Report on WorldMUN 2007, Geneva

After a selection procedure by our head delegates, Regina Schmidt and Anna Uhl, from the School of Economics and Management at the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, I was selected as one of the 12 delegates from UniBz, to represent Kenya in the World Health Organization at the 16th World Model United Nations simulation, which was held from 26-30 March 2007 in Geneva, Switzerland. The following report describes some background of the UN simulation and general programme, dynamics of and reflections on the WHO committee, and social events; suggestions are integrated in the main text.

If any of you bioinformatician-readers wonders what this has to do with, say, medical informatics: as it appeared during preparations on finding information about HIV/AIDS in Kenya, Kenya had a successful trial and implementation of mobile Electronic Health Records to improve the health care system, resulting in better and more care for HIV infected Kenyans! On top of this, there are recent active developments for a broader open souce ERH project, called OpenMRS. So there are opportunities for doing computer science & IT with healthcare that have socio-relevance as well.

There are about three years worth of EHR data already, which has been partially analysed. I could not find information if they used an ontology, but with the expansion of the system to other countries, such as South Africa (which most likely has its own peculiarities for medical records like most countries do), one can see a potential ontology-enabled data integration project slowly showing up at the horizon.