Pan American Health Organization
PAHO Committee Description
The Panamerican Health Organization (PAHO) is the specialized international health agency for the Americas. It works with countries throughout the region to improve and protect people’s health. It engages in technical cooperation with its 51 member countries to fight communicable and noncommunicable disease and their causes, to strengthen health systems, and to respond to emergencies and disasters. The organization was founded on December 2 1902 in The First International Sanitary Convention of the American Republics at Washington D.C. Their vision has been to be the major catalyst for ensuring that all the peoples of the Americas enjoy optimal health and contribute to the well-being of their families and communities. Furthermore, their values are equity, excellence, solidarity, respect, and integrity. Their mission is to lead strategic collaborative efforts among Member States and other partners to promote equity in health, to combat disease, and to improve the quality of, and lengthen, the lives of the peoples of the Americas. During the conference the delegates will strive to create solutions for the topics given by reaching consensus and open debate among the members of the council.
Topic A - Mental Health Awareness and Aid
Throughout the years, Latin America has been renowned for its lack of mental and physical healthcare. The vast majority of Latin American people are faced with a daily struggle to maintain their family with basic needs and therefore, can’t afford basic healthcare in their countries. It has been known that governments in these countries have done little to nothing in order to improve the country's healthcare system. Now, Latin America is facing a new challenge: mental health. Nowadays, depression is the most common mental health disorder affecting the Latin American community. Therefore, as PAHO is committed to provide a well-being for all people, delegates are being summoned to collectively bring solutions towards the mental health issues while remaining truthful to one’s country’s views and values. During the conference delegates will have to find solutions to government funding for mental health aid and guarantee access for all peoples of the Americas. It is important to consider the controversy of this topic in “old-fashioned” communities and how the delegates can combat misinformation of the topic.
Topic B - Refugee and Migrant Health
Migrant health has been an ongoing problem in the 21st century as Latin America faces a Migrant crisis. Due to violence and organized crime increasing in many underdeveloped countries people have scrambled to flee their countries to seek refugee in other countries. However this has created a struggle for these receiving nations as they brawl to cope with the conglomerate of people stranded on borders. The recent waves of migrants in Latin America and the Caribbean are particularly vulnerable to health risks for many reasons. They are very likely to live in precarious conditions, being exposed to food insecurity, and face extreme poverty.. Many of them may leave their countries of origin with pre existing health conditions and no vaccinations, which can contribute to the deteriorated health profile upon their arrival to destination countries. This is a big problem as we live in a pandemic today and these conditions and humongous numbers of people in small spaces will cause the spread of the coronavirus and many other deadly diseases. Delegates will have to consider the disparities in the health profile and on the health care access of the migrants. They will also be expected to provide policy recommendations to alleviate migrants’ health disparities in LAC.