Topic A: The Containment and Treatment of Noma
Topic Description The country of Canada is deeply concerned about the deadly disease, Noma, and would like to provide a solution. Noma is an infection that inhabits the face and slowly eats away at the flesh and bones around the mouth. The people most susceptible of this disease are children under the age of six, usually brought upon by poor living conditions, and improper health/oral care. Usually, the infected people have had illnesses prior in their life, such as measles, cancer, or immunodeficiency. The poverty of individuals results in malnutrition and contaminated sources of water that leads to the infection. Noma usually begins with ulcers, then soon after the lips begin to feel swollen. Within a few days the disease eats away at the flesh until a scab forms. Once the scab falls off, the end result is a gaping hole in the infected persons’ face. There is approximately a 90% mortality rate for noma. If caught early, however, it is possible for it to be treated by mild antibiotics and rehabilitation. It is estimated that 140, 000 new cases of Noma are reported a year (WHO statistic) and only 10% of the infected survive. Long term effects of survivors include permanent facial contortion, as well as facial disability. In addition, plastic surgery may be required to reconstruct facial bones and improve usage of the mouth and jaw. The primary region that noma affects
the most is sub-saharan africa. Canada is committed to targeting these particular areas of the world and improving the situation.
Past UN action Although the UN has not addressed the issue of noma specifically, they have addressed the overall education and health issues of the world, including oral health. WHO's Global School Health Initiative, launched in 1995, sought to mobilize and strengthen health promotion and education activities at many levels. Such an initiative could be beneficial for noma by providing education of sanitary conditions in rural and undeveloped areas. In the World Oral Health Report in 2003, the global oral health program formulated policies and the necessary actions to be taken regarding oral health. Their strategy was to integrate oral health and disease prevention into chronic disease and health because the two are intertwined, and would help increase the people’s response. At the world health assembly in 2007, WHO acknowledged oral health as a severe issue and stated that they have been working on spreading awareness for the last five years. They came up with a global policy for oral health in which the two main governance bodies of WHO came together (the World Health Assembly and the Executive Board). In this policy, they agreed on an action plan to integrate oral health and disease, providing the basis for future oral programmes.
Delegation Policy The delegation of Canada fully supports the containment and treatment of Noma, and will work with the other members of WHO to aid the current situation. Canada can feasibly finance part of the methods to aide Noma. However, because of our new conservative government, Canada’s foreign aid will not be as abundant as it has been in years past. Due to government cutbacks, Canada will be cutting back on foreign aid. However, the reductions since 2011 will cause Canadian aid to focus on fewer countries, rather than providing financial aid to many at once (Canada’s ODA, official department assistance). Some disagreement has ensued following Canada’s decision to provide aid for middle income economies, rather than one’s in more rural areas, such as sub saharan africa. Though our aid, as of 2012, remains unfocused, Canada is determined to build up the ODA to a strength in which it is capable of providing aid not only in a focused way, but rather to areas that need it the most. We are fully determined to the containment and treatment of Noma, and further contend