Committee: ECOSOC, WHO
Japan Delegate: Peter Giftos
The pathogen Ebola, commonly referred to as Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), is a malady that has sparked an international public health emergency. Mostly residing in West Africa, Ebola has approximately a 50% mortality rate and can easily be transmitted via direct contact with an infected animal or individual. The Democratic Republic of the Congo was recently inflicted with a major outbreak involving over 3,114 cases and 2,123 deaths. While efforts for a vaccine and cure are still in the works, it is important for the United Nations to generate and debate resolutions for this dreadful issue. The delegation of Japan is prepared to support The Democratic Republic of Congo with containing and eliminating their current outbreak; we are ready to set aid them in a plan that will effectively fight the Ebola virus.
In the past, the mobilization of laboratories, experts, and communities by the World Health Organization have been proven extremely effective in containing outbreaks of Ebola. An outbreak occurred on July 20th of 2014 in Nigeria, but was quickly combatted through effective mobilization of medicines and isolation of those infected. Funds from their government were set aside and used to create treatment and isolation facilities that would greatly limit transmission of the virus. The WHO also quickly established an emergency headquarters in Senegal, which combined with the swift execution of redistributing funds by the government, resulted in Nigeria becoming Ebola free by October. Past actions have shown that it is crucial to enact on outbreaks quickly, because if the process is slowed then it will allow the Ebola to spread fast and to neighboring countries.
As a nation, Japan has taken numerous measures to counteract the harshness of Ebola outbreaks, by including the development of test kits using thermographic cameras. Thermographic cameras demonstrate persons who have elevated body temperatures, which is a symptom and indication of Ebola. Japan has installed these cameras in our airports in times of outbreaks to ensure the disease doesn’t spread to our country via international travel. The test kit, developed by Toshiba Corporation, is portable, accurate, and rapidly reveals results of those likely infected with the Ebola virus. This test kit has been proven successful because of its ease of use in rural areas, due to its compact size and self-contained energy source. We have dispersed these cameras to West African countries in order to contain the Ebola disease.
Japan has been a critical role in the fight against Ebola, and the support that we’ve shown is vast. Japan has distributed emergency grants in response to outbreaks. The total funding that Japan has contributed to halt the virus is $173 million USD. In a 2014 Security Council meeting, Japan co-sponsored a resolution that determined the Ebola outbreak “a threat to international peace and security”. The deployment of experts to zones affected by Ebola have been extremely important in containment of the virus. In the past several years, Japan has contributed over 20 experts to serve in Liberia and Sierra Leone. We’ve contributed over 720,000 sets of protective medical isolation clothing, as well as vehicles and beds. We have also developed a drug, Avigan, that can counteract some Ebola symptoms, and are willing to administer this on a large scale to counteract Ebola emergency outbreaks.
Japan calls on all nations to consolidate to form a strong resolution that will guarantee that future Ebola crisis can be averted. Cooperation is key in resolving this issue. Without the cooperation of the majority of nations, the African Union, jeopardized communities, and NGO’s, the containment and prevention of Ebola is not possible. Japan thinks we should strive to create programs that will educate those at risk, as well as evolving the experimental vaccine, rVSV-ZEBOW, to its full potential and effectiveness.
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“[Press Releases] Emergency Grant Aid in Response to the Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak in West African Countries.” Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, 3 Oct. 2014, www.mofa.go.jp/press/release/press4e_000448.html.
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“UN Committee Says Ebola in DR Congo Still an International Public Health Emergency | UN News.” United Nations, United Nations, 18 Oct. 2019, news.un.org/en/story/2019/10/1049611.
- Peter Giftos