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New EFP president on COVID-19: “Remain positive and safe”

By Brendan Day, DTI
April 06, 2020

BRUSSELS, Belgium: The European Federation of Periodontology (EFP) has announced that it has welcomed Dr Xavier Struillou as its new president. Struillou took the opportunity to explain his vision for the EFP’s 37 affiliated societies of periodontics, emphasising the need for mutual support in these challenging times.

An associate professor of periodontics at the University of Nantes in France, Struillou succeeds Prof. Filippo Graziani in the EFP’s head role. Since its founding in 1991, the organisation has established a global benchmark for research and practice relating to the fields of periodontics and implantology. It currently represents more than 16,000 periodontists and other oral healthcare professionals around the world.

Changing times lead to changing priorities

Just last month, the EFP welcomed dental clinicians to Dublin, the capital city of the Republic of Ireland, for its triennial Perio Master Clinic, a conference designed to update and refine practitioners’ scientific knowledge and hands-on skills. In more recent weeks, the federation has changed tack in order to focus on the current COVID-19 pandemic, which has already been associated with more than 64,000 deaths worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.

A video uploaded to the EFP’s YouTube channel and republished on its social media channels features 11 EFP representatives delivering, in 11 different languages, the advice: “Stay at home, wash your hands—let’s stop this virus”.

In addition, Graziani released a video message on 17 March in which he outlined that the EFP would maintain its normal activities as much as possible by moving meetings online and keeping its members updated on new developments. “I sincerely hope that everything will be fine and shortly we will meet again personally, which is exactly what human beings are made for,” the EFP past president added on an optimistic note.

Maintaining hope

In a message to the members of the EFP, Struillou echoed Graziani’s positivity by stressing his conviction that the COVID-19 pandemic would be “behind us very soon”. He also communicated his and the EFP’s gratitude towards the oral healthcare professionals who have delivered urgent and necessary treatment during the crisis. “On behalf of the EFP, thank you for your sense of duty, your professionalism, and for adopting safe practices and standard procedures according to each country,” Struillou wrote.

“A very challenging and complicated year lies ahead of us, and it is going to be an honour to serve you—our members—the best I can,” he concluded.

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