Chair: Neema Sheshebor
USG: Benjamin Lee
Topic A: Mitigating the Global Healthcare Workforce Crisis
Topic B: Addressing the Global Burden of Substance Abuse
Committee Type: Dual Delegation
To both new and old, it is with a great deal of excitement that I welcome you to the World Health Organization Committee at BruinMUN 2017!
My name is Neema Sheshebor and it is my privilege to serve as your chair for our upcoming conference. Although I expect to get to know you all, it wouldn’t be fair if you didn’t know anything about me. As a Southern Californian native, I am a second-year transfer student majoring in political science with a minor in public health. Last year was my very first time experiencing Model UN and unfortunately, I got hooked. Thankfully, MUN hasn’t completely controlled my life. I also currently work under the Parkinson’s disease, Environment, and Genes (PEG) study where we assess how pesticides affect the progression of Parkinson’s. Meanwhile, I volunteer at the Syringe Exchange Program with the Venice Family Clinic to reduce STD transmission and build patient relationships within the West LA area. It is no coincidence that the WHO will be tackling addiction.
This year the WHO will be addressing the emerging concern of the Healthcare Workforce Crisis. There is an already 7.2 million shortage of global healthcare personnel and predicted 13 million by 2035. That’s why it will be up to the WHO (you!) to determine how an aging and discouraged medical community can be revitalized, restructured, and reinforced across the world. With unprecedented Cholera outbreaks in Yemen, besieged and neglected populations in Syria, and even shrinking rural physician populations in the United States, an already burdened world needs unique perspectives on how humanity can preserve the physical, mental, and social wellbeing of its global citizens.
Just as the future presents its own growing anxieties, the WHO will also have to tackle the existing global substance abuse epidemic. Drug use, drug use disorders, and related health conditions have been a major public health concern for decades. Psychoactive drugs are responsible for 450,000 deaths per year while injecting drug use accounting for an estimated 30% of new HIV infections outside sub-Saharan Africa. Accelerated globalization, technological expansion, and the emergence of synthetic compounds like Fentanyl have amplified the drug problem, straining not only less-resourced countries but well-developed ones as well. It’s imperative that the WHO strengthens its countries’ capacities to respond to drug-related public health challenges.
Both topics the WHO will address are large systematic issues that have no “catch all” solution and envelop a large number of specific subtopics. Delegates can choose to address specific issues through political, epidemiological, or even economic perspectives. Alternatively, delegates can also work toward comprehensive legislation that attacks these multifaceted issues from several angles. It’s up to all of you how these debates will breathe and die.
If any of you have any questions or concerns regarding the background guide or committee, do not hesitate to contact me. I can’t wait to begin and am looking forward to this wondrous weekend!