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The Commonwealth: From trade deals to healthcare.

It’s day two in the Commonwealth, and after reaching a Resolution at the end of day one, the delegates are moving onto topic B:

“The Question of Improving vital healthcare across the Commonwealth”

Moderated Caucus: ‘What would be basic healthcare.’

Namibia proposes that the prevention of spread of disease such as HIV is essential when discussing healthcare in the Commonwealth. Singapore believes that a vaccination programme should be prioritised in healthcare. Many of the countries are of the view that education in health is imperative for the general improvement of healthcare across the commonwealth.

The importance of clean water is something that the delegates believe they need to prioritise. It is at the route of the spread of disease and infection. Sierra Leone expresses the fact that 2.7 million people don’t have clean water, and, as a result, 1200 children who die every year from a lack of clean water.

Tonga places emphasis on the improvement of infrastructure, the availability of medicine and basic sanitary options in rural areas. The UK establishes the basic areas of healthcare that it prioritises. The delegate believes that emergency care should be a priority, as well as sexual health, mental health, dental health and pregnant woman care.

Tanzania expresses a need for a closure of the gap between capital cities and the rural parts of the country. It states that for every 1000 women, there are only 2 trained midwives – and this is an even smaller ratio in rural areas.

Sierra Leone questions whether the excellent healthcare systems of UK, the US, the Australia etc., would work in LEDCs. The NHS would not be able to deal with infectious diseases on same scale as Sierra Leone, and therefore healthcare systems need to be specific to the needs of the country.

Tanzania declares that the average country spends 1.6% of GDP on healthcare, and the goal to increase this by 6% should be taken seriously. This needs to occur not just in the capital but rural parts of the country.

The key areas that the delegates conclude as necessary for healthcare across the Commonwealth are: clean water, fresh needles, education on safe sex, basic first aid, sanitation, training, research.

During the moderated caucus on ‘Sexual Health and Education’ the delegates discussion goes as follows:

  • UK agrees female mutilation is important, shouldn’t be the focus of the discussion – it only appeals to certain countries.
  • Malaysia – believes that female mutilation is a very very big problem that needs to be addressed
  • Singapore – there should be a focus on the education of midwifes in order to ensure safe practise during birth
  • Tonga – the vital importance of clean water – it is fundamentally the most basic part of sanitation

The council are in the process of establishing a working paper that realistically incorporates all of these key areas.

About Maddie Watts

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