WHO: World Health Organization

Topic A: Promoting Suicide Prevention and Reducing Incidences of Suicide

Suicide is ranked as the 17th leading cause of death globally, with 800,000 instances taking place each year, or 1.4% of deaths. Worse yet, this number has been rising in recent years. To combat this growing epidemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) created a suicide prevention program, SUPRE, to spread awareness of the growing issue as well as ways in which communities can fight against it. SUPRE sees cultural taboos, reporting, ineffective preventive measures, a lack of certified reliable medical intervention, and an overall lack of awareness as the primary obstacles to preventing further suicide cases. Suicide prevention is one of the most uniquely personal health issues across the world, but given the magnitude of the issue, it is one that must be addressed on a global scale.

Topic B: Reducing the Burden of Physical Disability

In 2010, more than three million people died as a result of an unintentional injury, making it among the leading causes of death and disability-adjusted life years (DALYs)—a widely-accepted metric for measuring the overall effect of disease. Additionally, the lack of reliable standards in reporting these injuries creates discrepancies in how these issues are reported, which means that the actual magnitude of the issue is likely much larger. Even in cases where unintentional injury does not lead to death, the afflicted often suffer severe disabilities, some of which may never fully heal. However, many societies offer little to no support for people suffering from these disabilities, so the cost of living with a disability often drives them into poverty. Low-to-middle income countries (LMICs) tend to represent a large share of disease burden. In 2010, 90% of deaths by unintentional injury occurred in LMICs. Evidently, action from WHO is a crucial step in reducing the incidence of one of the most preventable causes of death as well as improving the lives of those who live with the debilitating consequences of unintentional injuries.