Oral health birth cohort studies: achievements, challenges and potential', has been published in the Journal of Dental Research.
Another important outcome of the workshop was the decision to establish an OHBCS consortium; the aim being to establish a long-lasting international network that would facilitate collaborative research, help strengthen the design of such studies, and promote the implementation of OHBCS, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.