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The
topics before the World Health Organization are ‘Illegal Organ Trade’ and
‘Sustainable Vaccine Practices and Financing’. The World Health Organization is
an organization that strives to ensure healthcare issues are taken care of
globally as health is a basic human right by aiming to come up with practical
solutions to any and all problems related to humans’ health. South Africa has
taken significant measures in ensuring to put a stop illegal organ trade and making
sure that vaccine practices take place with the utmost amount of care.

      
I.           
Illegal Organ Trade

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As the number of organ donors throughout the years have
started to decline while the need for organ transplants have continued to rise,
people have become desperate and turned to the black market. This has caused
wealthy patients to spend large sums of money on unauthorized transplants, with
these so called ‘donors’ having improper medical care for their surgery. Organ
trafficking has become a huge issue with documented cases showing up in Indonesia, China, India, South Africa, Brazil, and many other countries. According to a report by medical
anthropologist Nancy Scherper-Hughes, the demand for organ transplants are so
high that 123,000 men, women and children are on the organ’s donors list right
now with an average of 25 dying each day. Prices for organs on the black market
range from $30,000 for a cornea to about $160,000 for a heart. According to
WHO, in 2010, 11,000 human organs were available on the black market. It is not
easy to keep track of illegal transplants as most of them are heard only after
the death of the patient has been reported.

From 2001 to 2003, St. Augestine’s hospital in South
Africa had had 109 illegal transplants, with five of these having the
involvement of minors. This has led to the Human Tissues Act No.65 of 1983
being fully enacted in 2012 to ensure the prevention of such cases. Moreover,
several cases of organ trafficking have been prosecuted to put an end to such
activities.

South Africa has endorsed guidelines put forth by the WHO
to avoid exploitation of organ donors, but these guidelines have not been
legally binding towards any country, allowing them to bend the rules and allow
organ trafficking to take place. However these actions, show that South Africa
is willing to change and work on reducing organ trafficking. Recently, there is
a local film that had been released regarding the St. Augestine events, highlighting
the issues regarding the shortage of organs and organ trafficking. This
campaign will help being awareness to people as to how harmful it can be to be
involved in such activities. The EU has also intervened in hopes of making the situation
regarding this issue better for the country.

As stated by WHO only 10% of the global needs of organ transplantation
are met. To get rid of black markets, there is a need to set up and establish
legal markets. Setting up of donation centers to spread awareness about the
need for organs and harmful effects of organ trafficking will help educate both
medical professors and the general public.

   
II.           
Sustainable Vaccine Practices and
Financing

The main aim of vaccines is to eradicate many of the
harmful diseases, however, in some countries, a lot of the highly recommended
vaccines remain to be unavailable. This unavailability has led to many infants
and adolescents belonging to these countries to suffer from diseases that could
have easily been prevented by these vaccines, if only they had access to them. Most
of the issues stem from the misunderstanding of the healthcare providers and
parents. Some other key problems that come in the way of sustainable practices
are: cost, difficult vaccine storage, reduced vaccine supply and distribution,
lack of a system to collect and consolidate vaccination status of single
individuals and missed opportunities.

The Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI), a
cost-effective yet powerful public health program had their managers in South
Africa identify the main challenges present as of now. Many of the challenges
were linked to lack of knowledge amongst healthcare workers, reluctance amongst
parents to provide their children with vaccines due to rumors, and the health
system.

This has led to South Africa adopting new vaccinations by
financing them through domestic sources such as general taxation. Their
National Vaccination Policy is determined by the Department of Health. South
Africa has also made highly recommended vaccines, such as polio, compulsory for
all citizens. According to the Mail & Guardian, it has been estimated that
South Africa has an 80% vaccination coverage, thereby deeming South Africa as a
country which is capable of making sure its people are given proper healthcare.

Organizations such as the GAVI Alliance have been
responsible in making sure that the MICs and LICs are given proper financial
aid so that they can gain access to vaccines. Bhutan, Republic of Congo,
Georgia, Moldova and Mongolia have all taken help from the GAVI Alliance
to meet their vaccine needs financially. Such organizations also work on making
sure the developing countries can learn to become financially stable and self-sufficient
in providing healthcare to their citizens.

In order to battle these issues, certain solutions need
to be implemented. To overcome the issue of cost, countries can make sure
vaccines are provided to the people free of charge as done in South Africa.
Costs are covered by charging tax to high class citizens thereby allowing the
middle and low class citizens to gain access to vaccinations easily. Another
enormous issue faced is the issue of parental reluctance. This can be solved by
educating the general public with the help of campaigns. Healthcare providers
must also make sure that parents do not misunderstand how vaccines help their
infants as it is usually miscommunication between the physicians and doctors
that may lead to the refusal of vaccinations.

 

 

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