Page 1

Issue 10 August 2011

New Projects

PROJECTS BULLETIN Rex Crossley Award Nominations Being (+) Caminos de Paz SCORP Brazil Projects Antibiotic Resistanc e CIMSA-ISMKI Projects Fiji Village Project NorPal Sawa Peac e Construction Save our Women Alcohol Awareness and Climate Change g FAScinate SDH






The mission of IFMSA

was founded in May 1951 and is run by medical students, for medical students, on a non-profit basis. IFMSA is officially recognised as a nongovernmental organisation within the United Nations’ system and has official relations with the World Health Organisation. It is the international forum for medical students, and one of the largest student organisations in the world.

is to offer future physicians a comprehensive introduction to global health issues. Through our programs and opportunities, we develop culturally sensitive students of medicine, intent on influencing the transnational inequalities that shape the health of our planet.

Imprint Editor-in-Chief

Phillip Chao, New Zealand

Editors and Proofreaders

Anna Chae, New Zealand Helen Martyn, New Zealand Hrvoje Vidakovic, New Zealand

Design/Layout Anny Huang, Australia


International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations General Secretariat: IFMSA c/o WMA B.P. 63 01212 Ferney-Voltaire, France Phone: +33 450 404 759 Fax: +33 450 405 937 Email: Homepage:

Contacts Printed in Romania


Projects, the Heart of IFMSA It is my privilege to write this foreword for the tenth issue of the Projects Bulletin on the 60th anniversary general assembly of IFMSA. It has been an active and busy year for projects. This year has seen more and more new projects applying for status in IFMSA and inspirational projects that NMOs are carrying out in their countries. We have had an increased number of applications each general assembly for projects fair and projects presentations. This issue of the Projects Bulletin seeks to highlight new and innovative projects in length as issue nine has already given readers a snapshot of the projects that span IFMSA. The current issue features significant projects across all standing committee, with articles submitted

from a variety of projects and the Rex Crossley Awards feature articles. My sincere thanks goes out to Iza Ene and Claudiu Toader, the fantastic Rex Crossley Award Transnational Project Coordinators, who consistently manage the project to the highest standards. One important feature of this issue is the work of the Projects Support Division (PSD) Small Working Group (SWG). A number of bylaw amendments have been tabled for AM11 from the work that the SWG has achieved. I would be grateful for your attention to this timely revision of the PSD. In this revitalised PSD, the future of projects is bright indeed.

IFMSA. In an IFMSA that hopes to be a leader in global health and advocacy for medical students, projects will be what provide substance and credibility to IFMSA’s work. Projects are the action that substantiates our policy statements. When IFMSA meet with externals and advocates on an issue, it will be the projects that relay more strongly our intentions than our words. As the proverbial saying goes: “Actions speak louder than words.” Therefore projects must become “the Heart of IFMSA”: the beating pulse that nurtures the rest of the organisation. Yours truly, Nick Watts and Phillip Chao Projects Support Division Director and Assistant

Projects should be part of the core work of

Projects Support Division Small Working Group After an international call, the Projects Support Division (PSD) Small Working Group (SWG) was formed in February 2011 to review the current structure of the PSD and propose the necessary revisions to enhance its function for IFMSA. This was an extensive review process that has drawn on the expertise and advice from a variety of stakeholders. It has involved consultations with project coordinators at general assemblies (AM10 and MM11), IFMSA Team of Officials Meetings and online discussions of the SWG. Several needs were identified: the need for training development of project coordinators and national projects officers; resources such as manuals and guidelines; support in fundraising and external representation; mentoring and continued guidance from project experts; effective and efficient communication channels; redefining and rethinking what does it mean to be an ‘IFMSA’ project.

PSD Structure (See page 19):

The figure shows the culmination of the work of all those involved in the process. It is an exciting step towards a more sustainable and effective PSD, although it is not without its challenges. Projects Advisors in Training, Fundraising and Publications There will be a dedicated projects advisor in each of training, fundraising and publications to develop the capacity to meet the identified needs in each of these areas. These projects advisors will work with the respective Division Directors such as the Training Support Division Director, Vice-President External and Publications Support Division Director, in specific and well-defined roles. These projects advisors will be able to enhance the services provided by the PSD such as trainings in projects at PreGAs, GAs, RMs and NGAs, marketing support, and publishing materials and resources.

Regional Projects Advisors:

Currently two regions already have develop-




ment assistants in projects, who have been active in supporting projects of the region. This will be expanded to all regions, where the project advisors will work with regional coordinators, especially to support endorsed projects. This is because the regional projects advisors are more likely to be fluent in the main languages, systems and processes of their regions to provide this specific support.

Projects Proposal Review Committee (PPRC):

The PPRC’s role will be reinforced as reviewing and maintaining the quality of projects. A bylaw amendment will seek to streamline the structure so that there is adequate standing committee representation on the PPRC to provide meaningful advice on projects. Furthermore, the PPRC will have members with extensive experience in projects to act as mentors to Transnational Projects and Initiatives. There will be an Internal Operating Guideline for the PPRC that outlines a consistent and transparent process for evaluation.

Project Categories:

The current project structures of endorsed project, transnational project and initiatives have become less clear with the growth of projects in IFMSA. There will be proposed bylaw amendments to clarify the meaning of the project categories and the support that is subsequently provided. Endorsed projects will continue to require consensus from the general assembly, remain largely autonomous in its activities, with essential reporting to the PSD. Transnational projects will receive support from a project mentor within the PPRC, support by the project advisors in training, fundraising and publications, as well as external representation by IFMSA Liaison Officers. Initiatives will continue to be set by the IFMSA Executive Board and now has access to a range of support services in the reinvigorated PSD. The requirements for all proposals and reports are being updated

with bylaw amendments to make the process more pertinent and worthwhile for all involved.


Some of the challenges faced by this expanded PSD are the increased number of people involved in the division. There will be the creation of three new roles only: projects advisors in training, fundraising and publications. A clearly defined description of these roles with sufficient guidance from the Projects Support Division Director is required to make these roles efficient and useful. As with any larger team, communication between members may become an issue. This will be addressed by developing succinct feedback and reporting channels and continued assessment. Finally, with the hopeful adoption of the revised project categories, there will need to be a transition phase, looking at all current projects and re-evaluating where each may fit in the new, improved system. These are exciting developments ahead for a PSD that meets the needs of IFMSA. The range of services that the PSD will be able to offer will be increased, the quality of services will be enhanced and projects will continue to go from strength to strength. Thank you to all the project coordinators, officials, alumni and NMO members that have contributed to this revision. It has been a major collaborative effort of all those involved. On behalf of the PSD SWG Phillip Chao Projects Support Division Assistant and Coordinator of the SWG PSD SWG Members: Nick Watts, Projects Support Division Director Maude Soulières, IFMSA-Quebec Hamdy Fliefel, IFMSA-Egypt Geneviève Bois, RC Americas Unni Gopinathan, LO WHO Caline Mattar, IFMSA VPI


Projects Showcase Antibiotic Resistance Time to act

About seventy years ago one of the world’s greatest inventions was introduced to human society. The man who discovered it was named Alexander Fleming and the invention was the antibiotic known as penicillin. When antibioticswere introduced, the world was revolutionized, as former lethal infections became curable. Undisputedly this was a great achievement in a world that had been marked for centuries by infectious epidemics and pandemics. During the 14th century the plague reached its peak in Europewhere nearly 40 percent of its population was wiped out. (1). Tuberculosis epidemics have appeared in our historynumerous times. Also over the past centuries, countless people have died of cholera. Reading through our history of infectious diseases is, I grant you, horrific. Unfortunately it is easy to think of these problems as problems of the past. After all everybody knows that infections can be cured by antibiotics. As long as we have access to antibiotics we will be safe. What will happen if antibiotics become useless? It has been estimated that 4440,000 new cases of multidrug resistant TB appear every year worldwide (2). Even while writing this, Haiti is fighting a severe cholera epidemic. Maybe we are not as safe as we thought? Today antibiotic resistance has become a fact. World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General, Dr Margaret Chan, stated in her speech on World Health Day 2011that, “The emergence and spread of drug-resistant pathogens has accelerated. More and more essential medicines are failing. The therapeutic arsenal is shrinking. The speed with which these drugs are being lost far outpaces the development of replacement drugs. In fact, the R&D pipeline for new antimicrobials has practically run dry”. The consequences of antibiotic resistance are; increased costs for hospitals, increased number of deaths that could have been prevented and a limitation to the possibilities of modern medicine where antibiotics play a big role. Antibiotic resistance- Time to Act is a project that aims to involve medical students worldwide in this issue, making them a part of the solution. The project is supported by React- Action on Antibiotic Resistance,, an organization we are working withto set up a student network that connects students in different countries with each other and with other NGOs working on the same issue.


In order for this project to be successful, all countries and regions have to take part. If you are interested or if you are already working with antibiotic resistance please email me at


1) Statistics Available from: 2)Statistics World Health Organization, WHO 3) Picture Available from: Cecilia Kållberg IFMSA-Sweden Project Coordinator

Alcohol Awareness and Climate Change Projects Medical Students for Global Awareness (MSGA) recently undertook a very successful and highly publicised campaign to raise awareness for stronger alcohol law reform in New Zealand. The draft bill, which is before a parliamentary select committee, has omitted many key recommendations that the law commission made in its report last year “Alcohol in our Lives: Curbing the Harm”. MSGA members had a stand in the medical school where students, staff and public alike were invited to sign postcards to members of parliament encouraging them to support the inclusion of stronger measures into the bill. The story was carried on the local news channel and front page of the Otago Daily Times. Since the story was run, members of the public and groups within Dunedin have been contacting MSGA lending their support and asking how they can be more involved in the campaign. MSGA Otago is also working on a campaign to oppose several proposals that have been submitted and/or planned by Solid Energy. Solid


Energy has submitted a proposal to the Gore District Council and Environment Southland to construct a lignite-to-briquette conversion plant. To date only Environment Southland has made a decision and this states that “Solid Energy’s application to build a pilot lignite-tobriquettes plant in Southland should proceed non-notified”. This means that the public will not be made formally aware of the application and therefore are unable to lodge formal submissions to the council to oppose this. Simultaneously, it is known that Solid Energy had their lawyers advising the councils on this decision and have also held public meetings to convince the local population that this plant is beneficial for the community and therefore they should support it. Solid Energy hasplans to also construct lignite-to-urea and lignite-to-diesel conversion plants and then larger scale lignite mining in Southland. If the status quo remains then most of the public in Southland and Otago in particular and, throughout New Zealand in general, will be unaware of these proposals and the extensive adverse health and environmental effects these projects will produce. Further, if these projects are approved then an extra 17million tonnes of CO2 will be emitted per year – remembering that NZ’s total emissions per year are currently 75million tonnes per year, so this will be a significant addition to these emissions. MSGA Otago is currently working on a document that will outline our objection to Solid Energy’s proposals and describe the adverse health and environmental effects. MSGA Otago will then use this document as a reference to increase public awareness throughout Southland and Otago about the severe problems that are associated with the planned projects. We plan to utilise important community members, such as local health workers (public health physicians, general practitioners and nurses) to as-

sist us with disseminating this information. n We aim to gather enough public opposition to the projects to force either local or national governing bodies to reject such immoral proposals. Ashton Kelly MSGA Otago Coordinator, NZMSA

Being B i (+) to t Happiness H i The first cases of HIV / AIDS in childrenwere described in 1982 in the United States of America. Since then the number of infected children has continued to increase; themain cause for this isthe sexual exploitation of children. It is estimated that in 2007, 2.1 million children under 15 years of age livewith the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

Left: University of Otago student Stefan Fairweaer holds postcards urging stronger measures to counter binge drinking; Below: Souland farms where projects are planned for

The T first paediatric case of HIV in El Salvador was identified in 1989 at the National Children’s Hospital Benjamín Bloom. Since then they have attended 427 new cases of HIV infected children and 889 non-infected sons of HIV positive mothers. Children are raped everyday. This is a violation of the Universal Declaration of the Rights of the child and it is evident that these children’s rights are being violated in many other ways from the time of their conception. T Therefore, we decided to develop a project, working with theseHIV (+) children. The project involved communication with these childrento learn about their needs, concerns and desires to be able to obtain information about their quality of life andtake action about this. We established a psychological programme with the children so that they could resolve all of their emotional problems and develop tools to use in their future. We celebrate special dates such as holidays and festivities with the children so that they can have a fun and happy moment to forget about their illness.Most importantly, we can remove





the barriersbetween future healthcare providers and these childrenwith theprincipal action of fighting against the discrimination and stigmatization that these children face daily in our society. In this project it is also contemplated that we will visit the children at the National Children’s Hospital Benjamín Bloom to have a fun and happy moment with them at the hospital, and also volunteer our free time tohelp them with their recovery. We will work with the hospital to try to establish a programmefor them to help with the treatment of children in the orphanages so that they can have full and equal access to medical treatment. One of the project’s goals is to develop a Health Plan with the Public Health System totry to reach all of the orphanages to give them access to the service of the hospitals to help these children increase their quality of life andincrease their rates of school attendance. Our greatest problems were gaining access to the children, gaining permission to enter the orphanages and the hospital, and being able to access the database of them. We also had problems withfinding sponsorship to enable us to get all of the supplies needed to satisfy the basics needs of the children,especially their medications – somethingthat is so important to their recovery and well being. What we need??? Just SCORPions…with a HUGE HEART. Cecilia Alejandra García Sorto and Rodrigo José Martínez Noubleau Project Coordinators, IFMSA-El Salvador

crease societal awareness of the importance of Human Rights and the anniversary to celebrate the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The methodology used to achieve the main goal is an exhibition of photos, caricatures and videos that show how people have damaged Human Rights and how society can defend this in their own peaceful way. Ricardo Zules IFMSA-Ecuador

CIMSA-ISMKI Projects ACTION – Transnational Project

ACTION is an annual conference organized by IFMSA in the Asia-Pacific region. This time, Indonesia has been given the honours to host ACTION. The theme for Action 2011 is “The New Wave in Disaster Medicine for the Management of Earthquakes”. The ACTION conference aims to be a fun and educational event. The conference will feature a wide range of activities such as lectures, workshops, field trips, a poster contest, and a presentation about Indonesia. ACTION participants will be taught about a variety of health issues, with a particular focus on the theme of disaster medicine. Participants will be encouraged to consider the health problems and solutions in Indonesia, and compare them with that of other countries.

The skills participants will be taught include: being able to analyse and solve health problems, and to coordinate follow-up projects in disaster medicine in their hometowns. They will also be taken around some of the disaster zones to observe the health and safety practices that have been put in place. ACTION participants will have the opportunity to meet students from a range of other countries, gain a broader perspective on other health systems, cultures and lifestyles. In addition to the conference, participants will get to explore and see the beauty of Indonesia, and have an unforgettable experience. At the end of the conference, participants will receive an official certificate from the WHO.


CIMS CITY stands for Carnival Including MDGs Socialization City. CIMS CITY aims to promote the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to the wider public, but particularly to medical students. CIMS CITY presents the 8 points of the MDGs through a series of eight stands. The first stand is about ending poverty and hunger; we serve healthy food and present information on good daily nutrition. The second goal of MDGs is focused around education, and is in the form of a quiz at the second stand. There is a photo competition with a gender equality theme to promote the third point of the MDGs. Points four and five are presented at one stand through a food contest. The sixth stand addresses infectious diseases such a malaria, TB, and HIV/ AIDS. There is a short film about infectious disease, followed by a quiz to see how much people learned from the film. The seventh point of the MDGs is promoted by making a funny garbage piece. The final point of the MDGs is global partnership. Our stand talks about SCOPE

Caminos de Paz After the terrible conflict of World War II, humanity realised the serious situation that people were living in worldwide; the fear and uncertainty that was powering humankind,especially after 50 million people died in this terrible tragedy.Nobody knew what was going to happen next and there was a predominant feeling of sadness.On December 10 1948, humankind did one of the most important acts of faith to establish peace and respect around the world; they noticed the importance of a Universal Declaration of Human Rights that protects everybody from atrocities that could be committed to them individually or to their population. Nowadays, despite its establishment 63 years ago, people continue to break these Human Rights because of the economical and social inequity that exists around the world to limit humankind. Money is the controlling machine for each one of us, a machine that consumes the consciousness of society. Caminos de Paz is a project that wants to in-



The core knowledge is taught during the semiT nar, and then put into practice during the workshop. Participants are divided into 8 groups, s consisting of 5-6 people each. The groups are c given 25 minutes to create a public health g counselling scenario. They are then given 7 c minutes to perform the scenario to their peers. Project officer: Susany Fitri Handayani S susanyfi s

FAScinate within IFMSA, and demonstrates that medical students already meet this goal. 2.

Asia Community Health Project (ACHP)

The earthquake on September 30th 2009 in West Sumatera caused hundreds of deaths and significant damage to buildings, water sources, and electricity in several areas. This disaster devastated many people, in particular those who lost loved ones. The Asia Community Health Project (ACHP) is a humanitarian effort by the Centre for Indonesian Medical Students’ Activities (CIMSA) and the International Federation of Medical Students Association (IFMSA) Japan to help the community in the disaster area. One of the project aims is to determine the water condition in the river in Maninjau, and provide appropriate water filtration and sanitation to the area. The collaboration between these two countries is focused on improving the living conditions in the shelters of the disaster area (located in Batang River, Maninjau, District of Agam, West Sumatera) by addressing the quality of nutrition, water, sanitation, mental health, and the prevalence of water-borne diseases. We also organise various activities: • playing with children and watching movies • drawing & colouring competition • hand washing • toilet cleaning competition • embroidery training • health promotion • ORS demo • cooking competition • water analysis Project officer: M. Dio Syaputra -


Constant III is a project that celebrates the international day of people with disabilities and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). This project’s aims are: 1. Increasing the sense of compassion, solidarity, and social concern for people with





4. 5.

congenital abnormalities, especially those who suffer from cleft lip disorders. Raising awareness and knowledge of medical students about congenital abnormalities. Raising awareness and knowledge of young mothers about the importance of protecting the foetus during pregnancy and how to keep the pregnancy. Facilitating treatment for people with cleft lip abnormalities. Improving medical student participation in activities such as promotion and education on human rights protection of people with congenital defects.

CONSTANT III holds a seminar for medical students about the attitudes toward people with congenital defects and the psychological state of persons with congenital defects. The seminar also addresses the issue of providing education to pregnant women and women of childbearing age in regards to the prevention of congenital defects, and cleft lip surgery for underprivileged children. Project officer: Cicim Marsal -

TRACHEA (Training from SCOPH for Public Speaking in Public Health)

Public speaking is an important skill for all medical students. Medical students of today are expected to contribute to the society, and this often involves providing health education and counselling to the public. Delivering a talk on health education is often challenging. There is a need to engage the audience, keep their attention, and gain their trust. Also, the information needs to be conveyed reliably in a way it can be understood and implemented by the public. SCOPH runs a seminar and training workshop on public speaking in public health for medical students, allowing them to learn the theory and application of public health, and how to present this information starting from planning to its implementation. It is expected that after completing this workshop, medical students will be competent and useful to their community.

P Prevention that can make a difference… Many college women are at risk of pregnancy;moreover binge drinking college women are often at risk of alcohol-exposed pregnancy. When a pregnant woman drinks alcohol, so does her unborn baby. There is no safe amount of alcohol and no safe time to drink while pregnant. However, one in eight women report alcohol use during pregnancy! This year, IFMSA-Poland is on a mission to break the stereotype that Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) is a problem concerning only dysfunctional families. The project “FAScinate The Child” can break this stereotype! Through our various initiatives we provide an opportunity to build awareness and knowledge about FASD.

How do we achieve our goals?

Our FASD awareness campaign delivers a touching reminder of the potential harmful effects of alcohol consumption during pregnancy. Through Peer Educational Sessions in secondary schools we educate young girls about the adverse effects of alcohol consumption during pregnancy, especially those who are expecting a child in the near future. Each session includes an interactive lesson, discussion, and a video presentation. Apart from the Peer Educational Sessions, we organize events in shopping malls and at universities. Women of childbearing age (18- 35 years) are informed that FASD is a permanent condition, but completely preventable. We encourage them to refrain from consuming alcohol during pregnancy to prevent FASD, and tell them that it is an easy, temporary choice with long lasting effects. “FAScinate The Child” has initiatives aiming at not only women, but also men. Some research suggests that male alcohol use can affect the quality of sperm, so alcohol consumption should be avoided for the three months before conception – which is the period of spermatogenesis. While men cannot cause FASD, they can have an impact on FASD prevention by


and what can be achieved within the scope of the students’ two-week stay in the village is determined. The feasibility report that is produced following this dialogue and research is then used to plan the upcoming project and seek appropriate sponsorship. We have been lucky to be working in partnership with Rotary Pacific Water for Life, an organization with local expertise to assist with the water collection and reticulation systems. We have also been very lucky to beoffered the support of Irwin Alsop Pacific, a Fiji based engineering firm which donatesits services each year.

helping the women in their lives be alcohol-free during pregnancy. Furthermore, we are going to set up a congress for both medical and non-medical students to increase knowledge about Foetal Alcohol Syndrome and raise awareness of the problem. The congress will feature lectures by specialists in the field of neonatology, gynaecology, paediatrics and radiology. Also, students will have the opportunity to take part in neuropsychological workshops. This will teach students how to talk to mothers who drink alcohol and children with FASD, as well as how to effectively educate young women about alcohol use.

What can you do?

Collaborate with us! You can join our forces to implement strategies of FASD prevention. Together we can organize a unique SCOPH event - International FASD Day! FAScinate the unborn baby and give them the best start in life!

medical schools around Australia and New Zealand conceived a project to improve the health of Fijians in isolated rural communities. This was in line with the UN Millennium Development Goal to, “Halve, by 2015, the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation”, and the concept of moving, “Towards a healthy Fiji Islands”. Since its inception in 2007, students from the three countries have come together each year to implement the four arms of the project: • Provision of a safe and clean water supply in each village • Health screening of major illnesses and risk factors for each member of the community • Health education for adults • Health education for children The Fijian participants work throughout the year with the community leaders of the villages. During this time the areas of greatest need

The groundwork is laid throughout the year in preparation for an intensive two- week experience that brings together the enthusiasm and expertise of participants from throughout the Pacific. The teams have included students from the fields of: medicine, dentistry, nursing, engineering and public health. Participants are called upon to extend themselves to the maximum, to be creative with the limited resources available and to make an on-going impact on an isolated community. We work in partnership with the villagers to carry out the project and have always been received warmly with exceptional hospitality. Fiji Village Project has successfully completed projects in Nabukavesi, Qilai and Veivatuloa in previous years. In 2011, the project broadened its scope to work with two villages,Delaidamanu and Natoaika. We hope to continue to expand. This project is a student-led initiative that aims to work with rural communities in Fiji to improve health outcomes. Strategies for improvement involve: community empowerment, education, training and necessary resource provisions with a special focus on water sanitation. Participants always leave Fiji with warm memories, great experiences and friends for life. Hopefully time will see this project grow further and expand in the years to come to encompass the greater South Pacific region.

Do not hesitate to contact us! Anna Fedewicz

Fiji Village Project

Medical students with the community When asked to think of Fiji many people visualize; the idyllic beaches, perfect white sand and the pure fresh water that is sold by so many international commercials. While Fiji encompasses all of these ideas and more, few people overseas realize that as many as 35% of Fijians don’t have access to clean drinking water, rising to 45% in rural areas. It was with these staggering statistics in mind that a group of medical students founded the Fiji Village Project four years ago. These students from the Fiji School of Medicine at the Fiji National University, and


Left: Fiji Village Project 2010 participants at e official launch; Above: Fiji Village Project Participants wi locals from Natoaika Village


NorPal SAWA Introduction:

NorPal-SAWA is a new cooperative project between IFMSA-Nablus from Palestine and NMSA/ IPPNW from Norway. NMSA/IPPNW came up with the idea and contacted IFMSA-Nablus who agreed to partake in the project.

Project Outline:

The project will run for four weeks during July. Ten Norwegian students and ten Palestinian students will participate. The students from both countries are entitled to the same benefits during the whole project. They are expected to participate in all the activities and trips. If a student is sick one day, he/she will not be replaced. Student will be selected on the grounds of demonstrating a real interest in the project and being able to participate in the project activities.

The Introductory Week and Trips:

There will be one week of workshops to start with, where the students will learn about Palestine and Palestinian issues; conflict, human rights, the work situation in a war zone, language, culture, etc... There will also be arranged trips around Palestine for the students.

Clinical Rotations:

For the next three weeks the students will have clinical rotations in a hospital in Nablus from 8am-12pm, Sunday to Thursday.

Balata Summer Camp:

During the clinical rotation, the students will spend the same days in the Balata refugee camp, where they will organise activities for children (age 10-14). Students from both countries will be responsible for arranging activities for the children.


Accommodation will be offered to the ten Norwegian students only. IFMSA-Nablus is responsible for arranging apartments for the Norwegian students, but NMSA/IPPNW will accept the apartments. The apartments will be clean and ready to use when the students arrive on the 2nd of July.


The coordinators from both countries will control the budget for the project. NMSA/IPPNW is primarily responsible for funding the project. Help from IFMSA-Nablus is always welcome. The project will not in any way be funded by any pharmaceutical company. Omar Husni Abu-Zaydeh NorPal Sawa 2011 Coordinator IFMSA-PS AnNajah LC President 2010




Peace Construction “Violence is the most serious epidemic with big impact in El Salvador and Central America” said Marcela Smutt, an expert on Public Safety Office, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Violence and insecurity have become a major concern worldwide, recently affecting the work and social performance of the population and having a negative impact on Human and Economic Development.

to make the most progress. The most important thing: SCORPions working towards a “New Peace Culture” with minimum levels of violence and high education attendance rates. Samuel Cortez IFMSA-El Salvador

Therefore it is necessary to create strategic plans of action directed primarily at children, with reloading a Peace Culture as its central axis. A lot of children are involved in criminal activities, but without highly reliable data, we cannot have any direct actions. That is why we created this project, as an overture that can change habits.It is obvious that with one project we are not going to get real lifestyle changes, which is why this is a longterm project involving teachers, parents and children. As a general purpose we tried to promote an attitude based on peace tochildren and adolescents at a public school in El Salvador (approximately 800 students). Our goal was to reduce dropout rates from school while trying to reduce and prevent the students’ involvement in minor conflicts and criminal activities through the promotion of a peaceful attitude. The biggest problem with such a large student population was recruiting the human resourcesbecause we neededapproximately 60 people working in the different areas and most importantly inside the classroom where we are able


action! P roject Hug in The solution to maternal health is firstly knowledg edge, not money. Women need to know how to prevent unwanted pregnancies and that such pre an a act is not against their religious beliefs. They nee need to know where to access abortion services and that it is cheap or free. They need to kno know how and where to get adequate medical atte attention when they are pregnant and need to be able to make informed judgments on their del delivery plans. They need to know their rights as a woman and know that they have a voice tha that cannot be suppressed by any political or ideo ideological group.

Project Hug

The big HUG for the small What is the project all about? • Visiting an orphanage with children between the age of four and twelve • Teaching children about the human body and hygiene by playing a variety of games • Socializing with children by drawing and writing How do we achieve this? • First of all, we give a brief introduction about the topic • Secondly, we ask a variety of questions about the new information • Finally, we play games with the children There are prizes to be won! • If the children give a correct answer • Or they complete the task correctly on time • They win a STAR or a CROWN Some of the fun things we do together include: • Playing a variety of games • Singing songs made especially for these children • Hugging each other • Chatting together All these children NEED someone • to look after them • to hug them and provide comfort • to share their thoughts and feelings with This is the main issue of all orphanages! Alexandra Petranova / Blagovesta Radoslavova LORP Sofia / NORP Bulgaria /

Save S ave O Our ur Women Women

A Call For Greater Action for Maternal Health If ever you see a woman die from childbirth, present with post-delivery psychosis or come to your clinic with vesico-vaginal fistula, and as a doctor, you have no iota of sympathy, you might as well write yourself a prescription. Something would definitely be wrong. It is either that you have forgotten your Hippocratic Oath or that you simply do not care. And for both conditions, forgetfulness and apathy, there are pharmacological treatments. In Nigeria, our women die! And that really is an understatement. Nigeria’s maternal mortality rate is 800 per 100,000 women – a value whose literal denotation translates into the death of a Nigerian woman every minute from complications of pregnancy. This is one of the highest values in the world; measurable with that of India, whose population is about one-sixth of the world. And for every maternal death, there are as many as 20 to 40 or more women sustaining serious injuries from the complications of pregnancy, labour and childbirth. Everyone has a right to be informed and to have access to safe, effective, affordable and acceptable methods of family planning of their choice. Women also have the right of access to appropriate healthcare services that will enable them to go through pregnancy and childbirth safely while providing couples with the best chance of having a healthy infant. This is the impetus of Nigeria Medical Students’ Association – to spread the message of safe maternal health to the Nigerian Woman. We do this by media campaign but more commonly by social outreach.

And when they know, what next? Your guess is as g good as mine; we all turn to the government! Yes Yes, the government for the drugs, for the elimination of most of the barriers to healthcare, for the affordability, for some form of piety! How I wish the government would do their part! They seem not to know that for every woman that dies, the entire family structure gets seemingly dysfunctional. And these deaths could be prevented! No woman wants to die at childbirth. No woman wants to undergo undue pain during a pregnancy, which is expected to be safe and satisfying. Hence, the government should deal with issues relating to cost, accessibility, and the myriads of challenges facing access to healthcare. 2010, Ile-Ife Nigeria, Nigeria medical students organized a campaign against maternal mortality. 2011, another was organized in the same Ile-Ife. And I am sure there are pockets of campaigns going on all around the country, but this is not enough. It must be coordinated. It must be louder. It must be reinforced with good political will. I dedicate this article to Auwul Shanono Bala, President, Nigeria Medical Students’ Association, a part 5 medical student of Ahmadu Bello University who lost his life after one of the campaigns on his way back to school. Shanono, you should not have died. How I wish I could have you back. The lives you touched by your calm, unique and exceptional leadership skills will forever hold you dear. Truly, those of us that are in the mainstream of activities with NiMSA are a little afraid to continue due to the cruel way that death snatched you out of our hands. But we will not lose hope until your dreams for a better Nigeria and a better life for medical students across the country see the light of the day. Adeyemi Oluwaseun John Former NiMSA Director, SCOME

Right: The Save Ou r Women team!



Left: Project E ME; L Right: Project CEA R

Social Determinants of Health S IInequality equals injustice

SCORP Projects IFMSA-Brazil Educação, Música e Esporte (EME) – Education, Music and Sport

The project is based on three pillars that culminate in powerful learning through attractive factors, designed for a 12-14 year old age group. These pillars are: education, music and sport. In education, topics such as sexuality, human rights, citizenship and public health are used to educate children about their role in life and society. In music the integration of what is necessary for working and living in groups is promoted through the use of mechanisms of expression, rhythm and percussion that reflect different cultural beliefs and thoughts. Since sport is considered an essential escape valve that stimulates leisure, learning and teamwork, it is an obvious learning tool to be used as one of the pillars. Furthermore, it has been proven that health and the mental well being associated with maintaining a healthy physique translates into a greater quality of life. The union of the factors listed above helps to meet our aim of promoting training for life in society that goes well beyond the normal limits of grid education at primary and secondary levels. Medical students are responsible for a group of children and adolescents for twelve, one and a half hour duration sessions. The project has been active for almost a year, mobilizing more than thirty medical undergraduate students and achieving participation from more than sixty children and adolescents. One of our saddest obstacles faced was prejudice, mainly against homosexuals during educations lessons in which the topic was sexuality. Besides that, problems with attendance from the participants interfered with the project’s results.

CEA is a primary prevention approach to vio violence firmly rooted in the principles of public health and the power of individual education. It aims to positively change children’s attitudes towards conflict and its resolution, and promote a reduction in destructive verbal conflicts. It was adapted from Einstein Youth Violence Project of AMSA USA, in 2009. One of the main goals is to provide a safe, positive and enjoyable after-school experience to children. This is achieved by teaching children basic concepts of personal health, particularly in the areas of substance abuse, nutrition, firstaid and safety. The project helps children (ten years of age) to learn nonviolent strategies for dealing with conflict, and provides an environment where those strategies are encouraged. It also promotes children’s feelings of self-worth and importance to their community by impressing upon them their potential to become important, productive members of the community by encouraging them to consider future careers and to construct pathways that will lead to success. We provide opportunities to practice critical thinking and problem solving, to sharpen children’s skills in mathematics, science, and other areas necessary for success; always in an enjoyable, non-didactic setting. Furthermore, these sessions allow children to interact with caring adults and potential role models on a long-term basis, encourage communication skills by giving them opportunities to express themselves creatively through drama, writing and other means, convey the importance of communication in preventing and resolving conflict and explore effective ways of doing so. The project is run for eleven sessions of one hour’s duration each. After each session the facilitators fill out an evaluation, answering questions on how the lesson went, if any type of violence or disrespect occurred and how this was resolved.

We have managed to run the programme at zero costs through having contacts and materials provided by the Academic Leagues and Centres.

The cost of the project is low due to the major resource being the cost of paper, which is provided by the school. Common obstacles are the time: because every activity has a scheduled start and finish time, and the school’s administration: if they do not believe in the project or are unwilling to compromise with us, the project may be jeopardized.

Crianças em Ação (CEA) - Children in Action

Cinthia Jaqueline Baia de Souza NORP, IFMSA-Brazil




H Have you ever reflected upon your own prejudices towards patients? Do you treat patients d from vulnerable groups such as obese people, fr drug addicts or immigrants differently to other d p patients? Research has shown that health professionals consciously or unconsciously treat people from vulnerable groups differently. It was also shown that on average, these groups of patients gotless time with the doctor and fewer diagnostic tests taken. Average life expectancy varies grossly between countries and the differences are increasing. While in Sierra Leone life expectancy is 34.1 years, it is 81.9 years in Japan. Even within countries life expectancy has gross variations. In the US, a difference of 20 years in life expectancy is seen between the most and least privileged groups. As well as obvious measures such as deaths of children under five, a complex set of factors constitute what is referred to as the social determinants of health inequalities. These determinants include; level of education, income, social status, gender and area of residence. The Norwegian Medical Students’ Association (NMSA)has initiated a project with the aim of raising awareness amongst ourselves and other fellow students ofthese issues. Also to further explore what can be done about them. Our main activity is to arrange events on campus where a representative from a vulnerable group is invited to reveal his or her encounter with the health sector. We also invite a physician with long-standing experience in treating this patient group. Then finally, issues surrounding the group are subject to discussion. These debates have been very successful and have generated a lot of temper. In the aftermath, people have stated that they were challenged by their own prejudices and found it a useful experience for their future careers as doctors. In addition to making medical students aware of how vulnerable groups are treated, we also try to address the problem at a more causal level. What makes a vulnerable group vulnerable, and what can be done to achieve equal access to healthcare regardless of a patient’s social status? We are at the moment planning a seminar on social determinants of health where the Norwegian Director-General of Health will be among the speakers.The focus will be on health inequalities in Norway, how the health care profession shall meet the challenges, and how it can be implemented into health care education. Talk to the NMSA delegation to get ideas on how you can establish this important project at your own campus! Johanne Helene Iversen


Rex Crossley Award Competition August Meeting 2011 Access to Medicines

An attempt to cope with the global crisis on lack of access to essential drugs Abstract:

According to WHO, 10 million people die each year because they don’t have access to treatment. The cause is roughly divided in two; either the drug is out of reach i.e. too expensive, or existing treatment is insufficient. Access to Medicines addresses this matter by working for fair licensing of new drugs and increased research on neglected diseases.

Main Text:

The WHO states that 10 million people die every year because they can’t access the medicines they need. In most cases these are medicines that do exist, but are out of reach for these people, because they simply cannot afford them. One major reason for this is that drugs are patented, and therefore priced much higher than the actual cost of production. Another problem is that medicines to cure diseases that affect mostly poor people, such as dengue fever and leishmaniasis, are often old primitive drugs, which have poor effect and a lot of adverse effects. These diseases are commonly called neglected diseases. Access to Medicines wants to address these problems by a set of measures: 1. Secure universal access to new drugs by making sure there are clauses in the licensing agreements between universities and the pharmaceutical industry stating that the drug will be made accessible for whoever needs it. This can be done by allowing generic production of the drug in low- and middle income countries. It has been shown that this method actually does not noteworthy compromise the profits of the pharmaceutical companies, as these are countries they wouldn’t make big money anyway. 2. Improve research on neglected diseases. It has been said that 90% of the research efforts is directed towards diseases that affect 10% of the world’s population. This is known as the 90/10 gap. We believe it is crucial that the universities, as publicly funded institutions take on the role as leaders for doing research on these neglected diseases and that the research done in university labs reflect the global disease burden, not the global economic market. 3. We want the success of research not to be measured on the amount of money generated, but by the amount of people who benefit from the research.

versities in Norway in order to explore how they can be involved in solving the problems. Our daily work consists of creating awareness among our fellow students, researchers, doctors, politicians, as well as the public in general. We use different means of campaigning, such as writing articles, having stands or simply talking to people.


NMSA has committed a project with the aim of improving global access to medicines. In order for this project to have the global impact which is needed, other NMO’s should follow, so that the important points of equal licensing and increased research on neglected diseases can be achieved everywhere.

Breaking the Silence

Growing up! Breaking the silence. Each year we learn more, each year we experience more, we gain more friends, we develop ourselves, we grow up! Breaking the Silence has grown up. In the beginning, we started locally, as small projects in order to fill a gap in the society needs. After that, because we needed to gain recognition, we earned the national status in different NMOs. In August 2010, the project earned the transnational status in IFMSA. This step was made because we realized that only together we can do the greatest things! So, what is Breaking the Silence all about? It is an IFMSA transnational project that aims to improve the communication between medical personnel and deaf or hard of hearing patients. Why is this a need? WHO states that in 2005,

about 278 million people had moderate to profound hearing impairment and the number of work-related difficulties, educational delays, social stigmas and exclusion is very high. The difficulty that doctors encounter when trying to obtain a history from the deaf patient is well known. If a patient is deaf from birth or before speaking, he also loses automatically the ability to speak. How can we help? By organizing sign language courses, workshops for medical students in local committees and by developing sign language courses online for the worldwide medical personnel who encounters hard of hearing patients. The expected result is a new type of doctors, capable to better interact with these patients. Who develops “Breaking the Silence”? National or local projects have been developed individually in countries like: Poland, the Netherlands, Greece, Lebanon, Italy, Croatia, Tunisia, Slovenia, Romania, Brazil and Chile. As a transnational project we aim to create and promote a common platform for teaching medical students and young doctors how to communicate with the deaf patient. We already have the informational input from Romania and Greece for

e Silence website T he Breaking 


We are currently in dialogue with several uni-



now, and we expect many more NMOs to help us grow and enrich the online tool. We name the webpage a tool because it helps doctors to deal with hard of hearing patients, medical students participating in the project, and not only, to improve their sign language knowledge and learn more about this way of communicating.

Clockwise from below: Barbara Ryba and Lamia Jouini, e first coordinators of is project; Participants of DHT in Tunisia; Participants of DHT in Poland

This is only an incentive, so if you are interested in following us and learn more about the project visit us! is our page. Come join our team, and grow with us!

Dying a Human Thing

“Nothing is more important than human body and soul ...” Poland and Tunisia are waiting for you to join our project! DYING is a very serious and depressing word to hear or read. You might think “well, it does not concern me” but we do know that it concerns all of us. Everybody will die someday. Some die in accidents, others because of old age, and others due to incurable illnesses... As future professional doctors, we will have to deal with palliative medicine. That‘s why we should possess a set of abilities that could help us to manage the whole process of terminally ill patients. We all, one day, will be in a position where we have to break a bad new to a patient that life’s condemned. And when that day comes, we’ll need more than pathophysiology or pharmacology to do so. That’s why our project “dying-a Human thing” was born.

How did it begin?

“…The idea of the project was born during my university course of Psychology .During classes, we could take part in psychodramas trying ourselves in “some difficult situations”. As long as it didn’t come to the topic of death, everyone was successful. Unfortunately, a talk with terminally ill patients made us helpless, as no one knew how to behave in the presence of dying patients. Because the job of a doctor does not only mean prescribing drugs but also contact with human beings, we decided to break the taboo by organizing ‘Death - a human thing’ workshops. And when Lamia approached me during the AM09 with the will of starting the project in Tunisia, I was more than happy to help her and extend it worldwide…” “…The first time I heard Barbara talking about the project, I felt so deeply touched and concerned by the matter of breaking bad news that I decided to settle down the project in my university. I remembered one day when a dying patient asked me: “Am I going to die doctor?” I was not prepared nor had the answer. I have never thought the project will be such a success!” So what do we do in our project?




The aim is to teach medical students how to talk in a very professional but human way to terminally ill patients and their families. We organize workshops which are run by specialists like palliative doctors, nurses, psychologists, physiotherapists and all other people whose job is connected with palliative care. Workshops in small groups are very useful in

creating an atmosphere of trust and intimacy that helps the participants– with the psychodrama and role playing games’ help- to easily emulate both the patient and doctor’s feelings and emotions. Participants are also shown films that reflect real situations of the bad news announcements like “Le scaphandre et le papillon”, “Wit”, “Planta 4” .Then they discuss them with psychologists. In addition to that, students are put in contact of people who have to deal with terminally ill patients in their daily lives.


All these activities have the purpose to teach us - young future ambitious doctors- how to give terminally ill patients and their families all the help and strength they will need in this critical phase. We have to know how to approach them, how to announce the diagnosis and how to support them in their fight for better conditions of passing away.


Medical students should associate the work with terminally ill patients rather as a mission and challenge than an unpleasant or depressing duty. We are all facing the same fate, and we, doctors, are the ones to guarantee a decent end to the human being. We are waiting for you to join our project!!! “Don’t you know that the source of all the misery of Men is not the death, but the fear of the death!”

most complete nutritional product during the first six months of life. Breast milk contains all the nutrients, antibodies, hormones and antioxidants that infants need to live for full health. Breast milk stimulates the immune system and protects young children from diarrhoea and acute infections of the airways. However, many mothers do not know all these important benefits and many others want to breastfeed but do not know what is the proper way to do it. These are some difficulties that make them desist from breastfeeding. Two years ago, in Mexico, SCORA started working on promoting and supporting breastfeeding through this project “AMAMANTA” or “FEED WITH LOVE”, which has the overall objective: “Promote the culture of breastfeeding to increase the number of mothers who practice breastfeeding – promoting its many benefits for baby and mother”.

dren currently Over 4,411,000 deaths of children under 5 years old this year

Among the main causes of death from infectious diseases in children under one year are acute lower respiratory tract infections and intestinal infectious diseases.


Breastfeeding is the first contact and bond between mother and child. It is the first opportunity to secure the baby’s health, happiness and welfare. Breastfeeding is a right to health and nutrition of all infants. In fact Article 24 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child states that governments must ensure that all sectors of society are aware of the benefits of breastfeeding. WHO estimates that the world’s population aged between 0 and 6 months presents an exclusive breastfeeding rate of only 37%.

Aleksandra Skublewska & Marwen Ben Alaya International/National Project Coordinators in Poland and Tunisia ( / marwen.ba3@

The problem

The nutritional status of a child under two years depends directly on its feeding practices. Therefore, to improve nutrition, health and development of children between 0 and 23 months of age, it is crucial to improve their feeding practices.

Babies fed exclusively breast milk receive the most complete nutritional product during their first six months of life. Breast milk contains all the nutrients, antibodies, hormones and antioxidants that infants need to live in full health. Breast milk stimulates the immune system.

Feed with Love

Malnutrition accounts for 11% of the global burden of disease and causes health problems, disability, poor educational and developmental problems, and nutritional risk factors such as suboptimal or deficiency in vitamins and minerals. These are responsible for 3.9 million deaths (35% of all deaths) among children under five years.

Breastfeeding prevents diarrhoea, respiratory infections, obesity, diabetes, some childhood cancers, asthma, allergies, ear infections, cardiovascular diseases, and colitis. Children breastfed exclusively for the first three months or more have been found to have an IQ 6 points higher. It also helps the mother, among other things, to release oxytocin, which is necessary for the proper contraction of the uterus, thus preventing the risk of bleeding and helping her return quickly to normal size. In addition to this hormone, prolactin secreted stimulates in the mother a feeling of motherly care and love for her baby. For the mother, breastfeeding prevents diseases like breast cancer, ovarian cancer, osteoporosis and postpartum depression.

Campaign for promotion and support for Breastfeeding Abstract:

Breastfeeding is the first contact and bond between mother and child. It is the first opportunity to secure the baby’s health, happiness and welfare. Those fed exclusively breast milk receive the

• • • •

8 million children died worldwide in 2009 More than 52,911,751 births this year Approximately 328,573 births per day More than 180,000,000 underweight chil-

However, many mothers do not know all these important benefits. Many others want to breastfeed f but do not know what is the proper way to do it and how to overcome some of the difficult ties that make them desist from breastfeeding.


T Two years ago, IFMSA-Mexico started working on promoting and supporting breastfeeding. We aim to help mothers to take up breastfeedW ing through support, information and providing an open space to resolve questions and receive advice on the topic. Furthermore, the project keeps updated, scientific and accurate breastfeeding information for the general public, as well as paediatricians, neonatologists, gynaecologists and obstetricians. We hope to cause an impact around the globe by promoting breastfeeding with the help of the media.

Students participating in Feed wi Love, The University of Gomez, Palacio City


W Why breastfeeding? • Because you can inform people with basic knowledge about breastfeeding, as well as their physical and psychological benefits. • To promote understanding of breastfeed-


Global Medicine

Take a step outside of your hospital doors Ask ten first year medical students why they want to become a doctor and nine of them will say something along the lines as: to help people, to take care of the ones in need, to contribute to a better world. This is to a great extent what people drive to become doctors. Interestingly, the medical curriculum and the day-today life in the hospital, does not answer at all to these needs.

A Global Medicine boo, for everyone to take a look inside e magazine!

• •

ing to the public at large as a k key element l t in the healthy development of the baby and the mother. To teach mothers how to breastfeed your baby, explaining what should and what should not be done and explain why. To clarify the physiology of lactation, as well as teach the normal behaviour of a newborn baby, thus recognising any problems and removing difficulties in doing so. Raise awareness about the important role of breastfeeding in the protection of the baby from gastrointestinal, respiratory diseases, allergies, diabetes, certain types of cancer etc. Also awareness of the importance of breast-feeding in the prevention of diseases such as breast cancer, ovarian cancer and osteoporosis in mothers. To educate doctors about the importance of breastfeeding in both the mother and infant health and encourage them to promote it among their patients. Urge governments to disseminate and promote proper breastfeeding and allow mothers to breastfeed children.

How you can help? • With information modules put in places of your community squares, parks, schools, malls, information stands in waiting rooms of hospitals. • You can organise competitions and /or exhibitions of paintings, posters and / or photographs related to breastfeeding. • Organizing conferences, workshops or talks about breastfeeding. • Ask for support in promotion of breastfeeding by doctors at hospitals. • Speaking on radio or television, or with posters and banners. • Using decoration in medical schools, hospitals, maternity wards etc. with images and information on breastfeeding.




• • •

Y it an article ti l ffor a magazine i You can write or newspaper. With promotional items like stickers, shirts, bracelets, buttons, key chains, postcards, etc. Survey general audience and health professionals to evaluate their knowledge or to obtain statistical data on the performance of breastfeeding.


If all infants were breastfed during the first six months of life, it could save millions of lives each year. UNICEF data on child survival published in the medical journal The Lancet showed that optimal breastfeeding could save more lives of infants. Also this project supports the millennium development goals: • 4 - Reduce the mortality of children under 5 years. • 5 - Improve maternal health. In México we are convinced of the importance of promoting breastfeeding as it is an easy, cheap and healthy way to ensure the necessary protection for the baby. For more information on breastfeeding: • es/ • breastfeeding.html • Or write to us for more information about the project “FEED WITH LOVE”:

To fill this gap a group of medical students from IFMSA-NL started the magazine Global Medicine eight years ago as a project of IFMSA-NL. This magazine focuses on global health, with articles about health and health care from all over the world. Global Medicine believes that medical students should take a look outside the doors of their own hospital. In a globalising world where Skype and Facebook make sure that you are always in contact with others on the opposite end of the earth, it is impossible to ignore what is happening in health and health care abroad. At the same time, today’s students are more interested in international affairs and globalization and a majority completes an exchange or internship abroad. For these people Global Medicine was founded. All students, undergraduates as well as postgraduates, are encouraged to submit their articles to Global Medicine about a global health related subject. Global Medicine was started as a students’ project, made by students and made for students, but nowadays a diverse group of medical and non-medical students, as well as doctors and other health care workers read the magazine worldwide. By promoting and presenting ourselves during local, national and international events (like the IFMSA GAs) we hope to inspire students from around the world to contribute to the diversity of our magazine. In the next edition Global Medicine will publish a report about Haiti, one year after the earthquake. It also includes an article highlighting a physician’s view on the use of acupuncture and an article about the use of edible cholera vaccines in rice. More information about Global Medicine can be found on the website: Subscribing to the Global Medicine magazine is also possible, and for 10 Euros per year (15 Euros for non-students) you can receive this magazine at home. By subscribing, you will be helping medical students spread their knowledge and experience and voice their concerns about global health issues. Sándor Öry and Marlou van de Loo Global Medicine Project Representative at AM 11/Global Medicine Project Coordinator

Univ. José Antonio Duran de la Cruz NORA, IFMSA-México


HY Five

Campaign On Hand Hygiene Abstract:

The Hand Hygiene Campaign is a campaign with the vision of improving hand care and hand cleansing through the focused work of a group of dedicated trained team of students and specialists, targeting the most vulnerable to infections, these include health care workers in Health care institutes ; medical and nursing schools as they are the future of health care and they will insure the continuity of the campaign; the Second group is the pre-school and school age children and young adults; The food handling services constitutes our third target group. The Campaign is divided into phases for each of the target group aiming to achieve a better hand care and rising interest among each of the groups by conducting workshops on hand hygiene and training sessions on its techniques; adding to that distributing publications on the latest advances in this field. In a different aspect of this campaign we target the administrations of hospitals, restaurants, schools and the federal ministry of health, in order to implement new policies and regulations achieving the sustainability of the campaign. The methodology used in this campaign is very simple including workshops, posters and leaflets etc, these methodologies will aim at improving the target group awareness about the risks of poor hand hygiene and the best techniques to improve it. The other main methods of disseminating this knowledge through posters, leaflets distributed in high risk areas within target groups areas (Bathrooms, examinations areas in hospitals and kitchens in food handling department). All of these actions should add up to reaching our goals and vision, we will ensure that we have achieved each and every one of our objectives by conducting several series of surveys at the start and the end of each activity held, compiling all the data and processing it in order to see where the campaign is headed towards and if we need to make any changes in future actions. This is a simple easy to implement campaign that can be adopted by any group of active team to reach a better status of hand cleansing and reduce mortality and morbidity that is in direct and indirect relation with poor hand hygiene.

Main Text:

In this campaign we have focused in Special Target Groups; which they are highly expose to infections: Health care institutes: Health-care-associated infections are an important cause of morbidity and mortality among hospitalized patients worldwide. Transmission of health-care-associated pathogens most


Top: HY Five activities in Mexico; Above: HY Five activities in Sudan

often occurs via the contaminated hands of health care workers. Accordingly, hand hygiene (i.e., hand washing with soap and water or use of a waterless, alcohol-based hand rub) has long been considered one of the most important infection control measures for preventing health-care-associated infections. However, compliance by health care workers with recommended hand hygiene procedures has remained unacceptable. Many factors have contributed to poor hand washing compliance among health care workers, including a lack of knowledge among personnel about the importance of hand hygiene in reducing the spread of infection and how hands become contaminated, lack of understanding of correct hand hygiene technique, understaffing and overcrowding, poor access to hand washing facilities, irritant contact dermatitis associated with frequent exposure to soap and water, and lack of institutional commitment to good hand hygiene. Schools and Pre-Schools: Hand washing for both teaching staff and chil-

dren is important, Young children are at increased risk for contracting infectious diseases because they: • Are grouped together, are exposed to many new germs • Have immune systems that are not fully developed to fight germs • Do not have complete control of body fluids that contain germs • have personal habits that spread germs such as: • Thumb sucking • Rubbing eyes • Putting things in their mouths • Over crowdedness • Nail biting It is really important to emphasize on this target group which make the majority of our community. Food handling services: Preparing food from home can be tricky and people can get sick from eating contaminated food, Food borne illness is caused by consuming food or beverages that are contaminated


by disease-causing microbes or pathogens. Of note many food borne pathogens also can be acquired through recreational or drinking water, from contact with animals or their environment, or through person-to-person spread, elevation of hand hygiene quality in the restaurants and food handlers is important.


By the end we will ensure the goals have achieved: • Increase in hand hygiene compliance • Improvement in infection control / hand hygiene infrastructures • Increase in usage of hand hygiene products • Improved perception of hand hygiene improved knowledge of hand hygiene • Reduction in Health Care Associated Infections (HCAI)


The alarm clock goes off at 7:00 am. Anne has got a full day of classes ahead of her. Walks down the hall, opens the bathroom door, Uses the restroom, brushes her teeth, and dresses for class. She takes the elevator to the first floor and walks outside of Massey. Heading to cafeteria she walks over the University holding the rail. She grabs a tray, silverware, and a glass and eats a quick breakfast. Running a little late, she heads up the hill to Hodge’s and pays for a Starbuck’s coffee with cash. After getting her change, she runs to The Commons to use a computer and print a paper due in her first class. After sprinting over to the hospital building, she grabs a previously read Beacon tucked underneath a desk chair and takes her seat for her first class of the morning at 8:05.


Immersion in Neglected Communities - Happening in your neighbourhoods The project started one year ago after attending a conference presenting some of the main issues affecting local communities. We were confronted to the fact that we lacked comprehension regarding certain populations, despite the fact that we cohabit with a few of them on a daily basis in Montreal. While topics such as neglected tropical diseases are more and more addressed in our medical cursus, the issue of local neglected communities remains unknown to many students, possibly as a result of the fact that not many studies have been conducted regarding these populations. What is sure, however, is that a lack of comprehension may invariably lead to a lack of good care, and people living in these conditions will be found with unmet needs. Then emerged the idea of INcommunity. INcommunity’s main goals are to increase medical students’ comprehension on local neglected communities while also fighting stigma about these people. We had previously identified neglected communities, which are migrants, Aboriginals, and inner-city communities. Migrants: Montreal yearly welcomes a lot of newcomers, and many migrants are gathered in some specific neighbourhoods throughout the city. Given the fact that they do not always speak French or English and that they may lack knowledge re-

garding our medical system, it may sometimes take a long time before they consult a doctor. Also, they are not always aware of their rights concerning medical insurance. Aboriginals: The problem we have faced while working with aboriginal communities is that we tried to apply our conventional medicine practices while working with them without assessing their cultural needs. This resulted in a clash and in a profound mismatch between the needs and the resources allocated. Inner-city: The city context comes with the issue of homeless people, sex workers and drug users. Medical staffs are often afraid of these populations or don’t know how to deal with them because of a lack of knowledge. Transmission of many infections such as hepatitis is also specific and needs to be considered. We planned a method to allow students to increase their comprehension of the host communities as much as possible. We decided to use multiple learning approaches to deepen students’ reflexion. They start by trainings, which allows them to learn some basic theory that will help them when they will be in interaction in their hosting community. Then, during one month in the summer, they do activities to immerse them in their community of interest. They follow doctors, social workers, and others working with those populations. They also participate in some of the daily activities of the community such as a group of art therapy for drug users or dinners with aboriginal families.

Take a moment to review Anne’s morning. Now consider everything she touched. In just the first hour of her day, she has encountered several opportunities for infection transmission without once stopping to clean her hands. This is a simple example for Infection Transmission. Infection control is a simple precautionary implementation that prevents contamination on an individual and subsequent illness by ensuring that a student’s hands are germ-free, the risk for infection is significantly decreased. At the end of this article, I want to spotlight over the things that have been done in the last period (since March 2011): 1. 2. 3. 4.

Hand hygiene survey for preliminary schools In Bahrain and Egypt Hand hygiene online survey for medical students. Preparing HY Five newsletter under the theme “hand hygiene in health care”. 4Save lives … clean your hands Campaign; we have celebrated this Campaign with 6 NMOs (MedSIN-Sudan, IFMSA-Saudi Arabia , IFMSA-Egypt , IFMSA-Bahrain , IFMSA-Mexico/ CEMECH , LeMSIC) which is held on 5 May (WHO campaign).

Rehab Farahat Project Coordinator MedSIN-Sudan




Above: P laying doctors wi children in an Aboriginal community; Right: Introduction dinner wi participants


a complete and comprehensive scientific program, STEP has also established connections with the institute of endemic diseases, Soba university hospital, Khartoum teaching hospital and Omdurman tropical diseases hospital. The scientific program will be supervised by physicians and students working in these institutes. The medical mission will take place in a rural area in the vicinity of Khartoum.

Participants of S T EP siing eir final exam!

Medical mission:

The students are also asked to do a reflexion diary and to write a post-immersion report. To assist them, they also benefit from mentorship and debriefing dinners. By these immersions, we wish to fight stigma, to advocate for neglected populations and to help medical students become better doctors, trained to take care of these communities. In the future, we would like to share the project with other NMOs. Join us in our work for local and neglected populations.

Sudan Tropical Exchange Project (STEP)

‘‘We learn, help & take a STEP forward’’ Abstract:

STEP is a project that provides an internship focusing on tropical diseases in Sudan, and adds to that community targeted activities for the groups affected by these diseases. The program will consist of a scientific part, a medical mission to a rural area and unique social programs. Arround 20 medical students from all over the world participate in the program annually. The program includes three main categories, fulfilling its vision. These are the scientific pro-


gram, the medical mission and social activities.

Represents the community aid part of the program where the students participate in a Medical Mission which is a form of organized medical campain aiming provide considerable aid to raise the level of health status in thr rural communities in sudan also it aims improve the student’s capabilities through the efficient development of the student-community interaction skills. These aims will be fulfilled through training of medical students, and local communities. It will take place during the third week of the scientific program, when students will travel to a rural area and spend a total of 5 days in temporary mission hospitals. These small medical facilities will exist of a male and female health clinic, a laboratory and a small pharmacy set up in local (school) buildings. International and Sudanese students will work together to provide the village people living in these areas with free medical consultations, lab investigations and medication. Furthermore, health education will be given in order to change the wrong health believes that are still existent in the countryside. This mission is a truly unique experience and will give participating students an idea of the possibilities and limitations of working in a tropical area, with limited medical supplies and facilities.

Scientific program:

Social program:

Since medicine is becoming more and more internationally oriented and tropical diseases are spreading fast due to the influences of tourism, migration, conflicts and related issues; it is important for medical students worldwide to be educated on tropical diseases and clinical syndromes not normally found in their home country. With STEP, the standing committees for exchange (SCOPE/RE) from MedSIN Sudan want to provide enthusiastic medical students with the opportunity to realize this goal. In the scientific program students will get acquainted with the scientific knowledge about the pathological and clinical features of the Tropical Diseases while discussing the management plans including investigations. It will be supervised by professors, doctors and tutors specialized in each field. The program include Lectures, researches in the Tropical Diseases, Lab work , Clinical live cases, Hospital rounds, Surgical operations. Focus is put on Tropical Diseases including Malaria, Tuberculosis, Leishmaniasis, and Schistosomiasis, Typhoid fever, Brucellosis , Rheumatic fever and Mycetoma. A certificate will be granted after a final exam.

Working areas: The main working area will be the Faculty of Medicine from the University of Khartoum (located in Alqasr Street, Khartoum); Sudan’s oldest and largest medical faculty. To provide

Students participating in STEP will experience and learn from a completely different society in various ways. The social program will offer students the opportunity to get acquainted with the Sudanese culture, that represents a unique combination of the African and Arabic cultures. Activities including visits to places of interest in and around Khartoum inculding the Suadsnes pyramids(7000 years old ), besides other post –STEP programs. It will be a tremendous experience in cultural differences on health care and society. STEP has written two success stories in the past years, the first being in July 2009 and the second in November 2010, with groups of of students from various countries, & a partnership of excellence with IFMSA- the Netherlands. In the August Meeting 2010, STEP was rewarced the Rex Crossly Award as the best IFMSA project, which represented a valuable motive for the team. In these past experiences the STEP team has achieved a lot of our pursued goals, with a great deal of determination of enthusiam, that we are still willing to keep writing in the story of STEP. The next STEP will be held during October/November 2011 with the same program, and the aim to further improve the standards and qualifties in the project.



All students from all over the world are welcome to join the project as the deadline for applicications will be on the 15th of August 2011. All information needed will be on the website or via direct contcat with the project coordinator on medsin.step@gmail. com. Yousif A. Widaatalla, Project coordinator Abubaker Mergani, Project founder.

tory. The trams, divided into two sections: educational zone with safe sex quiz and party zone with DJ’s, came out to be a great success. People could party, get free condoms, and expire the knowledge about HIV/AIDS. Clubs were also full of young people with whom we were sharing our knowledge, giving them at the same time chance to act safely. Ups!...Is this a sexy policewoman going to give you a speeding ticket? No! There is just a fine for everybody who is not partying with us! What are you waiting for? Get into a tram and show that you care about HIV/AIDS!


Streetcar Called Desire

of 3 tramway actions (2x Warsaw, 1x Lodz) and Closing Ceremony organised in capital of Poland. The trams, where people could party, get free condoms, and expire the knowledge about HIV/AIDS. During these three nights more than 5 000 young people were educated, almost 7 000 condoms were distributed and more then 10 clubs were engaged into our project. The idea was to create an event dedicated for teenagers and young adults which they would find interesting as well as worth joining. An event that would be able to encourage them to change views by fun and laughter..

The project ‘Streetcar called desire’ consisted

“Streetcar” will rock your world! Streetcar Called Desire – the most SCORAlicious party in Poland! Friday nights in a club are always the same. The place is crowded with people trying to forget about working days, mean bosses, traffic jams or unpaid bills. One drink after another, the world becomes even more colorful than you’ve ever imagined. You don’t want to think about tomorrow. Surrounded by smiling people, you’re attracted by some girls wearing trendy dresses and bright make- up. They’re dancing to your favorite music - is there any harm in it? You want to push the boundaries a little bit more! For the first time in your life you’ve decided to spend the night with somebody who you met in the club the very same night. You’re old enough, you don’t have to ask anybody for permission! Well, maybe you’re right. The question is: will you stand by your own opinion if in a few months you receive the information from your doctor: “HIV positive. I’m sorry”?

Photos copyright of

This scenario is more than just possible. Even now someone may be getting infected. This is high time we started talking about it! AIDS is a pandemic. In 2010, it was estimated that almost 34 million people lived with the disease worldwide. Low public awareness, not enough campaigns promoting healthy sex behavior and lack of understanding how big the problem is result in spreading illnesses. Somebody wise said ‘The best way of fighting with AIDS is prevention, and the best way of prevention is education’ and we have never forgotten the sentence. What can we do? The answer is simple: “Streetcar Called Desire”, conducted by a motivated group of medical students and supported by the MTV Staying Alive Foundation! The idea was to create an event dedicated for teenagers and young adults which they would find interesting as well as worth joining. An event that would be able to encourage them to change views by fun and laugh… We decided to arrange educational stands in trams, clubs and at tram stops to make people take part in our event also while waiting for the streetcars. ‘Teaching through fun’ method is the best way of sustaining awareness among young adults (the main group under danger of HIV infection) and the results of the action were more than satisfac-






Regional Coordinators

GA Coordination

Projects Support Division Assistant



Training D


Endorsed Projects



Regional Projects Advisors





2 Alumni


2 Past Project Coorindators





Publications D

Initiative Coordinators 2 Past Officials


SCORP SC Project Advisors SCOME


TNP Coordinators

Liaison Officers

SC Directors


Projects SD Structure


Algeria (Le Souk) Argentina (IFMSA-Argentina) Armenia (AMSP) Australia (AMSA) Austria (AMSA) Azerbaijan (AzerMDS) Bahrain (IFMSA-BH) Bangladesh (BMSS) Bolivia (IFMSA Bolivia) Bosnia and Herzegovina (BoHeMSA) Bosnia and Herzegovina - Rep. of Srpska (SaMSIC) Brazil (DENEM) Brazil (IFMSA Brazil) Bulgaria (AMSB) Burkina Faso (AEM) Burundi (ABEM) Canada (CFMS) Canada-Quebec (IFMSA-Quebec) Catalonia - Spain (AECS) Chile (IFMSA-Chile) China (IFMSA-China) Colombia (ASCEMCOL) Costa Rica (ACEM) Croatia (CroMSIC) Czech Republic (IFMSA CZ) Denmark (IMCC) Ecuador (IFMSA-Ecuador) Egypt (EMSA) Egypt (IFMSA-Egypt) El Salvador (IFMSA El Salvador) Estonia (EstMSA) Ethiopia (EMSA) Finland (FiMSIC) France (ANEMF) Georgia (GYMU) Germany (BVMD) Ghana (FGMSA) Greece (HelMSIC) Grenada (IFMSA-Grenada) Hong Kong (AMSAHK) Hungary (HuMSIRC) Iceland (IMSIC) Indonesia (CIMSA-ISMKI) Iran (IFMSA-Iran) Israel (FIMS) Italy (SISM) Jamaica (JAMSA) Japan (IFMSA-Japan) Jordan (IFMSA-Jo) Kenya (MSAKE) Korea (KMSA) Kurdistan - Iraq (IFMSA-Kurdistan/Iraq)

Kuwait (KuMSA) Kyrgyzstan (MSPA Kyrgyzstan) Latvia (LaMSA Latvia) Lebanon (LeMSIC) Libya (LMSA) Lithuania (LiMSA) Luxembourg (ALEM) Malaysia (SMAMMS) Malta (MMSA) Mexico (IFMSA-Mexico) Mongolia (MMLA) Montenegro (MoMSIC Montenegro) Mozambique (IFMSA-Mozambique) Nepal (NMSS) New Zealand (NZMSA) Nigeria (NiMSA) Norway (NMSA) Oman (SQU-MSG) Pakistan (IFMSA-Pakistan) Palestine (IFMSA-Palestine) Panama (IFMSA-Panama) Paraguay (IFMSA-Paraguay) Peru (APEMH) Peru (IFMSA Peru) Philippines (AMSA-Philippines) Poland (IFMSA-Poland) Portugal (PorMSIC) Romania (FASMR) Russian Federation (HCCM) Rwanda (MEDSAR) Saudi Arabia (IFMSA-Saudi Arabia) Serbia (IFMSA-Serbia) Slovakia (SloMSA) Slovenia (SloMSIC) South Africa (SAMSA) Spain (IFMSA-Spain) Sudan (MedSIN-Sudan) Sweden (IFMSA-Sweden) Switzerland (SwiMSA) Taiwan (IFMSA-Taiwan) Tatarstan-Russia (TaMSA-Tatarstan) Thailand (IFMSA-Thailand) The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (MMSA-Macedonia) The Netherlands (IFMSA-The Netherlands) Tunisia (ASSOCIA-MED) Turkey (TurkMSIC) Uganda (FUMSA) United Arab Emirates (EMSS) United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Medsin-UK) United States of America (AMSA-USA) Venezuela (FEVESOCEM) medical students worldwide

Projects Bulletin 10  

The 10th issue of the Projects Bulletin of the IFMSA, showcasing some of our new and existing projects!

Projects Bulletin 10  

The 10th issue of the Projects Bulletin of the IFMSA, showcasing some of our new and existing projects!