The Ontario Model World Health Organization (OMWHO)

The Ontario Model World Health Organization (OMWHO) has plans to advance global health awareness at University of Toronto that are truly unique - it is the only conference of its kind in Ontario. OMWHO has successfully introduced a conference that enables students to achieve skills in diplomacy and debating. Consequently, it fosters an atmosphere that encourages students to become active members of the global health community. The conference’s popularity is well known as it is now successfully progressing into its sixth year.

An event conducted through the University of Toronto International Health Program (UTIHP), it’s conducted in format similar to a Model United Nations conference, thus giving students experience in the format of global health governance. Themes at past OMWHO conferences have been ‘Health in Times of Conflict’, and ‘Health & Climate Change’ but many more issues have yet to be debated and resolved.

In order to discover more about one of U of T’s most innovative clubs and how you can get involved, I have interviewed Api Thavalinkham and Meerah Haq, OMWHO’s co-directors for the 2016 iteration.

WM: What are the goals for OMWHO for the 2015/2016 term?

OMWHO: The goals for the 6th Annual OMWHO conference are to:

  • Expand our reach beyond the global health community, inciting partnerships and interests 
within students who are not directly involved or associated with global health.

  • Establish ourselves as an interdisciplinary learning opportunity, both for the purpose of 
gaining perspectives in different fields in our conference, but also to highlight the 
importance of different perspectives in the actual WHO. 

  • Incorporate more health topics into the conference to encourage discussion on many 
different fronts in healthcare issues.

WM: What are the plans for OMWHO for the 2015/2016 term? 

OMWHO: This term, OMWHO will be incorporating a few new aspects to the conference for expansion. Firstly, the breadth of health topics has been expanded to cover more ground. Secondly, OMWHO will also be introducing crisis committees, which will be for the purpose of discussing specific health crises. Finally, we are excited this year to include a "historical committee" that will be reenacting the creation of the WHO. 

WM: What are the events for OMWHO for the 2015/2016 term?

OMWHO: OMWHO's flagship event is the conference itself, taking place over 3 days at the end of January 2016. This will include committee sessions over 3 days and 2 delegate socials and will explore the complex issues related to health and climate change. You can register at! 

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