According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it is estimated that one in ten medical products in the developing world is falsified or substandard, ranging from cancer treatment to contraception. This has led to serious repercussions, ranging from a loss of public confidence in medical products to the deaths of patients. For example, the past five years have seen 7875 patients die within 48 hours of being admitted at the Sher-i- Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences in India, which is thought to have been the result of spurious drugs supplied by the state government’s health department.
Hence, countries should work towards stemming the proliferation of substandard and falsified medical products. Delegates should look into the development of more effective surveillance systems, and the restoration of public confidence in medical products. It is their onus to ensure that medicine serves its original purpose – to heal, and not to harm.
The prevalence of pesticide use is attributed to their valuable role in protecting crops from pests and increasing agricultural output. Despite their benefits, pesticides have been found to pose a severe threat to public health – affecting farmers and consumers alike. Paraquat, for example, is a highly toxic weedkiller that remains widely used in developing countries due to its low costs.
Regulation of the pesticide industry has been fraught with difficulties, due to the lobbying power that the pesticide and agricultural industries wield. Member states, as such, grapple with the maintenance of neutrality of public health agencies, and the lack of regulatory oversight of the importation or development of pesticides.
Delegates of the WHO will need to consider the improvement of mechanisms regulating the development and use of pesticides in agricultural production, and are encouraged to explore the adoption of safer alternatives. The future of public health lies in your hands.
Head Chair: Aaron
Co-chairs: Haoyang, Jiating
Aaron is a second year student in Raffles Institution who is taking the ubiquitous PCME subject combination. His interest in global affairs led him to join the Historical and Strategic Affairs Society. Since then, he has participated in 5 MUNs, obtaining a couple of VCs before going on to clinch a Best Position Paper and an Outstanding Delegate award. He has a penchant for in-depth understanding and novel ideas, both within and without MUNs. Among other things, his main hobbies include bicycle touring, watching YouTube and reading. He hopes that delegates will be able to expand their understanding of the world beyond the microcosm of the Singapore education curriculum through RMUN, and hone their speaking, writing and collaboration skills in the process.
Haoyang is a pro at MUN-ing, in Chinese before moving to Singapore. While studying in Singapore at the secondary level, he was unaware of the existence of Singapore MUNs. In Junior College, he joined HSTA and restarted his MUN journey― this time in English. Although it was difficult familiarizing himself with various complicated English terms, his efforts have paid off: he attained a VC in his second MUN, a Honourable Mention in his third, and an Outstanding Delegate award in his fourth. Unfortunately, his streak of improvement was broken when he attained another Outstanding Delegate award at his fifth MUN. Though his record may not outshine those of his council’s delegates, he is confident that his pace of improvement and interest in foreign affairs makes up for it. Haoyang truly hopes that his delegates will not only focus on competing for rewards, but to understand the issues and be encouraged to make changes in the real world. Above all, he wishes that the council will have fun, and enjoy this experience.
Jiating is a Year 5 student taking the fairly orthodox PCME combination (despite hating physics). When she is not attempting to remember pages of equations or being distressed over how economics works, she can usually be found jamming to K-Pop or trying to break her sleep record of 25 hours. Having joined HSTA with zero experience at MUNs, Jiating has only recently embarked on her MUN journey this year at SMC. Hence, she is well aware of the uncertainties that fellow new MUNners may face, and is always ready to lend a listening ear. She sincerely hopes that delegates will not only be able to take away new insights from RMUN, but also truly enjoy and treasure their time in council!