Last few days of the GA
This mornings public health session on the morning on organ donation. I’m glad I did because it was a very informative session that appealed to both the heart and the head. The need for donated organs is enormous as it is very personal issue, as different cultures have varying views on the subject. The ethics of assuming an opt-out system may not work in some cultures where they believe that the body must remain whole for the afterlife. However the tension lies with the question of balancing cultural sensitivity and autonomy with the public need for organs. We watched a few emotional videos about young children who were able to have a second chance at life due to donated organs, we also watched another movie which explained how easy it is to donate bone marrow, which could mean the difference between life and death for a young person with leukemia. Some participants from the UK shared their experiences working with the bone marrow registry called Marrow in the UK, where students simply send in a swab of saliva and their contact information so that if they are a match with a patient in need, they could potentially save a life.
At one of the last days of the GA, I attended one of the most interesting session during this entire GA. I attended a joint session on Urbanization and sustainable cities in the post-2015 sustainable development goals. The presentation itself was okay, we were told about how youth can get involved in the international discussions around urbanization and post-2015 goals. If anyone is interested, they can check out childrenyouth.org to get on the mailing list. I had an amazing discussion with a few delegates from Taiwan, Germany, Austria and Denmark where we shared stories about how cities are organized in our countries and brainstormed ways we could make it better. Creative solutions ranging from local fisheries to vertical urban greenhouses and accessible public transport were some of the ideas that came out of our discussions.
Overall I feel very fortunate to have had this experience meeting motivated inspiring students from around the globe, I left this GA with not only new perspectives on health, but with many new friends. The memories from GA are ones that will stay and inspire me for many years to come!