IVF & Embryo Freezing: Know your facts! Love
International Womenâ€™s Day
SCORA Through Time Refusing to go to the gynecologist: Fear or shame? Being 18! And much more...
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 non-governmental 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 Erick Meléndez, El Salvador Editors Sara Abboud, Lebanon Tala Achkar, Lebanon Alessandro Alfieri, Indonesia Joško Miše, Croatia Design/Layout Erick Meléndez, El Salvador Proofreading Sara Abboud, Lebanon Tala Achkar, Lebanon Alessandro Alfieri, Indonesia Joško Miše, Croatia Erick Meléndez, El Salvador
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: firstname.lastname@example.org Homepage: www.ifmsa.org
N O I T C U D O R T IN Dear SCORAngels and IFMSA friends, Wow. And that could easily be the start and the ending of this foreword. 18 articles, 36 pages and a lot of passion. These are the ingredients of this issue of the SCORAlicious Magazine which I am shortly going to introduce you. Firstly, I would like to start by thanking to all the members of the Editorial Team. During three months we were collecting your articles, proofreading them and putting them together in the final design. And all that under the lead of the editor in chief - Erick Meléndez from IFMSA El Salvador (the Publication Master). Every member of the Editorial Team contributed in making this Magazine so it would be a shame not to mention them. Sara Abboud, Tala Achkar from LeMSIC and Alessandro Alfieri from CIMSA Indonesia thank you for your work! As you know, IFMSA is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year and we in SCORA decided to celebrate it in our way. We reminisced SCORA’s beginning and therefore went down the memory lane all the way back in 1992 when SCORA was founded. Through the timeline article Sara Abboud wanted to tell you all about how our beloved Committee was developing throughout the years. She interviewed six former SCORA Directors to bring you the story that will leave you speechless! So a huge thank you to Silvia Koso, Nora Matthaeas, Ahmed Khamis, Silva Rukavina, Imene Ben Ameur and Branislav Chrenka for making the article about SCORA’s history come true. On behalf of all the SCORAngels, thank you for your messages you sent us and for everything you did for SCORA in becoming what it is now. I hope we are making you proud! But this Magazine wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you, SCORAngels! You made this Magazine a true success. You wrote these articles that came from almost every corner of our beloved IFMSA. From Bolivia, across Germany and Lebanon to Thailand you showed true energy and spirit that makes SCORA the most recognizable Standing Committee within IFMSA. So dear friends, sit back, relax, have a refreshing drink and enjoy your best summer of 2011 literature – The SCORAlicious Magazine! Cheers! Yours SCORAliciously, Joško Miše Director on Reproductive Health including AIDS 2010-2011
CONTENTS From Argentina with Love
Refusing to Go to the Gynecologist: Fear or Shame?
IVF & Embryo Freezing: Know your Facts!
SCORA in Pictures
International Womenâ€™s Day
SCORA Through Time
Light for Rights
German WAD Posters
Free Hugs, Red Ribbons, a Concert and WAD
Love at First Night
A Streetcar Called Desire
Carnival Sexual Education
Feed with Love
Somewhere Over the Rainbow
Know the Team of Sexperience
SESWO: Sex education for Sex Workers
From Argentina with Love
Lucía D’Atri IFMSA Argentina Hello fellow SCORAngels! I am Lucía D’Atri, a 2nd year medical student from the University of Buenos Aires and the recently elected NORA for IFMSA Argentina. I’ll tell you a little bit about us... We, IFMSA-Argentina, were accepted as candidate members in the AM in Montreal last year. Most of us spent that night drinking way too much coffee trying to stay awake and not being able to do anything other than check for twitter and facebook updates every two seconds, wishing for the best outcome. Although we had already worked on two projects, the great news came as an enormous energy boost, so we got together, divided into three Standing Committees, elected National Officers, and started to work. At the very beginning we were only 4 people in SCORA with a common desire: to start a project on sexual education for teenagers. Despite the fact that those initial plans went cold for a while, we got strong enough to overcome that unmotivated period and new people brought in some fresh air and great ideas. The end of November was close, and we knew we had to do something amazing for WAD. And we did it. We organized a whole day of activities at our University, which turned out to be a huge success. That was the rebirth of SCORA Argentina. January came quickly, and one thing changed us completely, and it was having attended the Regional Meeting in Bolivia. As I was the only person from Argentina in the PaPET on the Pre-RM, I felt the responsibility of taking it all in, so as to pass the information on to our NORA and LORAs.
Then, in the SCORA sessions, we were only 2 Argentinean SCORAngels, but that didn’t stop us from learning more than we ever thought we could. We met some amazing people and became familiar with the work SCORA had been doing in our region; but the most important thing everyone showed us was that no mountain was too high and that we can do anything we wanted with commitment and hard work. So, with renewed motivation, we came back and started planning the IWD activities with our beloved SCORPIONS, and IWD was a success too! On March 24th, 25th and 26th, IFMSA Argentina saw its fist NGA became a reality. For the SCORA sessions we had well-renowned people giving lectures about breast cancer, HPV, sexual diversity and more. And most importantly, we settled an ambitious preliminary agenda for the rest of the year that will surely take SCORA Argentina to a whole new level! And even though we are just starting, it hasn’t been easy, so I must thank everyone who has been with us in our journey, giving us constant support whenever we needed them. So, Aris, Nico, Laurence, Pao, Analu, Renzo, Magui, Josko, and many more that I am surely forgetting, a huge THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. We will keep up the hard work, and I can assure you we will make a difference in our society. Love, Lucía D’Atri
Refusing to Go to a G ynecologist: Fear or Shame?
Shaimaa Awad Hashim IFMSA - Egypt Many women and girls are worried about their first visit to a gynecologist and their first pelvic examination, but in Egypt the worry goes much deeper and some women don’t even go at all- which makes us wonder; what’s behind that worrying? In Egypt and many areas in the world, the female genitalia is a red line that is not to be crossed since it is related to virginity. Virginity is a big issue in tradition and religion, and these women believe that having a pelvic examination would cause the loss of their virginity, which is false. Unfortunately, reproductive health awareness is still fighting with a lot of obstacles, from traditions to false beliefs.
When and how often? Most health care providers agree that the first exam should be done in the first few years after becoming sexually active or after turning 21, and an examination should be preformed every year afterwards. There are also many other important reasons to have a pelvic exam and they include: • Unexplained pain in the lower abdomen or around the pelvic area. • Vaginal discharge or wetness on underwear that causes itching burns or that has a bad odor. • No menstrual periods by age 15 or 16. • Vaginal bleeding that lasts more than 10 days. • Missed periods; especially if sexually active. • Sever menstrual cramps that interfere with regular activity.
What was found more interesting is that even educated women feel embarrassed and reluctant Gynecological exams includes the external exam, about going to gynecologists unless they’re he speculum examination and the bimanual examination, plus examination of the thyroid pregnant or if they’re having serious pain. glands and breasts. Before the examination, a full That’s mainly because they don’t know what to gynecological history is taken which includes age expect during their pelvic examination and that’s of first menstruation and its regularity, amount of why all women should know when and how often bleeding, whether it is accompanied by cramps to head to a gynecologist and what a pelvic or other symptoms. And finally, questions about examination is. sexual activity and any odd vaginal discharges.
How: • Your health care provider should explain the different parts of the exam and ask you to lie down on the exam table and give you a sheet of paper to cover your stomach and legs. • You should be asked to move down to the end of the table and place you feet in the stirrups. • With your knees bent, you should be asked to let your knees fall to each side allowing your legs to spread apart. This is usually the part when some young women feel embarrassed. The healthcare provider should make your examination feel safe and comfortable.
Bimanual Examination: • The last part of the pelvic exam is done to check the internal genital system parts (tubes, ovaries and uterus).The gynecologist inserts one or two gloved fingers into the vagina. With the other hand, he or she will gently apply pressure to the lower part of the abdomen. • A rectal exam sometimes is done. This involves inserting one finger into the anus. This is usually done at the end of the bimanual exam.
The American college of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) recommends that Pap tests should be started within three years of a woman’s External Examination: first vaginal intercourse act or at least at the age This includes the inspection of the external genitalia of 21, and it should be repeated annually until the (clitoris, labia, vaginal opening, and rectum) to age of 30. After 30, if the test results are always check for any abnormalities. good, the interval can be increased to every two or three years but you should still see a gynecologist Speculum Examination: every year. • The speculum is an instrument made of metal or plastic placed into the vagina. After Women exposed to Diethylstilbestrol (DES) it is inserted, it will be gently opened so that before birth, women positive for HIV or those gynecologist can see the vagina and the cervix with a weakened immune system due to organ (the opening to the uterus). transplantation, chemotherapy or chronic steroid • After checking the vagina and cervix, a pap use should be screened every year. smear is taken by gently brushing away some of the cells from the cervix. This is a Pap test, Today we still face a high percentage of female which can detect early changes of the cervix, genital diseases and infections, miscarriages Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and cancer. and different types of female genital cancers in • If there is some vaginal discharge, another Egypt. Awareness of such an easy, painless and sample is taken to check for yeast and other very informative examination should be done causes of discharge. everywhere as many high risk problems can be • If you are sexually active, another sample easily avoided if women paid regular visits to their from the cervix is taken to check for sexually gynecologists. transmitted diseases.
IVF & Embryo Freezing Keith Pace MMSA Malta If one were to look up the meaning of In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF), the following would be a likely definition: IVF involves the removal of a secondary oocyte, its fertilization in a culture medium in the laboratory, and placement of the dividing zygote into the uterus. For most of us medical students that all sounds well and good, but how many people from a random selection would understand the biological and ethical implications of this sentence? Medical jargon acts as a barrier in many public health sectors, and this is no exception. This, together with the current situation in Malta, is what sparked my interest to work together with other students to ensure people know more about the subject.
Put simply, the procedure involves superovulation protocols via the administration of parenteral gonadotropins to induce maturation of many follicles. These follicles may then be retrieved and fertilized using sperm from the male. The embryos can then be screened for selection of those best fit for transfer. Any surplus embryos of sufficient quality may then be cryopreserved.
This process is done by controlled-rate freezing in cryoprotectant fluid from body temperature down to -196째C. Next, the embryos are stored in liquid nitrogen containers. Special indelibly labelled plastic vials that contain the embryos are sealed prior to freezing. These can then be used for future embryo transfers without the need for another IVF Since it was first successful in 1978, the science cycle. of IVF has improved incredibly. It was originally indicated in women with tubal factor infertility, but it Currently the pregnancy rates lie at around 35%. is now used as a last resort for any form of infertility However, procedures such as intracytoplasmic in couples who wish to conceive. It is a complex sperm injection, assisted embryo hatching and process and involves multiple steps resulting in preimplantation diagnosis make the possibility the insemination and fertilization of oocytes. The of increased success rates tangible. These embryos produced are then implanted artificially techniques involve the manipulation of gametes into the female. and embryos under an inverted microscope.
As medical students many of us have read paragraphs similar to the ones above before, and perhaps the first thing that crosses our mind is that it truly is an impressive procedure and one with potential for much development. What if you gave this same paragraph to a random person on the street, how would they feel about it? Perhaps some may think that itâ€™s completely ethically or morally wrong whilst others may view the process as an excellent way of giving couples who wish to conceive newfound hope. IVF is a procedure which has been carried out in line with the best medical practices for 20 years in Malta and although there is currently no legislation on IVF, this does not mean that anything illegal is taking place. At the moment the government, together with medical professionals and bioethicists, are looking into the concept of freezing â€“ not just of embryos but also of stem cells.
Know Your Facts! As one can imagine many lay people are suddenly talking about IVF, even though they have little to no knowledge of the actual procedure. This is why the Malta Medical Studentsâ€™ Association (MMSA) teamed up with the Science Students Society (the Maltese Student organization for Science Students) to make sure university students and the general public are more informed and can understand the current debates better. A lack of knowledge, or even worse, incorrect or very little knowledge on a subject is what leads to misconceptions and eventual discrimination. Thus we set off to start an information campaign through the use of the media by setting up a stand first on our university campus and later in the capital, Valletta. We distributed bookmarks and talked to people through outreach efforts. We also launched an e-poster with information on the topic. Over the coming months we hope to work on a study to assess what the general public really knows so as to improve our campaign and make the relevant authorities aware of the situation. Through eliciting discussion and reflection and through empowering the public with knowledge on the subject we will definitely help people understand what is going on, and we can ensure that more people can play an active role and participate in discussions. Moreover, instilling a sense of interest in scientific issues can further promote health care as a whole!
SCORA IN PICTURES
For this issue of the SCORA magazine, we decided to add a photo section in order to demonstrate some of the brilliant things SCORA has been doing around the world. We asked for submissions from you, and compiled those that we thought represented SCORA’s spirit best. Thank you for your contributions!
On December 1st 2010, we gathered in public in order to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS. Together we are stronger, so let’s tie up those ribbons!
We are hanging a huge red ribbon in this popular market in Montes Claros. We collaborate with an NGO called GRAPPA, which helps people who are HIV seropositive. There’s nothing better than teamwork in the fight against AIDS.
Mexico Our campaign against breast cancer in October 2010 in Torreon.
Our World AIDS Day campaign in December of 2010 in Torreon.
During International Women’s Day in Mexico city, we asked many women to write messages on heart-shaped paper, and arranged them to spell “Mujer”, which means “Women.”
In Lebanon, we decided to have an IWD campaign with the goals of it being both empowering for women and fun! So, we gave people (both boys and girls) chalkboards and took photos of them with messages they had written. In the end we had a photo exhibition to display the best photos.
Catalonia As the Euregme host, SCORA-AECS wanted to show all of Europe the best of our projects, and now share with all you SCORAngels the spirit of the Euregme Project Fair.
Hungary In Budapest, we set up a large condom in a square, and had a lot of fun spreading awareness about all things SCORA.
International Women’s Day Anne Driessen NORA The Netherlands One of the brains behind IWD ;-) Imagine a world where men and women have the same rights, the same possibilities and the same free access to opportunities. This is a world that is still far from here, but getting closer as we, SCORAngels from over the world, combine our strengths and raise our voices to stand up against injustices towards the female sex. Did you know that those creatures who belong to the female sex are quite amazing? So incredibly amazing that we have an international day to celebrate their existence: International Women’s Day (IWD). This GA was a special one for all SCORAngels and SCORPions: IWD celebrated its 100th anniversary, and we made a big affair of it. In 1975 IWD was officially recognized by the UN and in some countries eventually became a national holiday. The day has many goals as the UN states: ‘to recognize the fact that securing peace and social progress and the full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms require the active participation, equality and development of women; and to acknowledge the contribution of women to the strengthening of international peace and security.’ It is also a day to unite and look back on what women have achieved in their struggle for equality and progress.
In Jakarta, from the 5th to the 11th of March, men and women united to celebrate IWD. We sold specially designed shirts to fundraise for a local charity in Indonesia and we designed buttons and gave them away to everyone who wanted one. It was amazing to see everybody wearing one (or two) IWD buttons, and the purple IWD shirts were so popular that they were even allowed in the SCORA picture – in which the shirts actually ought to be red! To make the SCORA sessions a bit spicy (as they’re supposed to be) we introduced some agenda topics with monologues from the Vagina Monologues. All SCORAngels were great, even SCOPHians and SCORPions came to the SCORA sessions to see the monologues! All together we raised about €800 which will be donated to the Indonesia Positive Women Network, an organization that supports and empowers women! We can be proud of ourselves as we did an incredible job. We have to continue in this spirit, in order to reach that utopic world! I enjoyed this GA very much, and I’m really happy IWD worked out in the way it deserves – powerful, sexy, and amazing. Just like women. Much love in the way only a SCORAngel can give, Anne
SCORA Through Time 1992 was a sexy year. Madonna’s album Erotica topped the charts and Sharon Stone made filmgoers everywhere sweat and shift in their seats as they watched Basic Instinct. The world was changing; the Grunge look was (oddly) in whilst 80s’ Mohawks were slowly disappearing, and somewhere in the midst of all this, a star was born- and I’m not just talking about Miley Cyrus.
As it grew, SCOAS’ advocacy and awareness campaigns developed to encompass a wider range of reproductive health issues which ultimately led to the famous name change in 1998.
As former SCORA Director Silvia Koso puts it, the change was a result of the cooperation with UNFPA and WHO (whose experts were also in favor of said change) as well as the understanding that Somewhere, in a crowded room, IFMSA members HIV/AIDS prevention is part of broader framework were all participating in the birth of the newest which also includes the prevention of unwanted addition to their family; SCOAS - the Standing pregnancies, gender based violence, etc. Committee on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Diseases. The stars were well aligned when Thus, the Standing Committee on Reproductive IFMSA’s sexiest standing committee was born, Health including AIDS was born- and it had a and everyone proudly saw it grow up and reach catchier name this time around- a name hundreds its full potential, and 20 years later, we are all here of medical students would come to chant as time to celebrate its birthday. So sit back, relax, and passed by and as SCORA expanded. let us take you on a journey depicting the life and times of SCORA through the experiences of its We sat down with former SCORA-D Silvia Koso (by sat down with we mean communicated with past directors and present members. via email of course) and asked her a few questions The IFMSA experience made us better about her time as the godmother of SCORA during the 1998-2000 period. She tells us that at health professionals, more responsible the time, SCORA was –and still is- a fun group, persons and helped us gain friends for and innovative tools such as Peer Education were strongly promoted and helped increase the life. SCORA family worldwide. SCORA members were – Silvia Koso (1998-2000). that cool progressive friend you get to know and eventually hang out with because they’re just that interesting- even conservative countries joined in. The 1990s They were awkward for us all. Those of you whose teen years took place during that glorious era However, as Silvia describes, the freedom to remember the nickname craze that took the world discuss certain sexual topics easily and openly by storm when the internet hit the mainstream- was taken for granted at times, and some of and not to be outdone by all the DarkAngel87s and these conservative countries would not be able CutyGirl92s out there, the Standing Committee on to participate in all discussions- but that would be AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Diseases, then resolved later on. known as SCOAS, took on a new name in 1998 and became the SCORA we know today. Keep the spirit up! And even though In fact, SCOAS was formed in 1992 as a reaction to the increasing number of people living with AIDS worldwide. Fueled by their strong will to participate in programs for the prevention of HIV and STIs, medical students from IFMSA created a standing committee whose purpose would be the reduction and perhaps even the elimination of such cases in the world.
we don’t succeed in all the things we would like to within SCORA as medical students the work will help you later on in life as a doctor for sure. – Nora Matthaeas (2004-2005).
One of Silvia’s main goals was to increase the participation of female members from countries that traditionally had an underrepresentation of women, which as we can see today, has worked. All in all, although SCORA and IFMSA faced external difficulties mainly with funding, the 1998 SCORA was already making the world a better place- even their motto, May the Condom be with You- was spicing up the realm of Star Wars references, which is great in many ways (especially for the typical Star Wars fan). The 2000s One word: Y2K. It’s actually not a even a word but a numeronym (says Google) yet the Millennium Bug made everyone panic at the end of the century and spawned countless book deals for those authors who honestly just had nothing better to occupy themselves with. We also asked 5 of our former Directors to become writers for a few hours as they answered our questions except this time, their writing had an honorable purpose: to shed some light on the continuing childhood of our dear SCORA. We start in 2004-2005, with former SCORA-D Nora Matthaeas. She tells us that at the time, many new countries were joining the SCORA family, and more experienced countries were helping them adapt and introducing them to our way of life. Her fondest memories all happened during the many General Assemblies she attended; meeting members of the international SCORA team, working together, sharing the enthusiasm and getting to know and assign faces to the people she had only known through emails- and of course, the SCORA group hug which is something we have all shared (and hopefully will continue to share) with each other.
SCORA and IFMSA will change your life, in fact by reading those words, and going through this magazine, I’m sure something has changed in you somehow already. Please enjoy every moment you’re spending in SCORA; embrace the experience and be open to new challenges. – Ahmed Khamis (2005-2006).
Moving on to 2005-2006, when Ahmed Khamis was the first male director from the Arab World. Stigma around HIV and issues of sexuality was much higher (especially in Arab conservative countries) than present times, yet because SCORA and Ahmed were involved with other international associations such as the UN and other NGOs, there was nothing but support from all around when it was time for him to become SCORA-D.
I hope you will find your inspiration in SCORA, that you fill find an additional drive and that you will strive to be better. I feel I am and will be a SCORAngel for the rest of my life. – Silva Rukavina (2006-2007). The SCORA team encouraged inactive committees to become more involved in their countries and on an international level; he saw many members become National Officers and receive training from the other NORAs so that they can take that knowledge and apply it to their local committees and someday, other newcomers. During the 2006-2007 term, former director Silva Rukavina shares with us SCORA’s amazing progress and describes what they accomplished. SCORA had wonderful external new partners and guests, mind-blowing new projects and initiatives, awesome reach of beneficiaries and positive group spirit. They started new transnational projects, affirmed IPET, managed to coordinate the celebration of the International Candlelight Memorial for the first time, coordinated International Women’s Day with SCORP and increased the reporting on World AIDS Day 2005 Activities by 189% (in total obtaining 53 NMO reports out of 75 who had implemented SCORA activities in their local committees) - and on top of that they built some really important partnerships that are helping medical students in their SCORA work to this day. All in all, SCORA was growing and becoming more and more effective as it developed. In 20082009, former director Imene Ben Ameur tells us that more local committees were being formed around the world, and during her term, Bolivia, the Philippines, Bahrain and Pakistan all joined the SCORA team and are still growing members to this day.
Our last former director of the first decade of the 2000s, Branislav Chrenka (or Brano as we have all come to know him) gives very practical advice which deserves to be quoted. “Remember that most of the conflicts stem from misunderstandings! So learn to communicate feelings and problems in a constructive way, do not expect automatically fault others; ask, check and re-check if all the members of the team and even outside the team understood correctly what you said and meant! Let them repeat it to you in their own words.” We in SCORA are an international family, but like all families we have some altercations; so, when your fellow member gives you a hard time, take a breath and remind yourself just how much you love them and the work SCORA does, because as Brano tells us, SCORA will always have its hands full even if more breakthroughs happen in the field of HIV/AIDS research. In fact, we have to deal with issues such as stigma against LGBTQ minorities, rape, human trafficking, etc. Yet we can never rest in picturing a better world and trying to achieve these goals which will not get easier as time goes by. But much like Buzz LightYear of Star Command, we will continue with our work To Infinity, and Beyond!
Keep being great and enjoying your work, you are making the change and inspiring people so keep it up! –Imene Ben Ameur (2008-2009). Today SCORA celebrates its 20th birthday in 2012. Provided the world does not come to an end next year, we hope all members everywhere can share this birthday and keep the SCORA tradition alive. From the beginning, SCORA has believed that one of the important methods of fighting AIDS is through prevention, and the only way to achieve prevention is through education. Therefore, the main focus of this committee has always been activities that emphasize already existing solutions and creating new educational programs for medical students, as well as for the general population.
SCORA focuses its efforts on teenagers since they are the main risk group, but its activities reach people of all ages. Other campaigns are directed towards the promotion of healthy sexual and reproductive behavior, prevention of HIV and STIs, as well as the appropriate use of contraceptives. It defends reproductive rights, women’s rights and gender equality, maternal health and stands against domestic violence, female genital mutilation and discrimination against LGBTQ minorities. SCORA has come a long way since its formation in 1992, and 20 years later, its various workshops and campaigns mirror its evolution and help spread its philosophy around the world. We have all, as SCORA members, taken part of at least one of these activities and we have seen ourselves grow and become what we are today. So Happy Birthday dear SCORA, from all of us here at SCORALICIOUS and from every member who has been with you since 1992 and even before then, and from all future members who we know will take care of you and take you to even greater heights. Sara Abboud, LeMSIC-SCORA
Do not blame each other for mistakes; learn from them, accept them, admit them and try not to repeat them. Be modest and humble. Avoid superficiality. Expand your creativity and leave your fears behind. Finally, learn to let go when the time comes. – Branislav Chrenka (2009-2010).
Being 18! Sherif Tarek Erfan Tanta Students’ Scientific Association (TSSA) International Federation of Medical Students Associations, Egypt (IFMSA, Egypt)
Being 18 is tough. This is the only fact I could settle on after long talks with myself! At such an age, one starts thinking about the person he wants to be (“Am I on the right way?”, “What should I change about myself?”).
What to do? What to do? There’s no way we were going to stand silent in front of these obstacles; we had to move.
During the past year, awareness campaigns were exploding all over Egypt, HIV/AIDS was discussed I spent many sleepless nights looking for an everywhere and its name was said without fear! answer; a way to change myself. Stigma took one hit after another until the KO came in the form of major “World AIDS Day” celebrations One of the answers I found was to be more active, in most Egyptian cities. productive and helpful to my community. Reproductive neoplasms weren’t far from our This world needs help, and SCORA is my way of attention; we spoke out in a big “run for cure” event helping. and celebration by the Great Pyramids. I love living in Egypt and I’m proud of my oriental There’s no rest. We will tackle every single issue: culture, but in our community reproductive health sexual education and youth health, women’s rights is rarely discussed. and maternal health, every subject concerning reproductive health will be part of our efforts. We Here you can see stigma in its ugliest forms. can change the world. I can change the world. Subjects as deadly as breast cancer are neglected, Maybe being 18 is tough, but if I have the power and HIV/AIDS is a “Lord Voldemort” to people; you to change the world, it shouldn’t be so hard to can’t say its name! change myself!
Light for Rights Tea Friščić CroMSIC Croatia In 2010, CroMSIC tried to do something new to So we had to come up with something to offer them: more that one hundred medical students, as commemorate World AIDS Day. well as students from different universities, stood We decided to do a Light for Rights campaign, in front of the building (in our case this was the which was started two years ago in different places national museum, Mimara) wearing red t-shirts or across the world. The main goal is to increase scarves (or both). awareness about the rights of people who are With their bodies they made a red ribbon. They living with HIV/AIDS. read a statement in which they invited people to think about those living with HIV/AIDS, to respect What is it about? In every city there is exists an immediately their rights and not to stigmatize and discriminate recognizable building (or landmark). It is against them. Also, there was an emphasis on recommended that this event take place after testing, because in our country a very small nightfall, at which point streetlights surrounding the percentage of people know where to get tested, building should be shut down in order to maximize and according to that, even smaller percentage is actually getting tested. This was good enough for the effect. the media, and so we got a live stream on national Around the building there should be reflectors with television! red light, so that when the streetlights are off the building will become red (SCORAlicious! :P). But We all had a great time! The appearance of the red national museum building was astonishing it’s not just about the red building… and we got great attention from the media! :) This is a highly recommendable experience! How did we do it? Our main goal was to reach people! So, we needed Big hugs from Croatia. media.
German WAD Posters After only a few hours of brainstorming we had our ideas together: We wanted to design a campaign with the clear message: “Do whatever you feel like, but always use a condom!” After only a short while we even had some ideas for possible settings in which to take the photos. The last thing to do was to choose a local committee that was brave and SCORAlicious enough to finish the job – and had members who agreed to be in the pictures of course. In the very SCORAlicious committee in Freiburg about 8 SCORA members brainstormed again for even more photo settings and slogans, then hired a professional photographer and started the amazing event of walking around the city with a huge condom in one hand and a professional camera in the other. After 2 days of work and Marco Spehl, Susanne Heinze taking pictures, we had all the photos together BVMD Germany and started to edit them in photoshop, which Every year SCORA-Germany celebrates WAD with took by far the most time, but also added by far huge events in every local SCORA committee (23 the best effects to our posters. cities). To keep the SCORA spirit SCORAlicious in Germany, we come up with a special campaign Finally, we had the posters printed and for WAD every year and so we design our own distributed them to all the local committees national posters according to our campaign’s and the job was done. The whole project was theme. For instance, in 2009 it was “License to funded by a German insurance company and a condom company, whose company logos were love” or in 2010, “Always a condom by my side”. included on the posters. In the end we had four However, 2010 was special! We tried not only to different posters and eight different postcards come up with a unique idea for WAD 2010 but that we could now use not only on World AIDS also to invent a poster series that could be used Day but also share with whomever, wherever throughout the year to spread awareness of STIs and whenever we want to. Conclusion? Totally worth it! and HIV. In order to get that done, we formed a small working group at our national assembly in April and brainstormed about a possible theme, not only for WAD but also for safer sex in general. Additionally, we wanted to add some fun to the campaign, because a poster that could be used yearlong should not have a depressing theme. Accordingly, the images on the posters needed to be somewhat humorous and the slogans had to have some funny SCORA spirit that makes people smile and think positively – as always!
Now have a look at the posters and postcards yourself but keep in mind that the slogans are supposed to be in German and the wordplay cannot be easily translated into English without losing its meaning. Nevertheless enjoy some SCORAlicious work made in Germany! Contact us at email@example.com if you have any questions. We’ll start working on the 2011 campaign very soon and we’re happy to keep you updated.
Free Hugs, Red Ribbons, a Concert and WORLD AIDS DAY Samer Najem LeMSIC Lebanon December is upon us! It’s a joyful month for a gigantic number of students all around the world: gifts and the Christmas spirit for some, New Year’s Eve, but most of all, a well-deserved vacation (or reading period for us med students)!
Filmed in an old church, the ad depicted ordinary students with ordinary lives, doing ordinary activities (such as sports, dancing, chatting…), followed by the words “Any of these people could have AIDS. Protect yourself. Get tested for HIV”.
However, SCORA members have one more thing to eagerly look forward to: World AIDS Day (WAD). Whether they’re planning on getting that brand new guitar, a few PS3 games, some clothes, or even plain old money, every single member brushes off his Christmas list and starts focusing instead on the WAD campaign, SCORA’s main event.
In parallel, SCORA members managed to get interviews on two TV stations besides the one that aired the advertisement, as well as radio coverage, pushing our beloved committee to a level of national recognition never attained before.
Members were relentlessly preparing for the upcoming concert, which featured Mashrou’ Leila, a popular band amongst the Lebanese youth that had accepted to play pro bono for our cause. On the American University of Beirut (AUB) and SaintJoseph University (USJ) campuses, you’d see med students gearing up for the campaign: some of them putting on their shiny red shirt brandished with the phrase “You don’t have to be a doctor to fight AIDS”, while others were arming themselves with rolls of posters, packs of pamphlets and boxes of flyers, calendars and booklets. A few hours later, a wave of grey posters had taken over the campuses, as well as Achrafieh and Hamra Street (both key locations in Beirut). More and more people came over to ask about the concert… the ticket sale had started. Aiming to spread the call for our cause on a national scale, we went on a publicity spree. At the HotelDieu de France (HDF) hospital and the American University Hospital (AUH), members would tackle all the doctors they could find to sell VIP tickets. Meanwhile, on campus, we set up stands, surrounded by white boards on which anyone could write their opinion about HIV. The day went by, our stock of tickets and t-shirts decreasing with each passing minute. A few miles away, a group of students prepared an advertisement that would air on one of Lebanon’s major TV stations.
Still, all that media coverage was not enough for us zealous SCORA members. Yearning for more, we undertook our annual invasion of Gemmayzeh, Lebanon’s most vibrant street (after 9:00 PM) filled with pubs, night clubs, and most of all unwary young adults! Over 60 members walked that street with “Free Hugs” signs, distributing condoms, flyers, pamphlets, and concert tickets. Passersby, amazed by the sheer passion emanating from those med students, were more than happy to hug us while we whispered in their ears: “Hugs don’t transmit AIDS.” Some were even excited by the prospect of free condoms being distributed. Word about us had spread through Gemmayzeha car stopped in the middle of the road (causing a traffic jam), its five passengers jumping out to hug a group of SCORA members that happened to pass by. Down the street, some students organized a condom demonstration that attracted over 20 people, all competing to get the best view. After a couple of hours, we had completely exhausted our stock of condoms, but we still had plenty of free hugs to give!
We had one last step to make on our publicity campaign. Cooperating with Roadster and Deek Duke, two main Lebanese restaurants, we set up ticket stands for two whole days. Both restaurants had agreed to use our own placemats, with a design similar to the t-shirts. While some people completely ignored us, most of them took the time to stop and listen to what we had to say.
Finally, D-Day arrived, the culminating point of all our efforts: Mashrouâ€™ Leilaâ€™s concert. Amidst an AUB campus covered in gray and red, over 600 people gathered before Assembly Hall (where the band was to play). SCORA had set up stands, giving red ribbons and selling Mashrouâ€™ Leila CDs. Journalists from popular Lebanese magazines had come to cover the event. The air was tingling with anticipation and excitement as the time neared A larger part, even though they could not attend the 8:30 PM. concert, gave us a reasonable amount of money, while an even larger part bought a minimum of 2 At last, the doors opened and a wave of people tickets each. Shift after shift, by using all the media rushed in, guided to their seats by SCORA coverage we had accumulated over the weeks, members who volunteered to be ushers, while we managed to completely exhaust our supply another group controlled the crowd at the door, of tickets. We had reached the end of the road, checking the tickets. Assembly Hall was full in a having risen over $20,000 for the HIV/AIDS fund matter of minutes. As the lights dimmed, silence for patients all over Lebanon. The stage was set. fell upon the room, and deep cello lines filled the All we had to do now was waiting. air: the WAD concert had begun.
Love at First Nigh
Nicha Z., Nean S., Chatdow C., Pakpoom S., Research shows that roughly 85% of Thai youths Prooksa A. IFMSA-Thailand are not aware of HIV. Unquestionably, only 2030% of sexually active young people use condoms To be brave, Two be saved. Love (your life) at First consistently. Night. As medical students and members of SCORA, When I was three, I asked my mother what was IFMSA-Thailand, we strongly felt that this problem the difference between a boy and a girl. “A boy is was critical and that it needed to be solved right like your dad, and a girl is just like me, darling”, she away. Thus, our project Love at First Night was answered. When I was seven, I asked my mother born. Love at first night is based on the belief that again. “Mommy, where did I come from?” “Honey, changing the condom packaging to make it look you were born from a bamboo. When a woman more like a common product will make people more eats too many bamboo sprouts, her belly gets comfortable about buying and using condoms. bigger. Then nine months later, a baby comes out Some of our strategies include: from her stomach. It’s how everyone is born,” she The Condom package contest: We hoped we said. When I was thirteen, I asked my father “What would find creative condom package designs is a condom? Can I eat it? Is it delicious? Why is it that will make people comfortable with buying available at every 7-Eleven (convenience store)?” condoms from convenience stores and realize the “My boy that snack is awful- it’s for a certain type importance of using condoms to protect them. The of adults. For now just know that using a condom contest was held throughout April. The winner of is a sin for a child and that you must not touch it”, the contest will be announced at our main event, he replied. “To be brave, Two be saved. Love (your life) at First Night” on June 4th, 2011. What I just told you is not a joke or a fable. This To be brave, Two be saved. Love (your life) is what actually happens in Thailand. Being at First Night: Our main event that will be held disciplined by Thai culture, most parents think of at Siam Discovery and Siam Center, one of sex as an obscene and repulsive act that should Bangkok’s most popular teenage hang-out spots. never be openly discussed. Undoubtedly, reactions We will have booths, providing basic knowledge to their children’s sex-related questions vary from about condoms in the form of games to ensure silence to scolding. Moreover, some conservative that the audiences will get both knowledge and speakers claim that straightforward sex education entertainment. Furthermore, we have made a in schools is unnecessary. As a result, very few vignette, promoting good attitudes toward condom Thai teenagers are appropriately informed about usage so that we will be able to broadcast it at our sex. Without this knowledge, some teenagers will university (Chulalongkorn University- which is the even risk their safety just to learn more about sex. first and biggest university in Thailand) TV channel Consequently, premarital sex becomes a risky to get more target groups. behavior that leads to many problems: unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortion, and sexually By these actions, we anticipate changing people’s transmitted diseases including AIDS. attitudes towards condoms and increasing condom usage among the vulnerable groups. We hope The situation of AIDS in Thailand is not as good that this will help reducing the incidence of HIV as it should be. The prevalence of adult HIV in infection in Thailand. In addition, other countries Thailand is 1.3%, while that of other countries in are facing the same problems as Thailand. We Asia is less than 1%. Social values that look down therefore expect this project to be an exemplar of upon condom use, combined with HIV negligence how to appropriately manage a social forbidden in Thai teenagers make the situation much issue and, at the same time, balance our precious worse. cultural belief.
A Streetcar Called Desire Sex? Only after marriage. Students however don’t seem to abide by that rule. Through games, handing out condoms, bags, stickers, and candies with www.stopaids.pl printed on them, we conveyed vital information on HIV transmission and encouraged people to take the free anonymous HIV test. “We decided to go out and tell people that you can live with HIV even if you’re HIV positive, but it’s really important to take care of your safety and your partner’s safety.”- says Justyna. Sparks fly, Agnieszka Kuświk we are bursting with energy, excitement is in the IFMSA-Poland air. We made society realize that HIV/AIDS can affect all of us: rich, poor, fat, skinny, and educated. Friday night. Finally- a break from work and We broke the taboo. studying, people going to night clubs and discos to have fun and relax. So far we have organized 3 amazing tramway actions thanks to 6 brave coordinators, and over However this Friday is quite unusual. What makes 150 volunteers. During the first two events more it different, you ask? The answer is simple: than 4000 condoms were distributed. People were “Streetcar Called Desire”, a motivated group of shocked. Positively shocked! They were willing to medical students supported by the MTV Staying ask questions, play, talk, and we were proud to be Alive Foundation, Medical Universities in Warsaw there and share our knowledge with them. and Lodz- a brilliant idea that went far beyond our expectations. Imagine sexy policemen and policewomen patrolling the clubs. Don’t worry; we aren’t here to give you speeding tickets. On that night we set up stands in 5 clubs and on the local trams to get the safe sex message across to party-goers. The tram was full of people, educators and- you guessed it- condoms that everyone could get and learn something new about the prevention of HIV/AIDS and STI’s. The tram was divided into two sections: an educational zone with safe sex quizzes- and a party zone with a DJ and lots of fun and music. However, since Poland is a conservative Catholic country, sex is a taboo and reproductive health education is not provided in schools. I remember many instances where a sex scene would come on during a movie, and my parents would either change the channel or ask me to close my eyes.
n o i t a c u d E l a u Carnival Sex Juan Pablo Pinell Calvo IFMSA Bolivia Hi SCORAngels, this was our experience during Carnival in Sucre, Bolivia... Carnival in Bolivia has always been one of the most popular parties in the country. Since we have various cultures in our region, we have the option of enjoying this party in many different ways. Years before, Carnival was just another party; nowadays, Carnival has become a celebration with the most alcohol consumers and, as a result, with the most people having unprotected sex.
The main activity, “Con un guante no te manches, con un condon no te contagies” (Don’t get dirty with a glove, don’t get infected with a condom), involved having your hand protected with a latex glove, painting it, and leaving hand prints on fabric and then removing the glove to see that your hand was still clean.
We did this as a way to explain that just like the hand was protected from the paint because of the glove, the use of a condom can protect from That is why we decided to organize some activities sexually transmitted diseases. to make university students realize this was a problem and learn about some of the most common The second activity was “Comparsa: Vive una diseases in our city, and show them how to take Sexualidad Responsable” (Comparsa: enjoy your care of themselves and of their sexual partners. sexuality responsibly). We went out into the streets with a group of musicians giving people flyers with The first activity we held was “Sexual Education descriptions of some common diseases to make Fair.” This took place at our university, where we them realize that they have to be responsible with were distributed between seven different places, their sexuality. and where five SCORA members on each stand, explained all about some of the most common This is the first activity that we have done in Sucre, sexual diseases in our city (herpes, gonorrhea, Bolivia; this is just the beginning because SCORA syphilis, chlamydia, trichomoniasis, HIV). We is going to be really active. also had a stand with all the ways to prevent an unwanted pregnancy.
Ivana Kovacova SloMSA Slovakia
It is the spirit of IFMSA meetings that makes it an organization we all want to be a part of-not only General Assemblies and Regional Meetings, but every single meeting taking place among IFMSA members.
As for the soft skills training, which we consider very important for people dealing with projects, we provided our guests with trainings on Financial management of Projects, Leadership and Time Management.
I always feel the spirit of IFMSA, even when meeting locally with my IFMSA friends. And the energy is growing with the amount of people that participate in these meetings.
It wasn’t only the work that was on schedule in Svaty Jur- we had the good luck of being there in time for the National holiday, so we didn’t miss the chance to go and meet with all the local people and celebrate with them in their lovely little village.
I am happy that SCORAngels and SCOPHians are setting their own tradition of meeting - SPTs. I was there when my NMO, SloMSA, made the decision of organizing one of these unique meetings, and I was very proud of the fact that we succeeded. And a few months later, I found myself standing at the registration desk, waiting for the first people to arrive at Svaty Jur.
Last but not least we didn’t forget about a must in all IFMSA meetings- the National food and drink party, which was just amazing as per usual.
There have not been many SPTs so far, but this tradition has been set and it is going to continue, because just as the SCOPEians and SCOREians have their SRTs, SCORAngels and SCOPHians At the heart of Europe, Slovakia was the perfect deserve their doses of IFMSA spirit every now and place for many people from different countries to then. visit. And so it was. I met people from Catalonia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Poland, Austria, We are glad we were able to provide our guests Slovenia and many people from other nearby with a tasty serving of it and we hope it was not countries. We were really happy to have many the last time we would welcome our friends in talented and motivated people with us. SloMSA, a Slovakia! small but eager NMO, wanted to use this chance to come up with more projects for our members, as well as to show off projects that we were doing and were proud of to other NMOs. Our expectations were met; for the SCORAngels, we had presentations on Daphne, First Gynecological Consultation, For a Homophobia Free World, SCORA Twinning, IlluminAIDS and World’s AIDS Day Flashmob. For people from SCOPH we had 4 Life, Marrow, Let’s look into the Eyes of Health, World Diabetes Day, World Non Tobacco Day Flashmob, Smoke Free Days & the Smoke Free Party.
Feed with Love JosĂŠ Antonio Duran de la Cruz IFMSA Mexico Breastfeeding is the first contact and connection In addition to this, oxytocin and prolactin when between mother and son, it is the first opportunity to secreted wake a feeling of motherly care and secure the babyâ€™s health, happiness and welfare. love for the baby in the woman. In the mother, breastfeeding prevents diseases like breast Breastfeeding is a right to health and nutrition for cancer, ovarian cancer and osteoporosis. all infants. In fact, Article 24 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child states that governments However, many mothers do not know all these must ensure that all sectors of society are aware important benefits and many others want to of the benefits of breastfeeding. breastfeed but do not know the proper way to do it, which are some difficulties that make them stop Breast milk is the most complete nutritional product or avoid breastfeeding. for infants during the first six months of life. It contains all the nutrients, antibodies, hormones Over 10 million children die annually from largely and antioxidants that infants need to live in full preventable diseases such as diarrhea, pneumonia health. Breast milk stimulates the immune system and measles, among others. and protects young children from diarrhea and acute infections of the airways. If all infants were breastfed during the first six months of age, it could save millions of lives each Breastfeeding helps the mother to release oxytocin, year. UNICEF data on child survival published in which is necessary for the proper contraction of the medical journal The Lancet, show that optimal the uterus, thus preventing the risk of bleeding breastfeeding could save more infant lives. and help it return quickly to normal size.
FEED WITH LOVE Two years ago, in Mexico, SCORA started working on promoting and supporting breastfeeding through its project “AMAMANTA” or “FEED WITH LOVE” which has the overall objective: “Promote the culture of breastfeeding to increase the number of mothers who practice it, promoting its many benefits for baby and mother. Likewise, provide support and information and an open space to assuage any concerns and give advice on breastfeeding.” Among the specific objectives: • Provide people with basic knowledge about breastfeeding, as well its physical and psychological benefits. • Teach mothers the proper way to breastfeed their babies, explaining what should and should not be done and why • Clarify the physiology of breastfeeding and teach the normal behavior of a newborn in order to acknowledge any problems and eliminate difficulties. • Raise awareness about the important role of breastfeeding in protecting the baby and the mother against diseases. • Sensitize doctors to the importance of breastfeeding in the health of both mother and baby and encourage them to promote it among their patients. • Calling the attention of the media to help us deliver this important message. The activities we have done in Mexico are: • Information modules installed in public places in which we shared information and leaflets. • Stands in hospital waiting rooms. • Competitions and an exhibition of paintings, posters andphotographs regarding topics related to breastfeeding, motherhood and the mother-child bond formed with breastfeeding. • Conducting conferences, workshops and talks to the general public about breastfeeding. • Speeches to doctors to promote breastfeeding. • Speaking on radio or television, an open a space for society to communicate and to answer questions or make comments. • Paste posters and banners. • Decoration of medical schools, hospitals and maternity wards with images and information to support breastfeeding. • Get testimonials from mothers who practiced nursing. • Sale of promotional items like stickers, shirts, bracelets, buttons, keychains, postcards, etc. • Surveys to the general population and physicians to assess their knowledge and obtain statistical data on the performance of breastfeeding. In Mexico we are convinced of the importance of promoting breastfeeding as it is economical and healthy, and provides the baby with the necessary protection.
Somewhere Over the Rainbow: How We Arrange NECSE 2011 in Finland
Pihla Patamaa FiMSIC Finland So, you missed the fabulous four-day zen meditative trip to better self-consciousness and sharing universal interest in the beautiful origin of all human life? Well – I’ll try to fill in the empty hole. Unfortunately, the general rule is: what happens in NECSE stays in NECSE – so I can only slightly open the curtain of awesomeness for you.
NECSE is held every spring in some of the participating countries. NECSE 2011 was held in the middle of nowhere: Virrat, Finland. We had all the Finnish specialities: a sauna, a cold lake and a quiet forest around us. And luckily it was sunny instead of snowy.
NECSE is the Northern Europe Cooperation of Sex The peaceful place was absolutely perfect for this Education Projects – a project that aims to improve journey of four extraordinary days. understanding and peer education methods in sex The theme of NECSE 2011 was ”Revolving education. Sexuality” and we chose our four expert lecturers In Northern Europe we share a similar cultural for this topic. We had specialists talking about background, so we can focus on the problems relationships, the concept of gender, and violence that are faced in our culture in order to share among youths and boys as a special group in and develop new ways to approach them. And sex education. All the lecturers had extensive of course, the way to learn in NECSE is peer experience working with youths and they came education – every participating country presents from different fields – there were knowledge a method they use in dealing with a specific topic shared from anthropology, psychology, women’s studies and social sciences. related to sex or relationships.
The general theme was also represented at our costume party on the second night (”From grandparents to grandchildren”) where we saw a great variety of people from lost eras dancing and getting along with each other very well. We rewarded the costumes - and the winning outfit belonged to a neat Charleston lady from the land of Toblerone. The schedule during the NECSE was hardcore. On the first night, after a seven hour bus drive from Helsinki to the peaceful countryside, we started getting to know each other. And, boy did we learn! We had great variety of people from different countries living different (or sometimes similar) lives. We broke up the delegations and let new bonds be born. And interesting bonds were discovered – some of us had been dressing up as orange vegetables, some were born in capitals and some just accidentally didn’t wear any underwear. You never know what you will have in common with your colleagues!
We ended the program 21.00 on Saturday night, followed by the National Food and Drinking Party. Even on Sunday morning there was still a high level of participation in Iceland’s amazing session. Thanks to the power of caffeine, sugar, group dynamics and most importantly: passion for sex education. The method exchanges of participating countries (which by the way were Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, Estonia, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Poland) got commendatory feedback that was relevant and useful to other countries, so the NECSE met its expectations and gave real, concrete methods to use and improve sex education projects. Some countries found new possibilities to cooperate - for example by SCORA Twinning – so we are keen to see the new ideas that came from that!
NECSE is worth going to. It challenges your thinking The NECSE 2011 was born officially in the evening and boundaries – but in a warm, nonjudgemental of 21.4.2011 in a traditional Finnish community environment. hall, which was full of reproductive, healthy life (as it had been for decades before NECSE). I mentioned zen in the very beginning of the And because in 1960 a Finnish author went to text. That’s because one of the aims of zen is to jail because of having written a book about the live your life with all your senses focused on the parties in community halls, I don’t dare to tell you present moment. NECSE is an experience that the details! does that: you learn so much, meet awesome people and get new perspective; it is all so exciting After dancing until the next morning, we started that you’ll live in the moment. And even if you don’t the schedule on Friday the 22nd at 9 am. Some feel motivated at the beginning, you will. You can were tired, but barely anyone was missing from the try it in United Kingdom Spring 2012. The theme morning lectures – which in and of itself speaks of will be marvellous. Don’t miss it. the quality of those sessions. In the end when thinking about the experience We started with the method exchange of the and all the work the NECSE represented to the fantastic Switzerland, continued with a special OC team, I have no regrets. lecture about relationships, then the method exchange of Sweden, Estonia and Denmark. My new totem, the neon green OC shirt that I shall We ended the program at around 20.00 in the never wash, still smells like Hugo Boss energize evening- thank you for the inspiring conversations from all the hugs that will still keep me warm in the that made the lectures of the day perfect. future. We continued the day with the frantic costume I’m sorry I can’t be more concrete in my text. It’s party – and again we danced, debated and went the NECSE policy. to the sauna until the morning. Hugs and kisses, Believe it or not again, on Saturday morning there were only a few people missing from the lectures – NECSE-coordinator 2011 thanks to the quality of fellow peer educators! Pihla Patamaa
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David Jensen - Denmark We were teaching a class of 15-year-olds. There was this guy who was quite a bit shorter than the rest of the guys in the class, but comparatively noisier. And he was very loud and open about his apparently very active sex life. Horoscope: Libra Relationship status: Very single! Celebrity you’d like to do? Penélope Cruz What colour underwear are you wearing? Underwear? What would you rather be called? Smoking hot Have you ever done skinny dipping? Every summer!
So, when we got to the anatomy of the female reproductive system, he proudly exclaimed that he had had sex with his girlfriend in her urethra (using different words, of course). We tried to tell him that that was not possible and move on to the next topic, but he insisted that he had done so. After a minute of being stuck in the discussion, my co-educator had to tell him that: Yes, it is possible, but it would require ones penis to be thinner than a pencil.... Then he let us move on... It was probably not the most pedagogic way to handle the situation, but, looking back - funny nevertheless.
Faydra Lieveld - The Netherlands The peer education moment I’m writing about is actually not mine but from a very good friend of mine who is homosexual and who likes to describe himself as having a passion for “P”. A few months ago my friend along with one of our peer educators (a very pretty girl) went to give lessons at a school where the majority of the students were quite religious. With his high fashion style and a walk top models would be jealous of he immediately stood out and the teen boys started calling him gay. Because of the religious nature of the teens he decided to hide his sexuality in order for the lesson to be held in peace. The boys believed him and after the class was split in two (for one of our peer ed games) they started asking him about the girl – typical boys as they are. Playing the game along he told that they weren’t involved but she’s totally hot – while inserting male comments about good looking girls in quite a convincing way. The boys of course had the greatest time with him and enjoyed the lesson to the max. Afterwards we had the greatest laugh about this, because the image of him acting like he’s into woman is hilarious to the max!
Horoscope: Gemini Relationship status: Single Celebrity you’d like to do? Chris Hemsworth What colour underwear are you wearing? That’s for me to know and for you to find out What would you rather be called? Dazzling Have you ever done skinny dipping? Nope, it’s on my to do list ;)
Aris Hadjinicolaou - Canada (Québec) In our sexual health peer education sessions in IFMSA-Québec, we have the habit of naming the dildo that we use in order to demonstrate the proper use of a condom. Every presenter has a name for the dildo that they use preferentially, and mine is “Luigi”. Luigi is a classical humorous name that isn’t very common and usually only makes people think of Mario’s brother from “Super Mario 64”. So, one day, as I was in class preparing for the demonstration, I introduced Luigi to the class, who immediately burst out into laughter Horoscope: Aquarius and just couldn’t stop. Relationship status: I don’t like labels, but let’s just say I knew that the name “Luigi” was funny, but it wasn’t funny enough I’m not looking for anything to have a class of tenth-graders practically rolling on the floor from else in my life right now. laughter. I then realized that they must be thinking of someone they Celebrity you’d like to do? all knew, as we were in an Italian area of Montreal, and asked them Keira Knightley “Is there a Luigi in the class?”. To my misfortune, the old bearded What colour underwear are math teacher in the back raised his hand and said “Yes, my name is you wearing? Who said I was Luigi”. wearing any underwear? What would you rather be The correct reaction would’ve probably been to excuse one’s self and called? Smoken’ to rename the dildo, however I simply inappropriately burst out into Have you ever done skinny laughter myself. From that day forth, I always ask the class “Is there a dipping? Yes, and someone Luigi in the class?” before taking out the dildo. turned the pool lights on David Lawrence - United Kingdom Last year when I was teaching in a school in Liverpool I sent the question box around the class. If you don’t know what the question box is then I’ll explain it to you! In our schools we give every student one piece of paper at the start of each lesson for them to write a question on. If they have a question they write it on the paper, if they don’t then they just write ‘I do not have a question’. This way, everyone puts something in the box and nobody knows who asked the question. It’s a great idea for your project if you don’t already do it!
Horoscope: Pisces Relationship status: Single Celebrity you’d like to do? Lady Gaga What colour underwear are you wearing? All the colours of the rainbow! What would you rather be called? Cheeky Have you ever done skinny dipping? Of course!
So, I’m reading the questions that have been placed into the box and I get one that says ‘does it hurt when your banjo snaps?’ (a banjo is a man’s frenulum!). Needless to say, I was very surprised and caught off guard by this question. It was quite funny and I was definitely laughing inside but I couldn’t show this to the students: I had to remain professional! So, I just had to keep calm and tell them that I did not know if it hurts but that because that area of the penis is very sensitive and has lots of nerve endings then anything that is damaging to that location is likely to be extremely painful. Then I linked it in to the importance of signposting young people to different sexual health services available to them and told them what to do if it happened as well as that some lubricant might reduce friction that could result in a torn banjo!
SESWO: Workers Sex Education for Sex SCORA TEAM APEMH PERU and Mardelangel Zapata Ponze de León APEMH - Peru firstname.lastname@example.org
Since we developed this project a lot of people keep asking us if it deserves our work and effort. After two years of working on it, we have to say that it really does.
The illegal sex worker industry in Peru is appalling. The vast majority of sex workers conduct their jobs in the informal sector where they lack health coverage. This has caused problems, such as an increase in the incidence of STDs including AIDS. Our country presently reports that around 23,000 AIDS cases and 36,000 HIV+ cases exist, although the prevalence of HIV among sex workers is quite low when compared to statistics from other countries. The other main problem with this job is the mistreatment that most of these women suffer. Finally, not only do sex workers have to fight their own personal problems every day, but they also must constantly endure the judgments of society.
It has fulfilled our expectations and during the time since we started the project we have exerted our best efforts to improve it, make it sustainable, attractive and keep making the impact that it has on our society. This project won Second Place of the Rex Crossley Award during the March Meeting in Indonesia and the “Best Project of PAMSA” during the Regional Meeting in Cochabamba, Bolivia 2011. This honor and the support of IFMSA and our friends all over the world motivate us to continue working! This project has been a big experience for us, and we are grateful for everything.
For this reason, SESWO (Sex Education for Sex Workers) was created as a small solution for this If you are interested in starting this amazing project big problem. This project began theoretically, but in your NMO just contact us; I assure you won’t this time, we wanted to address the issues that regret it. we recognize as medical students. The aim of this project was to educate commercial sex workers on human rights issues, sexual and reproductive health, as well as provide them with information to help care for themselves and their co-workers. Furthermore, the project emphasized women’s empowerment by making them aware of their rights and thus becoming responsible for their lives. We try to help the sex workers understand the importance of STD prevention, including HIV, and health issues, such as regular gynecological and psychological check-ups and consultations. The situation for sex workers may be different in each country, but it is important for sex workers to gain access to HIV prevention, treatment programs and especially have the support to empower themselves. We know that work in this area is extremely controversial, but we had to eliminate feelings of prejudice or discrimination. SESWO is a valuable project that requires energy, patience and interest.
SCORA’s Puzzle Box
CHILDHEALTH CONDOM GAY GENDEREQUITY GONORRHEA HIVAIDS LESBIAN LGBTQ MATERNAL CANDLELIGHTMEMORIAL
PEEREDUCATOR PENIS REDRIBBON REPRODUCTIVEHEALTH SCORANGELS SEX TRANSGENDER ANTIHOMOPHOBIA VAGINA ANTIRETROVIRAL
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)
www.ifmsa.org medical students worldwide
The August issue of SCORAlicious, the official IFMSA SCORA publication!