Commonwealth Dental Association's new strategic direction

At its 7th Triennial Meeting held in Cape Town, South Africa, on 3 November 2012, the CDA installed new officers for 2012-14 and adopted a new strategic direction.

Dr William OReilly (Australia) took over the Presidency of the CDA from Dr Hilary Cooray (Sri Lanka). Dr OReilly thanked Dr Cooray for leading the organisation in the previous three years and for presiding over the CDA change of strategy, towards the provision of online and collaborative learning. He looked forward to continuing this work through the CDAs agreed collaboration with Smile-On Ltd, of the UK. There will also be a move to promote more regional meetings.

Among those elected to the CDA Executive are Dr. Anthony Kravitz OBE (UK) as the President-Elect and Professor Dayananda Samarawickrama (UK / Sri Lanka) as the Executive Secretary.

The General Meeting also agreed to change its Constitution to move from triennial general meetings to biennial general meetings. The bidding process for holding the next meeting, which will take place sometime between November 2014 and May 2015, will open early in the new year.

As part of the Triennial Meeting, the CDA held a successful plenary session followed by a workshop chaired by Professor Samarawickrama on the subject of Oral Health and Oral Disability in the Elderly. Dr Sue Greening (UK), Dr Tope Esan (Nigeria) and Dr Graham Gilmore (UK, via live web link) presented current challenges and possible approaches to this issue. A full workshop report including a set of recommendations to develop adequate health strategies throughout the Commonwealth, to address the oral health needs of older people, will be published in due course on the CDAs website,

The General Meeting also received a demonstration of how online learning can be incorporated into CPD provision. Mr Noam Tamir of Smile-On, and Prof Stephen Lambert-Humble of the Kent University, shared their ideas of how the CDA could take the initiative forward. The CDA is grateful for their support and looks forward to working with them in the future.

Members present also supported the Executive's recommendations for CDA Awards to Dr Sam Thorpe (Sierra Leone) who had just completed 9 years as Executive Secretary, Mr David Campion (UK) who had produced the Bulletin and managed the website since the foundation of the CDA; Mr Andrew Quayle of Quayle Dental Manufacturing (Export) Ltd and Mr Mike Knowles of the International Life Sciences Institute (both companies having supported the CDA for many years).

The CDA would like to express its thanks to the South African Dental Association (SADA) for hosting the event and the Commonwealth Foundation and the International Life Sciences Institute for their sponsorship.