By: Ankita Mishra, Honors College Junior
The American Mock World Health Organization (AMWHO) Regional Conference was a three-day long immersive experience hosted at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The opportunity to take part in this realistic simulation was truly like no other as it mirrored the experiences of a real ambassador at the World Health Organization. The focus of this conference was reproductive health equity on a global scale and I had the distinct pleasure of representing Refugees International- an integral organization in ensuring this equity worldwide. This NGO advocates for the lifesaving assistance and protection of displaced individuals around the world while promoting feasible solutions for the crises that have caused their displacement. As an NGO representative, my job was to ensure that the world regions taking part in the assembly were incorporating the ideals of Refugees International in their resolutions to work towards reproductive health equity.
While working with a total of five world regions, I learned the skills needed to develop important stances into workable and sustainable resolutions through methodology practiced by the WHO. In the EMRO Region, which included the Eastern Mediterranean area, I worked with Syria, Egypt, and other countries to utilize RI’s funding for the development of mobile clinics to reduce the prevalence of maternal morbidity in the region. In the EURO region, I worked with representatives from Germany, Switzerland, UK, and other countries to develop sexual education programs for both native and migrant populations in the region. In the SEARO/WIPRO region, which included Southeast Asia, Australia, and neighboring countries, I worked with representatives from Singapore, China, Australia, and other regions to integrate university level students into worldwide sexual education community programs.
These were some of the many irreplaceable experiences that I made through the three days of the event. I met with students from all across North Carolina who shared my vision for a stronger, healthier, and more equal world. I had the opportunity to network and hear the stories of prominent health professionals from the region who had traveled the world working in health equity and reproductive health, many of which had worked at the WHO at some point in their lives. By the end of the weekend, I truly felt like I had made a trip to Geneva.
More than anything, however, I was excited to have made these experiences while representing Refugees International. RI holds a special place in my heart after volunteering at a refugee camp while abroad during the past semester abroad, and working with refugees in the Carrboro area after returning the USA. With my knowledge from my continuing research in the field of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Brody School of Medicine, this past weekend was the perfect combination of my passions in women’s health and refugee advocacy in the scope of global health. This opportunity not only took me out of my comfort zone, but also gave me the opportunity to network and learn more about my role in the future of Global Health at an institution that is a trailblazer in the field.