FDI World Dental Federation is delighted and proud to join forces with its member national dental association (NDA), l’Association Marocaine de Prévention Bucco-dentaire (AMPBD), in organizing the 1st African Regional Dental Congress, set to take place in Marrakesh from 27 to 29 April 2017. This is an important event and a fitting culmination to FDI’s Strategy for Africa, which has now been underway for four years. Furthermore, the Congress will make a huge contribution towards FDI achieving its grand ambitions for dentistry and oral health on the African continent.
True to FDI tradition, the Congress will feature a national and international faculty of world-renowned and distinguished speakers delivering the very highest quality of continuing dental education. As for the venue, Morocco is well situated culturally and geographically to attract not only participants from Africa – its primary target – but also from countries of the Mediterranean region and wider Middle-East.
FDI World Dental Federation, comprising 200 member national dental associations in over 130 countries, is the official representative body for global dentistry and the ‘voice’ of over one million dentists worldwide with the common vision of ‘Leading the World to Optimal Oral Health’.
Education plays a key role in its activities and the annual FDI World Dental Congress is a unique venue for dentists from all regions of the globe to share their expertise and points of view on dental and oral health issues. In addition, FDI’s continuing education programme (CEP) - which is carried out in collaboration with member national dental associations – features numerous courses in all key areas of dentistry in various venues around the world on a regular basis, with one course taking place on average every 10 days.
FDI also targets prevention of oral disease and promotes oral health through a variety of initiatives, most notably its public campaign World Oral Health Day (WOHD), celebrated each year on 20 March. In 2016, WOHD communicated the message ‘Healthy Mouth. Healthy Body’ to an estimated audience of some 135 million worldwide. We will be announcing the preliminary results of World Oral Health Day 2017 campaign ‘Live Mouth Smart’ during the 1st African Regional Dental Congress in Marrakesh.
Furthermore, FDI advocacy emphasizes dentists’ thought leadership in matters pertaining to oral health and stresses the profession’s crucial socio-economic role in key areas such as the self-confidence of the individual and his/her quality of life. Thus, dentists are not only experts in the restoration of oral function; they also play in a key role in perceiving, understanding and supporting the well-being of their patients.
In practice, this involves a dialogue with the patient focusing on prevention and on acquiring an awareness of key aspects of their patients’ lives and the associated risk factors for oral disease. The dentist’s task is to educate, inform, diagnose, treat and maintain; their added value derives from their evolution from highly qualified technician to key actor with responsibility in the overall health of the individual. With this in mind, FDI has just developed a new definition of oral health.
Thus, in 2017, FDI and the AMPBD will have the great pleasure of welcoming oral health professionals to the 1st African Regional Dental Congress in Marrakesh, which will also feature an exhibition. Participants will be able to view a wide range of equipment, materials and products as well as cutting-edge developments and new approaches to excellence in dental practice.
I would like to congratulate our colleagues and friends at AMPBD for this regional initiative and thank them for their efforts over the next few months to ensure its success. I would also like to express the wish that visitors, participants and exhibitors alike will have a rewarding and enriching experience at the 1st African Regional Dental Congress.
Dr Patrick Hescot
President, FDI World Dental Federation