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April-July, 2012 2012

SCOMER REPORT

scomer2012@gmail.com or scomer@famsanet.org www.famsanet.org 7/1/2012

Federation of African Medical Students’ Associations (FAMSA)


Contents INTRODUCTION ..................................................................................................................................................... 3 Aims of SCOMER ............................................................................................................................................... 3 Duties of SCOMER ............................................................................................................................................. 3 ACHIEVEMENTS ..................................................................................................................................................... 4 SCOMER LOGO .................................................................................................................................................. 4 FACEBOOK PAGES ................................................................................................................................................. 4 WEBSITES HOSTING SCOMER MATERIALS ............................................................................................................ 5 WORK HEALTH DAYS ............................................................................................................................................. 5 World Malaria Day (25th April, 2012) ................................................................................................................ 5 Autism Awarenesss Campaign .......................................................................................................................... 6 African Child’s Day (16th June, 2012) –.............................................................................................................. 7 NEWSLETTER ......................................................................................................................................................... 8 Upcoming Events –................................................................................................................................................ 9 1.

Conference .................................................................................................................................................... 9 2.

World Mental Health Day ......................................................................................................................... 9

RESEARCH WORKSHOP ......................................................................................................................................... 9 MEDICAL EDUCATION RESOURCES: .................................................................................................................... 10 OTHER ACTIVITIES ............................................................................................................................................... 10 CHALLENGES ....................................................................................................................................................... 10


INTRODUCTION SCOMER is one of the five standing committees under the Federation of African Medical Students’ Associations (FAMSA) and functions mainly to promote medical education and research among medical students in Africa. A new team of committed students from several universities across the different regions of Africa was ushered into office of SCOMER on 28th March, 2012. Other committees of FAMSA include Standing Committee on Publications (SCOPUB), Standing Committee on Health and Environment (SCOHE),Standing Committee on Professional Exchange (SCOPE)and Standing Committee on Population Activity (SCOPA).

Aims of SCOMER * To encourage the training of medical students in research principles and procedures. * To emphasize and stimulate original thinking and initiative by medical students. * To co-ordinate researches and appraise their practical application. * To collate and discriminate medical students’ original findings.

Duties of SCOMER medical students to engage in medical research. students on health related activities. Avail a list of new literature on medical education and on student research. Enlighten medical students on details concerning conferences on medical education and student research a report on SCOMER activities as well as evaluate its success, for presentation to the Executive Council and General Assembly of FAMSA. The Working Committee of SCOMER Whereas SCOMER consists of all medical students from medical associations across the continent, its activities are guided by a team of committed students from several universities across the different regions of the continent. These students oversee SCOMER activities at regional, country and medical school levels. Currently, we have representatives in the Eastern, Southern, Western and Central regions of Africa.


ACHIEVEMENTS SCOMER LOGO The LOGO that was developed by CCDI (Computer Careers Development Initiative) Africa

FACEBOOK PAGES We have created four (4) facebook pages which are very active. They were created mainlyfor the following purposes;  

 

Promote medical education among the students To act as a forum for the students, professionals, parents and other interested person to discuss and disseminateseveral medical and health issues affecting the society and Africa in particular. To capture unique information concerning health in several areas across Africa To act as a forum for the medical students to discuss issues of medical importance.




A communication channel for various FAMSA/SCOMER activities.

The facebook pages include: a) b) c) d)

Malaria Eradication Campaign Understanding the Autistic Child Africa for Africa’s Children FAMSA-SCOMER

The first three (a, b, c) are specific while the fourth (d) is general for anybody to explain or post any medically related information or activity

WEBSITES HOSTING SCOMER MATERIALS www.issuu.com/famsanet : Famsanet is the name of the profile created on this site. This account enables us to have an archive for all publications, find out how often our documents are viewed by the public, and to upload and email;SCOMER newsletters, reports and other SCOMER as well as FAMSA documents and materials. www.flickr.com/famsanet : This accountwas created to act as a photo album. This was after we realized that the number of photos from the several activities done in different countries was increasing and we could not easily keep track or record of them. This site will also host videos of future SCOMER and FAMSA activities.

WORK HEALTH DAYS World Malaria Day (25th April, 2012) World Malaria Day is an important day to celebrate especially in Sub Sahara Africa where every 30 seconds a child under the age of five dies from malaria. The lives of mothers are also not spared. Commemorating this day was therefore to raise the awareness about this disease and toengage students in


a debate on how we in Africa can effectively control or eradicate malaria. Students were encouraged to undertake any activity aimed at controlling or reducing malaria at their respective places or campuses and homes. The achievements registered include:     

Visiting the children and maternity wards in some hospitals, Spraying several homes. Providing treated mosquito nets Health education. Radio talk-show on malaria (Vibe Fm, 91.9) -Ghana

Pending Activities:  Research: The SCOMER team is developing a proposal for an Africa wide study on Malaria.  SCOMER is collaborating with CCDI (Computer Careers Development Initiative) to come up with ideas and develop a mobile phone application that will facilitate medical education and community sensitization on malaria.  A tree planting exercise (trees that repel mosquitoesegNim tree).

Autism Awarenesss Campaign This is an ongoing campaign and is led by the SCOMER team in Ghana. It started off with the establishment of the facebook page “Understanding the Autistic Child.” Along the way there was an autism awareness week that ended with a walk along the streets of Kampala. (Chief guest was the Chancellor of Makerere University). This event was an idea of the Uganda Parents Autism Association (UPAA) and we are proud to have partnered with them and been a part of the event. Currently, we have established contacts with the following as regards AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER; 1. Uganda Parents Autism Association (UPAA).


2. Dr.Badoe Ben (Autism Specialist in Ghana). 3. Beatrice Langariti (Senior Counselor and with a child living with Autism). 4. Mr. Abraham OwinoYeyo (Statistician and Evaluation Consultant, Lecturer -Makerere University) 5. Ghana Autism Association

African Child’s Day (16th June, 2012) – What transpired this year especially as regards to what we organized proved that medical students can be good advocates for a healthier Africa. The International Day of The African Child (DAC) exists because of the selfless struggle that was mounted by over 10,000 school children advocating for improvement in the quality of their education and the right to be taught in their native language in the South African town of Soweto in 1976. Whereas the day was celebrated in several African countries, the impact left by the medical students on this day cannot go unnoticed. The following were achieved/ transpired 

   

Disability awareness walk (in Uganda and Kenya) with over 700 persons enduring a distance of over 3km. Fun Day. This occurred in several areas as even students who could not organize the walk spent time with the children with disabilities and other children in various homes and hospitals. As part of the fun day, medical students had lunch with the children who had gathered from several primary schools and schools for the disabled. Several games spiced up the day. The games included skipping, running, water race, football, dancing, scrabble, chess, face and book painting, Voluntary HIV/AIDS Counseling and testing (In Kenya) Medical camp involving screening of disabilities and referrals (by a team of students, orthopedic surgeons, physiotherapists, occupational health specialists and clinicians)- Uganda School fees: The SCOMER team also mobilized medical students and staff to raise funds for the academic charges for the disabled children.


  

Medical Education and community sensitization: This was through radio talk-shows, and visits to schools and children’s homes. Donation of items including scholastic materials, clothes, shoes, bags, etc And much more as explained in the reports (DAC-Kenya and DAC-Uganda)

NB:DAC activities were organized in conjunction with SCOPE (Standing Committee on Professional Exchange) with support from various partners as highlighted in DAC-report. It is our recommendation that every medical school develops a social responsibility program in their university to enable the students to interact with` disabled and less-privileged persons within their immediate locality.

NEWSLETTER The idea of the newsletter was born by the SCOMER team so as to capture events that take place in the localities of medical importance and also act as a forum for the medical students to express themselves. The newsletter is released once in two months and we have so far had three issues (releases) with the next issue to be released in the beginning of September, 2012. The quality of the newsletter is getting better by the day and the readership is also increasing. Contributors to the newsletter vary from students to professionals in various fields from several countries including Papua New Guinea and United Kingdom. The newsletter can also be accessed on different sites including FAMSA website (www.famsanet.org), www.issuu.com/famsanetand CCDI website. The third issue is on the WFPHA (World Federation of Public Health Associations) website www.wfpha.org WFPHA Newsletter July 2012 .


Upcoming Events – 1. Conference FAMSA will be holding the first East African Medical Students’ Conference to be hosted by Uganda at Kampala International University - Western Campus on 17th-22nd September, 2012. THEME: Promoting the Quality of Health in Africa SCOMER has been tasked to manage the Conference Scientific Committee with duties including the following:    

Design abstract format for presentation at the Conference. Call, receive and review abstracts Identify keynote speakers and plenary session chairs for the conference. Design and manage the conference programme

Joy Kamau (Moi University, Kenya) and Opejo Pius (Kampala International University, Uganda) are heading the committee to ensure everything goes smoothly and as planned.

2. World Mental Health Day This will be on 10th October, 2012 and preparations are under. Details will be on the facebook pages.

RESEARCH WORKSHOP As a boost to the upcoming East African Conference, SCOMER organized a research workshop at Kampala International University. This was meant to enlighten students about their roles in conferences and how to achieve the best from professional meetings. This was spiced up with presentations on developing research proposals, abstract writing, preparing manuscripts and publication of research work. The workshop was facilitated by authorities in research such as Assoc. Prof. Ahmed Adedeji (Lead guest Editor, Journal of Tropical Medicine), Assoc. Prof. Yusuf Sadiq (Deputy Vice Chancellor, KIU), Prof. Wilson Byarugaba (Geneticist) and Dr. AgwuEzera (Ph.D, FASAFRI). This single day event took place on Thursday 28th June, 2012 and it was organized in conjunction with Association of Medical Students; KIU (AMSKIU) and The School of Postgraduate Studies, KIUWestern Campus.


MEDICAL EDUCATION RESOURCES: Through our various facebook pages and releases, we managed to provide links to important medical resources like links to CME (including from Harvard University), Medical videos and lectures and conference updates/ links

OTHER ACTIVITIES Collaboration with Latin American Medical Students Association Currently, the chairman (Kisangala Ephraim) is working with the Southern African regional coordinator (Maki Lwando) to finalise the partnership.

CHALLENGES Funding: There is literally no money to run and maintain many of the ongoing and planned activities. Many of the activities have been accomplished by donations, loans and individual sacrifice. Coordination: The team comprises a number of students from across the continent and in different time zones, coordination and communication is a very big challenge. Workforce: Compared to the workload, SCOMER has quite a small number of persons to accomplish the tasks available. Time: The committee mainly comprises medical students who have actually limited time to spare. Thus a lot of sacrifice has to be made by these students that are passionate about the health of the continent. Pending activities: There are a number of planned activities that have not been accomplished especially due to the above reasons RECOMMENDATIONS We request FAMSA to look into the above issues especially the finances.

By SCOMER TEAM


SCOMER REPORT