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UN High-level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage: Oral Health Side Event

Lancet Series on Oral Health

Leaving No One Behind:

Integrating Universal Health Coverage and Essential Oral Health Care for All

Universal Health Coverage (UHC) is part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and among the key health commitments of United Nations Member States. As part of the growing international momentum towards UHC, the United Nations General Assembly is staging the 1st High-level Meeting on UHC on 23 September 2019.

This provides a unique opportunity to accelerate global advocacy for oral health, knowledge sharing and translation of evidence into practice through a side event, jointly organized by the NYU College of Dentistry's WHO Collaborating Center for Quality-improvement, Evidence-based Dentistry and The Lancet, which published its first ever Series on Oral Health in July 2019, alerting the global health community to the largely unrecognized challenges of oral diseases worldwide.

The event will be co-sponsored by the governments of Egypt, Japan, and Thailand, as well as the World Economic Forum, and is supported by the Henry Schein Cares Foundation.

Objectives and scope of the side event:

The side-event will comprise three parts, all complemented by ample interaction time with the participants:

  1. The global oral health challenges
    Experts and co-authors of the Lancet Series will provide an executive overview of the challenges of oral diseases existing globally, the limitations of the current health systems and the need to consider essential oral health care and prevention as integral to the UHC agenda. Policy options for upstream and population-based interventions/actions are suggested.

  2. Experiences & innovations in UHC & Oral Health
    Representatives and experts of selected UN Member States will showcase innovative approaches to ensuring universal access to essential oral health care and prevention. The session will highlight implementation challenges but also positive impacts and benefits. The framework for an oral health investment case will be discussed as a basis for accelerated and evidence-based country planning.
  3. Partnerships & intersectoral collaboration to accelerate progress
    Invited panelists representing different sectors and society groups will explore the need, the opportunities and the challenges of partnerships and intersectoral collaboration in order to accelerate progress toward integrating and strengthening oral health as part of UHC. A moderated discussion with the audience will take place.

Key Contacts

Dr. Habib Benzian
Research Professor
NYU College of Dentistry & NYU College of Global Public Health
Associate Director Global Health & Policy
WHO Collaborating Center for Quality Improvement & Evidence-based Dentistry
NYU College of Dentistry

Dr. Richard Niederman
Professor and Chair, Department of Epidemiology & Health Promotion
Director, WHO Collaborating Center for Quality Improvement & Evidence-based Dentistry
NYU College of Dentistry
433 First Avenue, New York, NY 10010


Side event collaborators

Co-organizers: NYU Dentistry | The Lancet

Co-sponsors: Government of Japan | Government of Thailand | Government of Egypt | The World Economic Forum

Supporter: Henry Schein Cares Foundation