By KIRTHANA SASITHARAN, HÜRRIYET DAILY NEWS
The Human Rights Council has been discussing the topic of access to healthcare as a human right throughout their committee sessions. A recent crisis update has lead a few delegates to move forward effectively and timely in their means to address this topic.
It was reported through a crisis update today that the Zika Virus, a fast growing virus that is becoming a grave health concern, has infected an expecting mother from South Africa. The mother was infected in her second trimester of her pregnancy. It was also reported that the mother suspected that other members of her family may be infected by the Zika Virus, but due to lack of proper healthcare, they cannot know for sure. The mother was concerned about the well-being of her child due to her diagnosis, but did not have access to proper healthcare since the closest place to get a check-up was 10 miles away. Upon the birth of the baby, it was discovered that the baby had Microcephaly. Even if the mother had gone to the medical centre 10 miles away, the medical center did not possess the resources to treat her.
A group of delegates, referring to themselves as “GLOCAL” proposed several solutions to address this crisis. The first proposal was a prevention measure for all states suffering from the epidemic and the second proposal involved the implementation of mobile units that travel to various rural cities to help the locals.
The delegates of GLOCAL consisted of Netherlands, Cote d’Ivore, Republic of India, Bangladesh, Qatar, Pakistan, Kenya, Venezuela, Morocco, and Montego.
The delegate from Pakistan expanded on how the prevention measures might be implemented by stating that an increase in sanitary measures needs to take place as the virus is very contagious. Another prevention measure was increasing awareness and education regarding Zika virus. The delegate from India recommended that member states cooperate to avoid this virus from spreading further. This could be done regionallly by having representatives from different countries of the region come together and research the formula to exterminate this disease.
The delegates were very fearful about the spread of this virus to Africa as it could become a starting point for this virus to spread even further, traveling to countries far beyond the borders of the countries that are currently affected by it. It is important to contain the disease, said the delegates.
The delegate from the Netherlands said, “hopefully from this crisis that has come out, organizations, such as the World Health Organization and other NGOs will possibly learn from this and other governments so we can possibly contain such a thing in a much faster rate…Now this [Zika] has greatly spread”
The delegates in this group are very concerned about the level of access to healthcare many people deal with. When asking the group of delegates what the spread of Zika virus would mean in relation to the vastly growing migrant crisis and the resources available, the delegate from Cote d’Ivore said, “with the migrant crisis, people are going to want to flee not only these troubled war zones, but they are also going to want to flee the virus. With many African migrants fleeing to Europe already, and this virus being in Africa, there will be a lot of unchecked people leaving, bringing the virus to Europe.” The delegate from Bangladesh added, “most of the immigrants that are actually going to the European nations come from a place that is highly temperate in it is conditions… hence they do not have stagnant water places that are causing mosquitos to breed.”
The delegate from Bangladesh said that most migrants from war zones aren’t usually carrying the zika virus per se. The delegate said that these migrants are not necessarily a contamination of European countries. The delegates suggested that it important that we control the frontiers of countries that currently have a Zika crisis. The delegate from Qatar reiterated the importance of the sanitary measures and mobile units GLOCAL group is suggesting, furthering the idea that these suggestions need to be taken more seriously.
The delegates wish for more organizations such as Universities and NGOs to come forward and help stop the spread of this disease and are very confident in their standpoint and suggestions to combat this growing crisis at hand.