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A research on diseases neglected by public opinion in Bhutan: obesity and STDs

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Topic 1: Obesity

“One of today’s most blatantly visible-yet most neglected-public health problems” (WHO)—obesity has been a topic of interest in health organizations for decades. Obese and overweight peoples are prone to major risk factors for various diseases and cancer, namely diabetes. Having previously been only considered a problem in high income countries, obesity is now prevalent and on the rise in low and middle income countries.

Bhutan, in comparison with other countries, has a relatively low adult obesity rate for males at 4.9 percent in 2014. In the case of the female citizens of Bhutan, the obesity rate for adults in 2014 was 8.8 percent. In the USA, the same obesity rates for 2014 were 32.6 and 34.7 percent respectively. In comparison, one can say that Bhutan is much healthier. However, when in comparison with its neighbouring country of Nepal, Bhutan has five times the rate of obesity for adult males, and approximately two times the obesity rate for females (1.8 and 4.6 percent respectively, for Nepal). It is rather concerning that a neighbouring country can be off so much better. Not only does obesity effect Bhutan, but obesity effects nations all over the world. The delegate of Bhutan believes it is in the WHO’s greatest interest to prioritize obesity as an issue and to solve it as quickly as possible. However, this will not be possible without an established consensus and the joined efforts of all the nations of the UN. The delegate of Bhutan would ultimately like to establish a consensus with the WHO and produce a resolution in order to cut not only the obesity rate in Bhutan, but the obesity rates around the world. According to a study in 2013, not one country had decreased its obesity rate. 3 years after that study, the delegate of Bhutan believes it is time to reform this issue and to abolish it through an enforced educational curriculum to the citizens around the world.

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Topic 2: Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Sexually transmitted diseases and infections are spread primarily through sexual contact. There are upwards of 30 sexually transmissible bacteria, viruses, and parasites. There are also several sexually transmitted infections that can be spread from mother to child during pregnancy and childbirth through blood products and tissue transfer.

Though previous actions by the WHO and by other organizations alike have been taken in order to combat high percentages of STDs and STIs, they have proven to not work as well as expected. A study conducted in 2013 based in Gasa and Zhemgang (both rural distracts in Bhutan) showed that one in three persons practiced risky sexual behaviour—higher in men than in women. The study deduced that condom use was low. Respondents from the study scored an average of 61.6 percent, showing a higher knowledge in prevention but a lower knowledge about STDs and complications that accompany them. The delegate of Bhutan recognizes the efforts of the WHO and also of other health organizations pushing for less STDs and STIs, but would like to respectfully remind them that their efforts are absent in third and second world countries, such as Bhutan. The delegate of Bhutan would like for the WHO to reach a consensus and send educational materials, accompanied with teachers, to the lesser recognized nations in order for the citizens to better understand the dangers of STDs and STIs. The delegate of Bhutan would also like to mention that first world countries are not to be forgotten, and should have their educations reinforced on STDs and STIs as well. STDs and STIs are have a particular detrimental effect on third and second world countries, as the countries are generally lesser educated and STDs and STIs will prevent them from growing economically. In order for Bhutan, second and third world countries alike, and first world countries to prosper and thrive, the delegate of Bhutan believes in a reinforced STD and STI education.

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