World Health Organization (WHO)
Chairs: Christian Rodríguez, Halie Kim, and Alana Chernyak
The world was first alerted to the appearance of Zika in the Western Hemisphere on 7 May 2015, when Brazil confirmed that a mysterious outbreak of thousands of cases of mild disease with rash was caused by the Zika virus. The appearance of an infectious disease with epidemic potential in a new part of the world is always cause for concern, and past experience has taught us to expect more from emerging viruses than what is initially observed. A pattern has emerged in which initial detection of virus circulation is followed, within about three weeks, by an unusual increase in cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome. Detection of microcephaly and other fetal malformations comes later, as pregnancies of infected women come to term. In the current outbreak, the virus is currently circulating in 38 countries and territories, but no one can predict whether the virus will spread to other parts of the world and cause a similar pattern of fetal malformations and neurological disorders as those as serious in Brazil, Panama, and Colombia. If this pattern is confirmed beyond Latin America and the Caribbean and the Western Pacific, the world will face a severe public health crisis. It is the job of the WHO to combat this virus where it lives, and to prevent its further spread around the world.
Women and Health
The health and safety of women and girls have, for many years, been greatly imperiled and have become a major global concern because of the deeply rooted injustice in both the social and cultural aspects of societies. Such discrimination against women has not only led to biased social norms but also much higher burdens on the well-being of women. Women and girls are forced to face and endure unequal access to care and essential health practices, physical and sexual violence, and child marriage which can both potentially lead to an increased exposure to diseases and viruses, lower mortality rates due to such poor living conditions, and ultimately, lower qualities of life. Women are being stripped of their basic necessities, all of which allow them access to adequate standards of health and are essentially vital to their lives and well-beings. The WHO must rectify these issues by presenting a comprehensive resolution which adequately addresses the multifaceted problem.
Pharmaceutical Distribution Issues
Unreliable sanitation systems coupled with underdeveloped healthcare infrastructures plague many countries, forcing these nations to depend on pharmaceuticals. Although more than ⅔ of the world's population lives in these developing nations, they only account for less than ¼ of the consumption of pharmaceuticals, revealing a discrepancy in which poor nations disproportionately bear the burden of disease. The WHO must find a way to solve the issue, and looks for creative solutions to this centuries-old problem.