Sustainability in Healthcare and Education – Global Challenges and Solutions

Tuesday 2 November 2021: Climate Change, Oral Health and Sustainability

Time (BST)TitleSpeakers
08.30 - 09.45

WHO Resolution on Oral Health, shaping oral health services, dental practice and care for the next decade


The Scottish Government has a strong track record of supporting prevention of oral disease in children, notably via the Childsmile programme. More recently, it has funded a 4.5-year programme of work between the University of Glasgow and Kamuzu University of Health Sciences to establish training of dentists in Malawi and development of a national Oral Health Policy for Malawi.

The WHO World Health Assembly Resolution on Oral Health (adopted May 2021) and recent draft global strategy on oral health (August 2021) will shape oral health services, dental practice and care for the next decade. The WHO resolution grounds oral health in the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and draws attention to the intersections of oral health and 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This new framing allows for an SDG-wide approach that can engage a more diverse range of actors in advocating for oral health and its integration into programmes traditionally not considered as domains for oral health.

The WHO resolution highlights opportunities to address oral diseases in national and international policy agendas, with integration of oral health into universal health coverage and noncommunicable disease agendas.

This session will present the WHO resolution and draft strategy, and examine implementation at the regional and national levels. 

08.30 - 08.40 Today's agenda Julian Fisher, Charite University, Berlin
08.40 - 08.50 Welcome address from Scottish Government Jenny Gilruth MSP, Scottish Government Minister for Europe and International Development
08.50 - 09.45

Keynote Lectures

The WHO Oral Health Resolution (2021) - paving the way for better oral health. 


Vision 2030, tackling transformational changes and trends in the global healthcare environment


Benoit Varenne (Oral Health Programme Officer, World Health Organisation)


Prof. Ihsane Ben Yahya, FDI President

09.45 - 10.00 Break  
10.00 - 11.00

Scotland-Malawi partnership working - putting the WHO Oral Health Resolution into Practice

10.00 - 10.20 Raising the profile of Oral Health as a political priority Dr Queen Dube, Chief of Health Services,
Ministry of Health, Malawi Government
10.20 - 10.40 The Scottish Government-funded MalDent Project: a UofG / KUHeS partnership

Mwapatsa Mipando, Kamuzu University of Health Sciences, Malawi and Jeremy Bagg, University of Glasgow Dental School

10.40 - 11.00 Oral health policy development in Malawi Jones Masiye, Ministry of Health, Malawi Government
11.00 - 11.15 Break  
11.15 - 12.15

Oral health policy development in Malawi and the Region

Roundtable Discussion: Implementation of the WHO resolution; opportunities and challenges, with reflections from the African Region. 

Summary: Malawi is a low-income country that faces significant oral health challenges. Data on the prevalence of oral disease is scanty but points to a high level of unmet treatment need. Recently, the Kamuzu University of Health Sciences (formerly the University of Malawi College of Medicine) has launched the country’s first Bachelor of Dental Surgery course and the Ministry of Health has launched an Oral Health Strategy and Implementation Plan. This session will examine how the MalDent Project ( is addressing SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-being), SDG 4 (Quality Education) and SDG 10 (Reduced inequality) in the context of recognising the impact of healthcare on SDG 13 (Climate action) and its relevance to neighbouring African countries.

Moderators: Benoit Varenne and Yuka Makino

Representatives from Malawi (Noel Kasomekera), Rwanda (Karebu Bizumuremyi), Zambia (Chrispinus Mumena), Zimbabwe (Cleopatra Matanahire) 

12.15 - 13.00  Lunch  
13.00 - 14.30

Noma: a renewed focus on action

Noma, a marker of extreme poverty with risk factors that will require actions beyond the health sector.

Summary: The WHO resolution places noma at the heart of the global oral health agenda, and a draft global strategy notes that noma is a marker of extreme poverty with risk factors that will require actions beyond the health sector.
Noma is a necrotizing disease starting in the mouth, is fatal for 90% of affected children in poor communities, mostly in some regions in Africa, and leads to lifelong disability and often social exclusion. The risk factors for noma include malnutrition, co-infections, poor oral hygiene and poor living conditions.
Multisectoral action to tackle noma must engage a broad range of stakeholders, supported by a comprehensive understanding of how oral health intersects across 17 SDGS, including SDG 1 (No poverty), SDG 2 (Zero hunger) and SDG 3 (Good health and well-being), as well as SDG 13 (Climate action) because of its importance in achieving SDGs 1, 2 and 3. 
This session will focus on current efforts to include noma in the planned WHO 2023 review process to consider the classification of additional diseases within the road map for neglected tropical diseases 2021–2030


Making the case for action on Noma

Gloria Uzoigwe, Boladale Alonge, Nigerian Ministry of Health


Short film about Noma; 'Restoring Dignity'

Claire Jeantet, MSF Noma Campaign Manager


Noma as a Neglected Tropical Disease

Yuka Makino, Oral Health Technical Officer, WHO Africa


Community action on Noma; country case studies

Hilfsaktion Noma (HAN)
Petra Raschkewitz


Managing patients with Noma in Nigeria

Adetula Ife, Nigerian dentist

14.30 -14.45 Break  
14.45 - 16.15

Essential Medicines: strategies and action for public health and practice

Summary: Delivery of modern restorative dentistry utilizes complex and expensive equipment, drugs and other consumables. This poses massive financial and infrastructural problems in low- and middle-income countries. It also generates significant amounts of clinical and related waste. The WHO has proposed a Basic Package of Oral Care to help to manage those with existing dental disease in areas of low- and middle-income countries which have no access to fully equipped dental surgeries.

A far more cost-effective and sustainable strategy is to transform oral health care from a curative to a preventive philosophy. The successful and well-studied Scottish Childsmile model provides a valuable exemplar and template for other countries, as exemplified by the Sembrando Sonrisas programme in Chile. 

14.45 - 15.10 Basic Package of Oral Care Lorna Macpherson, University of Glasgow, UK
15.10 - 15.20 Minimal Intervention / Glass ionomer cement Avijit Banerjee, Kings College, London, UK
15.20 - 15.30 Toothpaste / oral biome - NCD Richard Hogan, Colgate-Palmolive Dental Health Unit, Manchester, UK
15.30 - 15.40 Silver diamine fluoride Bethy Turton, Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine, USA
15.40 - 15.50 Emerging biomimetic technologies in oral care Anahita Jablonski-Momeni, Philipps University of Marburg, Germany
15.50 - 16.15 Chile's Sembrando Sonrisas Programme Andres Celis Sersen, University of Chile Dental Faculty
16.15 - 16.30  Break  
16.30 - 18.30 

The challenge of sustainability in dentistry and oral healthcare

Summary: Dentistry faces many challenges in its response to the climate change crisis. These include instrument decontamination, waste disposal and the use of single-use plastics. It has been estimated that NHS dental services emissions are responsible for 3% of the overall carbon footprint of the NHS in the UK. A Public Health England report on carbon modelling published in 2018 showed that major sources of carbon emissions for dentistry are travel, procurement, energy, nitrous oxide, waste and water.

This session will consider the impact of climate change and planetary health on oral health from a global perspective.

16.30 - 16.35 Introductory comments: 'New ways of thinking and new ways of working' Julian Fisher
16.35 - 17.30 'Sustainable Dentistry: a need for change' - presentations and round table discussion Brett Duane, Trinity College Dublin, and colleagues
17.30 - 18.00 Keynote lecture: Artificial Intelligence and sustainability; implications for dentistry and oral health care Falk Schwendicke, Charite University, Berlin
18.00 - 18.30  Keynote lecture: Sustainability in General Dental Practice  Brett Duane, Trinity College Dublin
Close Summary: Leading into Day 2 - practice / service and education Julian Fisher

Wednesday 3 November: Can't be business as usual, won't be business as usual.

Integrating Sustainability, Climate Change, and Planetary Health into Educational Proframmes for Health Workforce Training

Time (BST)TitleSpeakers
09.00 - 09.15

 Welcome and introductory comments

Julian Fisher, Charite University, Berlin

Jeremy Bagg, University of Glasgow

09.15 - 10.15

Integrating a Social Determinants of Health Approach into Health Workforce Education and Training

Summary:  As far back as 1994 WHO recognised that healthy and productive lives will require people to live in harmony with nature. The fields of Planetary Health, One Health, One Earth and other such concepts all share common ideas of planet Earth and its ecosystems as our home, and that achieving a just balance among the economic, social and environmental needs of present and future generations will need to restore and promote the health and integrity of the Earth’s ecosystem. 

The social determinants of health are the conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live, and age, recognising the intimate connection of people to the biosphere (the regions of the surface and atmosphere of the earth or another planet occupied by living organisms).  The biosphere can be described as the sum of all the ecosystems worldwide, where changes in the biosphere due to climate change impact everyone as well as local and global economies.

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals enable health workers to collaborate on the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development in a consistent and coherent way. Integrating the social determinants of health into health workforce education and training will need to go beyond the health sector.

Nicole Valentine, WHO Social Determinants of Health Department, WHO HQ, Switzerland

Onyema Ajuebor, WHO Health Workforce Department, WHO HQ Switzerland





10.15 - 10.30 Break  
10.30 - 11.00 Global Oral Health; learning with and from others

WHO draft global strategy, Planetary Health and Oral Health

Panel discussion: Implications of WHO draft strategy for a new model of oral health workforce education
Moderator: Jeremy Bagg

Summary: Interprofessional education for collaborative practice (IPECP) should prepare health and social care workers to tackle complex challenges, and through health in all policy approaches ensure that development trajectories are not exclusively orientated towards economic growth to the detriment of the planet, but towards the well-being of all within planetary boundaries.

This must be a lifelong learning process, which requires a fundamental transformation in health workforce education where health and social care workers play an active role in creating more just, inclusive, caring and peaceful relationships with each other and with nature.

Jeremy Bagg

Corrado Paganell, University of Brescia, Italy

Michael Glick, University of Pennsylvania, USA

Agnes Gatarayiha, University of Rwanda

Barry Quinn, ADEE Secretary General, University of Liverpool


11.00 - 11.15 Break  
11.15 - 13.00

It can't be business as usual; it won't be business as usual

Summary: Oral Health Professional students

The European Dental Students Association and other international youth-led healthcare organizations are campaigning for action linked to the WHO resolution on oral health. They have four priorities for the youth oral health agenda:

  • Universal health coverage: burden of oral diseases falls disproportionately on poor and vulnerable communities. Public health and community-based interventions must be prioritized.
  • Climate change and planetary health: oral health services and care must consider planetary health and reduce environmental impact by pursuing a prevention approach and significantly reducing use of plastics, water and energy.
  • Digital health and artificial intelligence: ensure that digital health tools are effectively utilized e.g. promoting oral health in isolated communities, and collecting data on oral diseases.
  • Education and people: ensure newly qualified oral health professionals have the knowledge, skills and cultural awareness to deliver oral care and advocate for their communities.
11.15 - 11.20

Introducing Sustainable Oral Health

Julian Fisher
11.20 - 11.50 Youth-led oral health manifesto and Call to Action

Youth for Sustainable Oral Health (James Coughlan / Milena Hegenauer / Zino Volkmann)

11.50 - 12.15 Presentations from International Federation Dental Hygienists / students Melanie Hayes, CEO of the Dental Hygienists Association of Australia
12.15 - 12.35 International Coalition: Delivering Community Oral Health Amanda McLaughlin
12.35 - 12.55

Presentations from International Oral Health Association Dental Therapists / students

Arish Naresh / Zaeni Dahlan

12.55 - 13.00  Summing up  Julian Fisher
13.00 - 13.45

Lunch Break


13.45 - 16.45

Global Oral Health Module; Learning experiences of positioning action for oral health in UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Summary: Throughout the 2020 / 2021 academic year, dental students from 20 dental schools around the world have been working in partnership on a project that considers oral health in the context of the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals. In this session the participating students will present their own unique perspectives from their national bases. Their conclusions will help to inform how we can collectively pursue the aims and ambitions of the WHO Oral Health Resolution.

13.45 - 13.50


Julian Fisher 
13.50 - 15.30 Presentations by students from dental schools across the globe, mapping oral health within, between and across 17 SDGs (Section 1).  Representatives from participating dental schools. 
15.30 - 15.45 Break  
15.45 - 16.45

Brief presentations by students from dental schools across the globe, mapping oral health within, between and across 17 SDGs (Section 2).

Representatives from participating dental schools. 
16.45 - 17.15 Launch of student Manifesto and call to action James Coughlan /Milena Hegenauer / Zino Volkmann
17.15 - 17.45

Oral Health and Sustainability in Dental Education: How, When, Why?

Bringing dental education into line - sustainability, climate change and planetary health as compulsory curricular components. 

Julian Fisher

Staff perspective: Jeremy Bagg / Grant Creaney, University of Glasgow

Student perspective: James Coughlan / Milena Hegenauer / Zino Volkmann (with students from IFDH, IOHA, IFDN)

17.45 Close  

Thursday 4 November: Transforming our World: Childrens' Voices for 2050

Time (BST)TitleSpeakers
09.00 - 09.45

Introduction to day

Summary: Urgent action is needed to address the dramatic interrelated challenges the world is facing. In particular these include the climate crisis, mass loss of biodiversity, pollution, pandemic diseases, extreme poverty and inequalities, violent conflicts, and other environmental, social and economic crises that endanger life on our planet.

Education is a powerful enabler of positive change of mindsets and worldviews. It can support the integration of all dimensions of sustainable development, economy, society and the environment, ensuring that development trajectories are not exclusively orientated towards economic growth to the detriment of the planet, but towards the well-being of all within planetary boundaries.
Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), anchored in SDG 4.7 and as an enabler for all 17 SDGs, is the foundation for the required transformation, providing everyone with the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes to become change agents for sustainable development.
ESD is a foundational element of our education systems at all levels, with environmental and climate action as a core curriculum component, while maintaining a holistic perspective on ESD that recognizes the interrelatedness of all dimensions of sustainable development.

Julian Fisher, ZWDP













Introducing the declaration

Speaker TBC

  Why mountains matter Sara Manuelli, Mountain Partnership Secretariat
  Opening remarks; Futures of Education, Children's voices for 2050

Hans-Christian Leiggener
Site Manager of the UNESCO World Heritage Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch and Mountain Guide

09.45 - 10.15

Presentation from pupils of Freie Waldorfschule Sorsum, Germany

Patricia Drefs, Teacher

10.15 - 10.30 Break  
10.30 - 12.15

Engaging with children and why it matters

Summary:  The WHO-UNICEF-Lancet Commission report ‘A future for the world’s children’ was published in February 2020. It called for a global movement to put the health and wellbeing of children and adolescents at the centre of national and global efforts to achieve sustainable development.

On 21st April 2021, WHO, UNICEF and The Lancet launched a programme called Children in All Policies 2030. The programme aims to establish a collaborative network, including children and young people, activists, civil society institutions, politicians, governments and academics, which will work to centre children’s health and wellbeing in the urgent work of sustainable development.

Today’s COP26 event maps perfectly onto these ambitions, including the advancement of action on the global climate crisis by centering children’s perspectives and harnessing their voices to drive action by local, national and global policy makers.


Opening remarks on the WHO - UNICEF - The Lancet Commission report: 'A future for the world's children?' and the Lancet programme: 'Children in All Policies 2030' (CAP-2030)'

Julian Fisher
  The UIAA Mountain Protection Award: engaging the next generations for action on sustainability through climbing and mountaineering Carolina Adler, President, UIAA Mountain Protection Commission

How youth can contribute to the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration for mountains

Matthias Jurek, United Nations Environment Programme 
  The Water-Health-Education Nexus; children as catalysts for whole school, whole community action for sustainable development Bob Kalin, Director, Climate Justice Fund Water Futures Programme, Scotland

Presentations from Strathallan School, Forgandenny, Perthshire, Scotland

Paul Vallot, Teacher


Presentations from Blantyre Secondary School, Malawi

Gillon Bula, Teacher
12.15 - 13.00 Lunch Break  
13.00 - 14.00

Futures of Education Case Study from Germany

Summary: UNESCO’s Futures of Education initiative aims to rethink education and shape the future. The initiative is catalyzing a global debate on how knowledge, education and learning need to be reimagined in a world of increasing complexity, uncertainty, and precarity.

This case study draws on local government experiences in coordinating action on climate change that engages and empowers schools, communities, key actors and groups. 


Opening Remarks


Julian Fisher




Moderator: Jan Krebs, Climate Change Manager, Wennigsen, Germany

Children and teachers from local schools


Summary: The Mountain Partnership is a United Nations voluntary alliance of partners dedicated to improving the lives of mountain peoples and protecting mountain environments around the world.Founded in 2002, the Mountain Partnership addresses the challenges facing mountain regions by tapping the wealth and diversity of resources, knowledge, information and expertise, from and between its members, in order to stimulate concrete initiatives at all levels that will ensure improved quality of life and environments in the world’s mountain regions.The Mountain Partnership brings countries, groups and organizations together to work towards a common goal: to improve the lives of mountain peoples and protect mountain environments around the world.It does this by tapping the wealth and diversity of resources, knowledge (including traditional knowledge), information and expertise of its members to stimulate concrete action on the ground that will bring positive change in mountain areas.
Its work is organized under four main pillars: advocacy, joint action, capacity development and communications.
Sustainable tourism in mountains can contribute to creating additional and alternative livelihood options and promoting poverty alleviation, social inclusion, as well as landscape and biodiversity conservation. It is a way to preserve the natural, cultural and spiritual heritage, to promote local crafts and high value products, and celebrate many traditional practices such as local festivals.Mountain tourism attracts around 15 to 20 percent of global tourism. Tourism, however, is one of the sectors most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, affecting economies, livelihoods, public services and opportunities on all continents. In mountains, the restrictions of the pandemic have further compounded the vulnerabilities of mountain communities.This crisis can be seen as an opportunity to rethink mountain tourism and its impact on natural resources and livelihoods, to manage it better, and to harness it towards a more resilient, green and inclusive future.


International Mountain Day 2021, "Sustainable mountain tourism"

Sara Manuelli, Mountain Partnership Secretariat


Messages from Mountain Partnership Goodwill Ambassadors

Jake Norton and Mira Rai

14.30 - 14.45


14.45 - 15.45

Presentations from Alcides Brantes School in the Salinas region of Nova Friburgo, Brazil

Claudio Pinheiro Fernandes, Coordinator


Presentations from Gunnison High School, Colorado, USA

Krystal Brown, Teacher


Presentation of Children’s Call to Action Declaration

Student from the Zero Water Day Partnership


Manifesto for Youth and Mountains

Stefano Sala, UNIMONT, Università Degli Studi Di Milano

15.45 - 16.00 Break  
16.00 - 16.45


Presentation from pupils of Wanakha Central School, Bhutan

Mountain Guides as Climate Change Educators

Launch pilot 'Mountains as Water Towers of the World' ebook

Julian Fisher

Namkha Gyeltshen, Teacher

Angela Hawse, President of American Mountain Guides Association

Julian Fisher

16.45 - 17.00 Closing Remarks Speaker TBC