BANGKOK, Thailand, 24 September 2015 – The Alliance for a Cavity-Free Future (ACFF) held its sixth annual summit at the FDI World Dental Congress, delivering a report on the Alliance and presenting on issues impacting oral health, including the recently revised World Health Organization (WHO) sugar intake guidelines and the implications of these around caries prevention and management efforts. The ACFF also celebrated the recipients of the inaugural ACFF Champions Award, which commends the work of ACFF Chapters whose programs help drive impactful change in their local communities and beyond.
Most notably, the ACFF launched their 24th local Chapter during this year’s Summit. Dr. Prathip Phantumvanit, Co-Chair of the newly formed ACFF Thailand Chapter, of the Faculty of Dentistry, Thammasat University, Thailand, who also works with the FDI World Dental Federation, officially kicked off the launch ceremony and representatives from the Pediatric Association of Thailand, Ministry of Health, Thai Society of Pediatric Dentistry and various dental schools signed a declaration committing to the goals of the ACFF.
“The FDI Annual World Dental Congress, which each year brings together oral health leaders, advocates and members of the community for an important global discussion on topics such as promoting oral health and caries prevention and management, is the ideal venue for us to host the official launch of the Thailand ACFF Chapter,” said Dr. Phantumvanit. “We are excited to be joining the ever growing assembly of ACFF Chapters worldwide and working together towards achieving a cavity-free future.”
Since launching globally in 2010, the ACFF has founded local Chapters in regions across the globe, spanning Asia, Europe, Central and Latin America, Australasia and Africa. Given the incredible progress of the ACFF globally, this year’s summit marked the inaugural ACFF Champions Award by recognizing two local ACFF Chapters which excelled in their efforts to create a lasting impact in their communities and beyond. The recipients of this year’s award, the Colombian and Pan-European ACFF Chapters, have each received a monetary prize which may be used by the Chapter to complete or evolve their winning projects and to further support their local Chapter activities. The prizewinning initiatives from the Chapters showed great variation in their design.
The Pan-European ACFF Chapter has undertaken efforts to expand collaboration between organizations across Europe and driven meaningful dialogue with various stakeholders from public, policy, media, patient and dental professional audiences. The Chapter has developed an impressive library of communications tools to help increase caries prevention efforts and the overall goals of the ACFF including public surveys and a European Union health toolkit.
Over the past five years, the ACFF Chapter in Colombia has committed to working jointly towards adapting the global ACFF goals while focusing on improving early childhood oral health. The program, supported by community engagement and collaboration with stakeholders, ensures measurable success in caries prevention for young children.
“The work being done by the local ACFF Chapters showcases a true commitment to our collective goal of a cavity-free future,” said Dr. Nigel Pitts, Global Chairman of the ACFF, and Director of the Dental Innovation and Translation Centre, King’s College London Dental Institute. “Learning from our colleagues, sharing best practices and celebrating achievements is critical to impacting change in how caries can be prevented. We are enthusiastic to see the ACFF Champions Award program grow in future years and help reinforce our shared commitment to addressing the global problem of caries.”
Since its establishment in 2010, the Alliance for a Cavity-Free Future has increased its global presence to 24 Chapters, including Australia, Brazil, Central America, Central Eastern Europe, China, Colombia, India, Mexico, Philippines, Russia, South Africa, Turkey and Venezuela amongst others. Additional Chapters continue to launch including the planned launches of the ‘Canada-United States’ and ‘Nordic’ Chapters in the near future. Global activities have included providing tools via local ACFF Websites, securing commitment from dental school deans to integrate caries prevention and management into school curricula and promoting community-based education and prevention programs to families and communities.