CNN: What’s Missing?

Many great ideas have been shared between all committees within the last two days. The world is impressed, as there have been many intricate ideas that have been brought up that can be used not only regionally, but also globally. While looking at the resolutions as well as listening in to conversations, one very important topic that was barely talked about was water. Water so basic, but yet so essential to everyday life, and is commonly taken for granted. Inadequate access to clean water has been the basis for many health related problems, and has hit every region hard (especially those who are most voidable in each of these areas). We find it hard to believe that this was not taken into consideration, and would like to shed more light on this often ignored topic. Here are some statistics to give a glimpse of the burden due to insufficient water given by the UN:

· 2.1 billion people lack access to safely managed drinking water services. (WHO/UNICEF 2017)

· 4.5 billion people lack safely managed sanitation services. (WHO/UNICEF 2017)

· 340,000 children under five die every year from diarrheal diseases. (WHO/UNICEF 2015)

· Water scarcity already affects four out of every 10 people. (WHO)

· 90% of all natural disasters are water-related. (UNISDR)

· 80% of wastewater flows back into the ecosystem without being treated or reused (UNESCO, 2017).

· Around two-thirds of the world’s trans boundary rivers do not have a cooperative management framework. (SIWI)

· Agriculture accounts for 70% of global water withdrawal. (FAO)

· Roughly 75% of all industrial water withdrawals are used for energy production. (UNESCO, 2014)

· Unsafe drinking water accounts for 4% of deaths as well as 5.7% of disabilities.

· Unsafe dirking water also causes for 500,000 diarrheal deaths per year

· There are still 20% of urban communities that lack safe drinking water

· Diarrheal disease kill more children under than AIDS, Malaria, and Measles COMBINED

· Contaminated water also leads to neurological disorders, and reproductive problems.

Many of the interventions that have been presented fix problem that do need to be addressed. However, how can populations defeat these larger problems, if they do not receive basic levels of need? I urge the committees in the future to look at even more basic needs and address those with the same urgency and cooperation between nations that has been shown at the conference. We have high hopes, and await a time when these fundamental issues are no longer present among us.

CNN: The Road to Getting Med Packs Passed

Over the past two days, EMRO created a resolution that is promoting health in countries with higher and lower GDPs. Early on, finding common ground on what to focus on was a large barrier that EMRO had to face. The ideas presented in the past two days have the abilities to foster new relationship as well combat many health related issues. Med pack and Edu packs are the main focus of their resolution. Both of these packages aid in the prevention of many of the burdens that these areas face. The Med Packs for countries with high levels of communicable diseases include various vaccinations that would lower their incidence rates. In other areas where their main concerns are non-communicable diseases such as Cardio Vascular Disease the Edu Packs would be more useful.

When asked about how these packages would be dispersed, the delegates expanded on their plans to use community health workers as a means to provide the packages to those in need. The medication provided in these packages would be supplied in collaboration with Pfizer and Novartis. With Partners in Health, EMRO hopes to train community members in order to build sustainable health systems within the region. These trained health workers would not only handout the packages, but also educate community members on the function and proper use of the packages. This solution would bring sustainable change that would hopefully integrate in to main stream behavior.

A unique idea that was also brought up during their interview was the creation of a union between developed and developing countries. This would incorporate the aid of countries with higher GDPs such as Saudi Arabia (has pharma tech companies along with many other resources), aiding those in need of improved infrastructure. The aid that is provided will integrate telecommunication to increase the tools that countries with lower GDPs cannot afford. This would benefit the recipient country, as well as bring good public relations to the donor country. This will result in further investment in developed countries from outside corporations due to their humanitarian endeavors.

When discussing what measures would be taken in order to protect, as well as sustain the health of refugees, EMRO proved once more to have thought of a comprehensive solution. They were excited to use their Med Packs to address the issues pertaining to refugee health. The packs would aid immensely in hosting areas with high rates of non-communicable diseases, which would have easily spread due to the density of the population. The host countries would also implement comprehensive medial coverage to take care those refugees that choose to stay in their countries, which is a truly a huge step in global aid. EMRO has some great plans, we hope to see these carried out in the near future.

BuzzFeed: Pharma’s Generosity – Just a Disguised Scam?

Here at AMWHO 2018, delegates of each region are clamoring for approval and funding from pharmaceutical companies much like how a middle child assures Mommy how pretty she is before asking for their weekly allowance. Reps from Pfizer and Novartis are dishing out checks for as much as a whopping five million to regions implementing solutions increasing access to health.  Programs they’ve funded so far include mainly subsidies for providers, and in turn, the population, who buy the high-cost drugs they need for treatment. This may all seem like highly altruistic acts of charity, especially as the two reps are extremely well-spoken, gorgeous #bossladies, but we at BuzzFeed are not sure if their intentions are as good as their outfits.

The simple, dumbed-down reason behind how some big pharma companies justify their high and rising drug prices is that they are responding to high demand. By funding countries in AMRO to establish locally run pharmacies selling Pfizer products and to subsidize drugs patients at those pharmacies pay for, Pfizer is doing just that: hiking up demand. The cool million they hand out is nothing but a PR front they can use as a shield when they inevitably hike up prices for drugs that become in high demand. Also, in order for the countries at this conference to receive the funding, they had to agree to place Pfizer logos on everything, from the medication to the pharmacy building itself. Selling the souls of their people much?? The ulterior motive here is not to get patients access to healthcare, but rather to expand on their money making schemes. Funding more pharmacies that sell their drugs only adds to their profit. Just look at what happened to the price of Daraprim (that one drug that increased in price by 5000%?) thanks to donations from Turing Pharmaceuticals.

In AFRO, it seems that delegates are concerned over “fake” drugs that have overtaken populations. Their solution is to tighten regulations on non-effective drugs, as of course they’d like their people to actually be cured of their ailments, but they refuse to address the root of the problem: that people are turning to these sketchy drug dealers instead of international establishments because THEY’RE REALLY FRIGGIN EXPEN$IVE. This is the root of the problem, and it can only be solved by holding pharmaceutical companies responsible through policy, not through lil cute PR-scam checks.

Hold your government responsible guys. Big Pharma knows no shame. Speak up to protect yourself, your family, and Cardi B’s future child. Especially Cardi B’s future child.

CNN: Race to the Finish Line

Many NGO’s and Pharmaceutical companies have already put their stamp of approval on different committees. So far the Red Cross and the Gates foundation have approved AMRO, SERO, and EMRO. With three organizations approved is Refugees International, which has given their seal of approval to EMRO, EURO, and SEARO. Partners in Health has given out the fewest approvals, with seals given only to AFRO and EURO. Meanwhile, Doctors Without Borders has approved all of the participating committees.

These results leave AMRO, AFRO EURO each with three seals of approval, meaning they each still need one more seal to pass their resolution. Well done to SEARO and EURO who are now in good standing with their resolutions. Congratulations to AFRO their two-million-dollar grant, EURO on their one-million-dollar grant, and EMRO on their astounding six-million-dollar grant. These results are changing fast!

CNN: EMRO On the Right Track

Thanks to Somalia and their resourcefulness in the past, EMRO is on the verge of successfully creating Med Pack, an initiative that could be used globally. Med Pack is a package that includes different preventative interventions, as well as educates the recipients. Due to the diversity in challenges that nations face, it is quite impossible to find a single intervention that would resolve all of them at once. Therefore, in creating these packages, different nations can choose what they would like to include based on the various burdens they face. These packages can include comprehensive medical interventions such as Hepatitis C vaccinations, Polio Vaccinations, Tuberculosis vaccinations, and even inhalers. They also include life style based interventions as well as easily understandable literature to promote healthy choices. EMRO has teamed up with Partners in Health to educate community health workers as well as initiate the distribution of packages. These participants will be trained to best execute distribution, as well as provide health related information to their various communities. We thank this committee for thinking creatively as well as globally.