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Title: Political priority of global oral health: An analysis of reasons for international neglect
Authors: Benzian, H.
Hobdell, M.
Holmgren, C.
Yee, R. 
Monse, B.
Barnard, J.T.
Van Palenstein Helderman, W.
Keywords: Global oral health
health systems
oral health planning
political power framework
Issue Date: 2011
Citation: Benzian, H., Hobdell, M., Holmgren, C., Yee, R., Monse, B., Barnard, J.T., Van Palenstein Helderman, W. (2011). Political priority of global oral health: An analysis of reasons for international neglect. International Dental Journal 61 (3) : 124-130. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Global Oral Health suffers from a lack of political attention, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. This paper analyses the reasons for this political neglect through the lens of four areas of political power: the power of the ideas, the power of the issue, the power of the actors, and the power of the political context (using a modified Political Power Framework by Shiffman and Smith. Lancet370 [2007] 1370). The analysis reveals that political priority for global oral health is low, resulting from a set of complex issues deeply rooted in the current global oral health sector, its stakeholders and their remit, the lack of coherence and coalescence; as well as the lack of agreement on the problem, its portrayal and possible solutions. The shortcomings and weaknesses demonstrated in the analysis range from rather basic matters, such as defining the issue in an agreed way, to complex and multi-levelled issues concerning appropriate data collection and agreement on adequate solutions. The political priority of Global Oral Health can only be improved by addressing the underlying reasons that resulted in the wide disconnection between the international health discourse and the small sector of Global Oral Health. We hope that this analysis may serve as a starting point for a long overdue, broad and candid international analysis of political, social, cultural, communication, financial and other factors related to better prioritisation of oral health. Without such an analysis and the resulting concerted action the inequities in Global Oral Health will grow and increasingly impact on health systems, development and, most importantly, human lives. © 2011 FDI World Dental Federation.
Source Title: International Dental Journal
ISSN: 00206539
DOI: 10.1111/j.1875-595X.2011.00028.x
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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