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Issue 2

The SCOPH Manual

August 2010


The SCOPH Manual


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 Editors in Chief Alexander Papadopoulos, Greece Gülsah Can, The Netherlands Content Editors Knakita Clayton-Johnson

Design/Layout Alexander Papadopoulos, Greece Gülsah Can, The Netherlands Alexander Werni, Austria Proofreading Alexander Papadopoulos Knakita Clayton-Johnson Publisher 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

Issue 2 | August 2010 Foreword


Editorial Background IFMSA Introduction to public Health Intro to the Standing Committee on Public Health Liaising for Public Health SCOPH Communication SCOPH Activities SCOPH Focus days

List of World Health Days

SCOPH Regions Africa Americas

Asia Pacific

Eastern Mediterranean Europe SCOPH Meetings How to establish SCOPH in your NMO SCOPH Management Project Planning IFMSA Projects Recognition Advocacy Fundraising Public Health Issues

Child and Adolescent Health

Malaria Healthy Lifestyles Mental Health Tobacco Tuberculosis List of Contributors


The SCOPH Manual Message from the SCOPH Director It is with great pleasure that I present the third edition of the SCOPH manual. This manual contains information on the International Federation of Medical Students’ Association (IFMSA) and the Standing Committee on Public Health (SCOPH). It is created to provide valuable information about SCOPH and our activities to both new SCOPH members, and more experienced members. This manual represents a compilation of work from various writers within IFMSA and SCOPH. It is regularly updated so that the information remains current and relevant. This third edition has been published for the IFMSA August General Assembly 2010. You will learn about some major public health topics that we focus on within SCOPH and the projects that relate to these topics. We will also give information on general SCOPH structure and management that will assist you in developing your SCOPH group. We will review some steps in project management and projects within IFMSA. All this is to assist you in learning more about SCOPH and in better carrying out your SCOPH work. I would like to thank all those that contributed to the creation of this manual. In particular I would like to thank the designers and editors Gulsah Can and Alexander Papadopoulos for their hard work in producing this manual. I must confess that I myself constantly refer to the manual as I carry out my own work within SCOPH, and so I hope that you too will enjoy it and that the information provided will be of great use to you. I wish for you great success as you carry out your SCOPH work. Lets keep SCOPH Rocking!

Knakita Clayton-Johnson Director on Public Health 2010 International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations

Issue 2 | August 2010


Introduction by the Development Assistants for Publications, Media & Marketing

It’s been a whole year since the last version of the “SCOPH Manual” and we are happy to present you the newly updated version of this particularly important publication of our Standing Committee. In this version you find some new articles on fundraising, advocacy, and even how to run for IFMSA recognition of your projects! You will also find many updated articles, for example on IFMSA regionalization and information about your Regions. This SCOPH Manual is a true guide for anyone who wants to know every single detail about SCOPH. You can use it to find out more about SCOPH, the SCOPH Structure, SCOPH Management, and many other topics needed to survive in the SCOPH jungle. It is a necessary tool that you should be in possession of to answer any questions you may have. At this point we have to express our gratitude to all those who helped us in creating this SCOPH publication. Without your precious help we would not have been able to update, enrich, and finalize the SCOPH Manual for 2010. We hope that you find it as priceless as a manual as we predestined it to be. We are sure that you will keep up the orange SCOPH Spirit and the great efforts that make our Standing Committee what it is - a true treasure. Good bye SCOPHians. Orange hugs and kisses, Alexander Papadopoulos and Gülsah Can SCOPH Development Assistants for Publications, Media & Marketing 2009/2010



The SCOPH Manual

The International Federation of Medical Students Associations

The IFMSA is an independent, non-governmental and non-political federation of medical students’ associations throughout the world. In 2009, IFMSA consists of 102 national medical student associations in 95 countries on six continents. Our members represent more than one million medical students worldwide. Since 1951, IFMSA has been run for and by medical students on a non-profit basis. Officially recognized as a Non Governmental Organization within the United Nations’ system, it is recognized by the World Health Organization as the international forum for medical students. IFMSA is registered as a charitable organization in the Netherlands. Mission “Our mission is to offer future physicians a comprehensive introduction to global health issues. Through our programming and opportunities, we develop culturally sensitive students of medicine, intent on influencing the trans-national inequalities that shape the health of our planet.” Objectives

• To expose all medical students to humanitarian and global health issues, providing them with the opportunity to educate themselves and their peers; • To facilitate partnerships between the medical student community and international organizations also concerned work on health, education and medicine; • To give all medical students the opportunity to take part in clinical and research exchange around the world; • To provide a network that links active medical students across the globe, including student leaders, project managers and activists, so that they can learn from and be motivated by each other; • To provide an international framework in which medical student projects can be initiated, carried out and developed; • To empower and train medical students to take a role in bringing about the necessary changes to improve the health of all people of the world.

Issue 2 | August 2010 Membership


IFMSA consists of national medical student associations of 95 different countries. Each National Member Organization has its own identity, reflecting the national needs and culture. IFMSA is a federation which respects the autonomy of its members. The majority have Local Committees at the medical schools in their country. These Local Committees coordinate IFMSA activities at the local level. Through these Local Committees, our members are in direct contact with hundreds of thousands of medical students. Funding Revenues for the central budget of IFMSA are generated largely from membership fees, charged to member organizations. The fees are calculated based on both the GNP per capita and the population of each country. Alternative sources of income include private donations, grants, corporate sponsorships, and gifts-in-kind. Global Network With member organizations in 95 countries on six continents, IFMSA is a truly global network that brings together more than one million medical students. Active Worldwide Our clinical and research exchange programmes send over 10,000 students each year to study with their peers in other countries, giving them unique and invaluable experience of other health systems and other cultures. Never afraid to question and to innovate, our students are active in challenging the health inequalities that they see, be they local, national or international. They organize projects and campaigns around major diseases such as HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis and on significant determinants of poor health, such as gender and age discrimination, violence and human rights violations. Developing Ourselves Our medical students are significant advocates for improved medical education. The IFMSA informs and empowers students, enabling them to explore new topics


The SCOPH Manual and methods and to lobby for increased student participation in the planning and evaluation of their own education. Their success impacts upon their education and that of their peers. Our biannual international meetings are a feast of cross-cultural interaction and education. By meeting the most active students from other countries, our members not only learn about global health, but share their ideas, skills and experience about how students can act on the issues that motivate them. A host of regional and national meetings make these experiences available to many more. Our emphasis on training supports capacity building within our member organizations, bringing benefits both for the student leaders and the other young people that they lead. Working Together On an international level, we connect our student activists to relevant partners, through our recognition in the UN system, through WHO and number of nonGovernmental organizations concerned with health. Looking at the Future From Armenia to Zimbabwe, we are young people who dare to dream of a healthier future for all. As the doctors of tomorrow, as the future leaders of health, we recognize the role that we have to play. We invite you to come and dream with us... Fields of Activity within IFMSA “It is health that brings us all together.� For more than 55 years, IFMSA has existed to bring together the global medical student community. All over the world, medical students are working on global health issues through IFMSA. Hundreds of activities are planned, designed, and carried out each year on local, national and international levels. Projects, programs, conferences and workshops are organized everywhere in the fields of medical education, public health, reproductive health and gender issues and violence prevention, bringing to life for medical students the critical health care issues of the modern world.

Issue 2 | August 2010 The IFMSA experience shows students that they are not passive subjects in a rapidly globalizing world, but are valuable individuals with a potentially powerful role to play in global health. They learn that their idealistic goals can be achieved with readily attainable knowledge and commitment. In IFMSA, the emphasis is that the students return to their local environment with new ideas and the skills to implement them. As the doctors of tomorrow and future leaders of health, we feel confident that our students will carry this spirit with them throughout their professional lives. True to its foundation, Student Exchanges remain the backbone of the federation. Every year IFMSA enables over 10,000 students to experience the practice of medicine or health research in a different country through our exchange programs. The students gain invaluable insights into other health systems and cultures, enabling them to view the more familiar environment in their own hospitals and communities with fresh perspectives. The exchange activities of the last 45 years have created the stable structure around which the organization has been able to grow. Over this time, activities have developed in many other fields, four of which are particularly well established. Around the world, medical students have a unique authority on Medical Education issues, thanks to their first-hand experience of current systems. United, their role within medical schools gives them an unrivalled potential to reform medical education; locally, nationally and internationally. As a result, they have a huge contribution to make for the benefit of their peers, their patients and whole health systems. With this in mind, IFMSA helps students to educate themselves and their peers about relevant issues and empowers them to obtain greater influence over all dimensions of their own education. As our many members in developing countries are only too aware, the majority of the world has little or no access to basic health care despite the revolutionary advances in basic and clinical science over the last century.


The SCOPH Manual 10 IFMSA helps students to better understand Public Health, at home and abroad, and to use this knowledge to inform local and national activities. In addition to the direct benefits to target populations, the medical students involved gain the essential skills related to health promotion and project management that are so rarely taught in medical schools. Our vibrant worldwide movement on Reproductive Health has similar effects on the students involved. In hundreds of highly energetic projects, they promote the sexual and reproductive health of a variety of target groups, often using studentled and peer education methods. The promotion of gender equality is also central to the values of this exiting group of young people. All young people exposed to the fact that conflict, violence and injury have a massive health impact across the world. In the field of Refugees and Peace, our medical students focus on understanding the factors at play and are highly active in advocating disarmament, promoting tolerance and promoting the prevention of conflict. Whatever the individual focus, these activities spring from a shared vision: a vision of improved health for all the people of the world, in a strong framework of intercultural understanding and solidarity. As medical student leaders and activists, as human beings, it is health that brings us all together.

Issue 2 | August 2010 Introduction to Public Health


Have your colleagues or friends ever asked what you actually do in the IFMSA? My typical answer to this question is that I work in the Standing Committee on Public Health, which consists of a group of dedicated students around the world, working on developing, implementing and improving public health in their communities and societies. - “Aha… Public health… and what is that?”, would in most cases be the following question. This is when it becomes tricky and I usually fail to give an adequately satisfying and understandable answer to someone who has never been part of the “SCOPH spirit”. While most SCOPHians instinctively know what public health is, many find it hard putting it into words that make sense to somebody on the outside. This short article will try to work out a definition of the core elements of public health. The American bacteriologist and public health icon C.E.A. Winslow thought of public health as “the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through the organized efforts and informed choices of society, organizations, public and private, communities.” There is one major thing that can be derived from this definition – public health seeks to prevent disease at the level of the community and society. It points out the key differences between public health and medicine the way we learn it in university. While classical medicine focuses on curing disease, the public health approach is to prevent disease from occurring. Another difference is that doctors are taught to focus on the individual patient, whereas public health takes a different view and focuses on the populations as a whole. The idea of public health may be as old as human kind itself. Separating human waste from important resources like water and food, which we seem to do almost instinctively, is just one example. Modern public health however suggests measures based on population health analysis, trying to find answers to why a certain population is at risk for acquiring disease. Action is then centered on introducing simple, cost-effective, and preventative measures in order to improve the health of the population as a whole. Due to public health measures like vaccination programs, control of infectious diseases, increased awareness of causes of chronic diseases, road safety programs, and others, most countries of the world have wit-


The SCOPH Manual

nessed an exponential increase in life expectancy during the last century. Within the last three decades public health has experienced a shift in which all parameters affecting patient health are taken into account. The principal idea is that genetics, income, educational status, and social relationships may influence health in the same way as microbes. These factors are commonly referred to as “social determinants of health”. There is a broad consensus that socioeconomic factors leading to poverty exert a negative impact on health and vice versa. The fascinating thing about public health is that it is literally everywhere. There is hardly anything in our society which is not in some way related to, or influenced by public health. There are many ways of explaining and defining public health. The most important thing is to find your own approach and ask yourself, “What does public health mean to you?”.


Standing Committee on Public Health The Standing Committee on Public Health (SCOPH) brings together medical students from all over the world to learn, build skills, cooperate, explore, and share ideas when it comes to addressing all issues related to public health, including global health issues, health policies, and health promotion and education activities. Medical students of the IFMSA, driven by a strong will to take an active part in preventing and making policies concerning health problems, formed the Standing Committee on Students’ Health (SCOSH) in 1952. During the following years, the wide variety of activities led to the change of SCOSH to the Standing Committee on Health (SCOH) on 1963. On 1983 the name of the Committee changed once more to the Standing Committee on Public Health (SCOPH!). Since these six decades, SCOPHians are implementing, maintaining, and improving a wide variety of community based projects on a local, national, and international level. In order to achieve these goals, medical students from 102 National Member Organizations work together as a team on a local level as well as on a national and international level.

Issue 2 | August 2010


The aim of SCOPH is to work for a healthy society that is empowered by knowledge, skills, and opportunities to live a life of complete physical, mental and social well-being. We seek to achieve this through our community based activities and through our international activity. Locally there are a large number of projects carried out, each based on the needs

of the Population. Internationally we exchange ideas and knowledge to improve and evaluate our work and personal skills. In addition, our Standing Committee acts as a voice representing medical students around the globe through Advocacy and Policy Making, thus being a worldwide platform for medical students. The focus of our efforts is to try to tackle the main Public Health issues according to local and regional needs. Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes mellitus, Cancer, Tobacco smoking, Alcohol and Substance abuse, Malaria, Tuberculosis, Mental Health, Child and Adolescent Health, Road Safety, and Rural Health are just some of the many topics that SCOPH focuses on. Some of our goals are: -Disease prevention within our society -Health promotion and education -Raising awareness about Global Public Health issues amongst medical students and our society -Advocating for health policies as the voice of medical students worldwide -Developing skills and knowledge in medical students as the future health professionals -Working as an international team and collaborating with external public health organizations to use the potential of over one million worldwide medical students As SCOPH members we have the chance to develop skills and knowledge for our personal development. We learn about organization, teamwork, leadership, time and self-management, and communication as a part of our development as complete and skillful health professionals.


The SCOPH Manual

Medical students involved in SCOPH projects gain a much better understanding of public health matters in their own countries as well as of the situation around the world. This creates an awareness within medical students of their role in public health as future health professionals, and provides them with the necessary skills to address global public health issues. Prepared with enough experience and knowledge we will be able to share this know-how with our patients in order to empower our societies to live a healthy life.

Issue 2 | August 2010

Liaising for Public Health


The most important aspect of our work within the Federation is undoubtedly working on the ground level. We focus on our own societies, dealing with the public health problems that we face in our daily lives as medical students and our clinical practice as future health professionals. Our Federation provides us with other important parameter, which is networking with each others in order to share best practices, and cooperate internationally for a common vision. Networking with external partners is primarily the field of the IFMSA Team of Liaison Officers. The Liaison Officer for Public Health Issues, SCOPH LO, is responsible for matters related to public health. The Body of the IFMSA Liaison Officers forms a bridge between the Federation and other organizations. They are here to secure sustainability by providing IFMSA with relevant information about partner organizations and by facilitating and initiating contacts. Liaison Officers also explore possible or current collaborations between IFMSA and relevant IFMSA partners. They also assist NMOs and the Federation in getting materials, speakers and fundraising for activities and meetings. They provide information about external meetings and conferences that may attract students’ interest and inform our partners about the activities of our Federation. Of course the LOs are also vital members of the IFMSA Team of Officials and the LPH is also a member of the SCOPH Team. Outside of the two cliché activities that most NMOs think LOs do, namely finding external speakers and ordering publications, the biggest part of the LO job may not affect the daily practice of IFMSA members on a local level. However such activities are essential for the future of our Federation within the peculiar Global Public Health System, and on a long-term basis, the impact can be of major importance for all SCOPHians around the world. In the following paragraphs you can find some important External Partners that IFMSA is working with during the last years. Of course there are more external partners and newly established contacts that we are working on. For any questions, comments or requests, please don’t hesitate to contact the IFMSA Liaison

The SCOPH Manual 16 Officer for Public Health Issues, Important External Partners for IFMSA SCOPH

World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA) The World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA) is an international, nongovernmental, multi-professional and civil society organization bringing together public health professionals interested and active in safeguarding and promoting the public’s health through professional exchange, collaboration, and action. Founded in 1967, it is the only worldwide professional society representing and serving the broad area of public health, as distinct from single disciplines or occupations. The Federations’ members are national and regional public health associations, as well as regional associations of schools of public health presently numbering more than 70. WFPHA strives to promote effective public health policies and practices throughout the world every day. The WFPHA GA takes place every year in Geneva, in parallel to the World Health Assembly. The Federation organizes the triennial World Congress on Public Health - WCPH. The International Students’ Meeting on Public Health – ISMOPH is a satellite event to the WCPH and IFMSA is the leading NGO supporter for this meeting. For more information about WFPHA:

Global Health Council (GHC) The Global Health Council is the world’s largest membership alliance dedicated to saving lives by improving health throughout the world. The Council works to ensure that all who strive for improvement and equity in global health have the information and resources they need to succeed. The GHC Annual Public Health Meeting takes place in Washington DC. Main fields of interest are Women’s Health, Child’s Health, HIV/AIDS, Infectious Diseases and Emerging Issues.

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The GHC Newsletter is delivered regularly in the IFMSA SCOPH mailing list. All IFMSA members get free GHC membership. For more information about Global Health Council:

European Public Health Association (EUPHA) The European Public Health Association or EUPHA in short, is an umbrella organization for public health associations in Europe. EUPHA was founded in 1992. EUPHA is an international, multidisciplinary, scientific organization, bringing together around 12000 public health experts for professional exchange and collaboration throughout Europe. We encourage a multidisciplinary approach to public health. The EUPHA Annual General Assembly is an interesting meeting for IFMSA Europeans to participate. Their focus among others is on health promotion, food and nutrition, no communicable and communicable diseases. For more information about EUPHA:

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) UNICEF is a UN Agency mandated by the United Nations General Assembly to advocate for the protection of children’s rights, to help meet their basic needs and to expand their opportunities to reach their full potential. UNICEF is guided by the Convention on the Rights of the Child and strives to establish children’s rights as enduring ethical principles and international standards of behavior towards children. Main field of work of UNICEF is HIV/AIDS and Children, child protection, child survival and development, basic education and gender equality and policy advocacy. The cooperation of IFMSA and UNICEF has strengthened lately. The IFMSA delegation in the Almaty Conference has worked closely with UNICEF for Primary Health Care and there is the perspective of close cooperation with UNICEF for


The SCOPH Manual

upcoming events and meeting for child’s rights and child protection. For more information about UNICEF:

Global Alcohol Policy Alliance (GAPA) The Global Alcohol Policy Alliance, founded in 2000, is a developing network of NGOs and people working in public health agencies, which share information on alcohol issues and advocate evidence-based alcohol policies. Resource centers affiliated to GAPA are already operating in the EU, USA, South America, India, South East Asia and Western Pacific regions. It is envisaged that the Alliance, in the not too distant future, will be able to establish centers in Africa. The GAPA mission is to reduce alcohol-related harm worldwide by promoting science-based policies independent of commercial interests. The Chairperson of GAPA, Mr. Derek Rutherford, has participated in the IFMSA AM08, in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. Since February 2009 the IFMSA Liaison Officer for Public Health Issues, is also a member of the GAPA Board. GAPA is a founder of the Alcohol Policy Youth Network, where IFMSA SCOPH is a founding member. GAPA Magazine – THE GLOBE, is being delivered to the IFMSA National Public Health Officers by mail. For more information about GAPA:

Child Family Health International (CFHI) Child Family Health International (CFHI) is one of the leading nongovernmental organization (NGO) placing health science students on global health education programs in ways that are socially responsible and financially just. They model best global health education practices which demonstrate a priority commitment to community engagement and local integrity. The interest of IFMSA Members is mainly focused in the CFHI Student Programs in Africa, Latin America and Asia.

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There is about to be signed a Memorandum of Understanding between IFMSA and CFHI. For more information about CFHI:

Medical Women’s International Association (MWIA) The Medical Women’s International Association (MWIA) is an international NGO representing women doctors from all five continents. The association was founded in 1919. It is non-political, non-sectarian and non-profit making. At the time when MWIA was founded, women doctors were a curiosity, and there was a need for a forum to discuss common concerns. Women physicians being the minority is no more, as women constitute at least 50% of many medical schools. As women become the majority of practicing physicians, a new set of concerns will emerge. Main fields of MWIA interest are Domestic Violence, Adolescents Sexuality and Gender Mainstreaming in Health. For more information about MWIA: www.mwia. net

International Diabetes Federation (IDF) The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) is a worldwide alliance of over 200 diabetes associations in more than 160 countries, who have come together to enhance the lives of people with diabetes everywhere. For over 50 years, IDF has been at the vanguard of global diabetes advocacy. The Federation is committed to raising global awareness of diabetes, promoting appropriate diabetes care and prevention, and encouraging activities towards finding a cure for the different types of diabetes. It is the mission of IDF to promote diabetes care, prevention and a cure worldwide.

The SCOPH Manual 20 The World Diabetes Day – November 14th was introduced in 1991 by IDF and WHO in response to the alarming rise in diabetes around the world. IFMSA SCOPH participates actively in the Campaign since November 2007. For more information about IDF and the World Diabetes Day: and

World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) The World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) is an international organization founded in 1948 to advance the prevention of mental and emotional disorders, the proper treatment and care of those with such disorders, and the promotion of mental health. The Federation, through its members in more than 100 countries has responded to international mental health crises through its role as the only worldwide grassroots advocacy and public education organization in the field. Its organizational and individual membership includes mental health workers of all disciplines, consumers of mental health services, family members, and concerned citizens. The organization’s broad and diverse membership makes possible collaboration among governments and non-governmental organizations to advance the cause of mental health services, research, and policy advocacy worldwide. The World Mental Health Day, October 10th, is one of the major activities of the Federation. IFMSA participates in the campaign through the IFMSA SCOPH Mental Health Initiative Project. For more information about WFMH:

UK Public Health Association (UKPHA) The UK Public Health Association (UKPHA) is an independent voluntary organization, formed by the coming together of three organizations in 1999 to unite the public health movement in the UK.

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As a multidisciplinary membership organization, the UKPHA brings together individuals and organizations from all sectors who share a common commitment to promoting the public’s health.

UKPHA seeks to promote the development of healthy public policy at all levels of government and across all sectors. UKPHA acts as an information platform and aim to support those working in public health both professionally and in a voluntary capacity. There are five UKPHA Special Interest Groups: Food and Nutrition, Health and Sustainable Environments, Pharmacy, Health Visiting and Public Health, Alcohol and Violence and Devolution Strategic Interest. For more information about UKPHA:

International Union against Cancer (UICC) The International Union against Cancer (UICC) is the leading international NGO dedicated exclusively to the global control of cancer. UICC Vision is a dynamic global community of connected cancer control organizations, professionals and volunteers working together to eliminate cancer as a major life-threatening disease for future generations. UICC Mission is to connect, mobilize and support cancer organizations and individuals with knowledge and skills to be effective. Being the oldest NGO dedicated to cancer, UICC has formed a series of platforms and initiatives for the fight of all aspects of cancer, such as Globalink, is one of the biggest international networks about Tobacco Control. IFMSA is about to become a member of UICC, providing our members with a series of privileges, such as access to important electronic databases, publications and contacts. For more information about UICC and Globalink: and www.globalink. org


The SCOPH Manual

World Heart Federation (WHF) The World Heart Federation (WHF) was originally formed in 1978 (first name International Society and Federation of Cardiology - ISFC). WHF is now recognized by the WHO as its leading NGO partner in cardiovascular disease prevention and is a close partner of the WHO’s department of Non-communicable Diseases. Important Campaigns of the WHF are the World Heart Day, Sept. 27th, Children and youth projects for the promotion of healthy nutrition, physical exercise and the prevention of tobacco use, the Go Red for Women campaign and Demonstration projects. For more information about WHF:

Concern Worldwide Concern Worldwide is an international, humanitarian NGO dedicated to reducing suffering and eliminating extreme poverty in the world’s poorest countries. Currently, Concern works in 28 countries and has a workforce of around 4,000 people. Its headquarters are in Dublin, Ireland, and the organization has other offices throughout the world. Annually Concern offers a number of overseas internships to students pursuing a Masters Degree. The internships are field-driven and often used for research purposes. For more information about Concern:

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London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine is Britain’s national school of public health and a leading postgraduate institution worldwide for research and postgraduate education in global health. Part of the University of London, the London School is the largest institution of its kind in Europe with a remarkable depth and breadth of expertise encompassing many disciplines. It is one of the highestrated research institutions in the UK. LSHTM mission is to contribute to the improvement of health worldwide through the pursuit of excellence in research, postgraduate teaching and advanced training in national and international public health and tropical medicine, and through informing policy and practice in these areas. For more information about LSHTM:

Framework Convention Alliance The Framework Convention Alliance (FCA) was founded in 1999 and is now made up of more than 350 organizations from more than 100 countries working on the development, ratification, and implementation of the international treaty, the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). The FCTC is the world’s first global public health treaty, and requires parties to adopt a comprehensive range of measures designed to reduce the devastating health and economic impacts of tobacco.


The SCOPH Manual

The FCA vision is a world free from the death and disease caused by tobacco. The FCA mission is to perform the watchdog function for the WHO FCTC; to develop tobacco control capacity - particularly in developing countries; to support the development, ratification, accession, implementation and monitoring of the FCTC; and to promote and support a network for global tobacco control campaigning. IFMSA is an International Member of the FCA since 2002. Our Federation has participated lately in the NGO Consultation Meeting of the FCTC. The Tobacco Initiative Project Coordinator is also a key-person for the cooperation within the Alliance. For more information about FCA and FCTC:

Save the Children Save the Children is a leading independent organization creating lasting change in the lives of children in need in the United States and around the world. Recognized for our commitment to accountability, innovation and collaboration, our work takes us into the heart of communities, where we help children and families help themselves. IFMSA members have been interested for internships with the Department of Health and Nutrition at Save the Children. For more information about Save the Children:

Eurocare – European Alcohol Policy Alliance Eurocare was formed in 1990, as an alliance of voluntary NGOs representing a diversity of views and cultural attitudes concerned with the impact of the European Union on Alcohol Policy in Member States. It now includes some 50 organizations across 20 countries in Europe, most of which are national or supranational umbrella organizations.

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Member organizations are involved in research and advocacy; education and training of voluntary and professional community care workers; the provision of counseling services and residential support for problem drinkers, of workplace and school based programs as well as the provision of information to the public. Eurocare is a co-founder of the Alcohol Policy Youth Network (APYN) and a partner of IFMSA in the NGO Alliance for the Global Strategy against Alcohol. Eurocare is the only major European network that focuses exclusively on alcohol policy issuesand a member of GAPA. For more information about Eurocare:

International Association of Health Policy (IAHP) The International Association of Health Policy (IAHP) is a scientific, political and cultural organization founded in 1977. It is an international network of scholars, health workers and activists with the aim of promoting the scientific analysis of public health issues and a forum for international comparisons and debate on health policy issues. Basic principle adopted by IAHP members are the consideration of health as a social and political right. The Association is interdisciplinary and gathers researchers from all public health disciplines. A major subject is the interrelationship between theory and practice in health policy. The main activity is regular conferences and seminars. These meetings cover a broad range of issues and they often gather both researchers and people involved in practical public health work and health policy. For more information about IAHP:


The SCOPH Manual

SCOPH Communication

The strength of SCOPH on an international level is the possibility to support SCOPH on a local and national level. To fulfill this function it is necessary to distribute relevant information in a sustainable way. We have a number of different platforms through which we do this. These information and communication platforms are the responsibility of the SCOPH director and every SCOPH member has access to these. Information -SCOPH at -SCOPH Manual -SCOPH Projects Booklet -SCOPH Powerpoint -SCOPH – The Movie (an introduction about our Standing Committee for internal and external use) -SCOPH Movies (informative movies to the main public health topics and projects we are working on) -SCOPH World Reports -SCOPH DVD (a compilation of all relevant documents and materials distributed at GAs and RMs) -SCOPH Dropbox Communication platforms -SCOPH Yahoo-group: -SCOPH Regional Yahoo-groups

-SCOPH Facebook group: SCOPH-IFMSA at -SCOPH Magazine: The Morning SCOPHian -Letter to Local Public Health Officers: a technical letter with information, announcements and instructions for active members on a local level.

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SCOPH Focus Days


While most SCOPH activities are yearlong there are some health days that we celebrate internationally. These world health days are excellent opportunities for SCOPHians to work together, on the same day, on the same project, internationally so that we can have a global impact! Remember always to share all your activities with us through our yahoo group: Through sharing, we can all learn from each other and improve the work we do.

October 1st Oct - International Day for Older Persons The United Nation’s International Day for Older Persons focuses on issues that affect older persons and the great contribution they make to our societies. SCOPH takes an active part in dealing with issues related to older people through its aging and health projects. For more information on geriatric medicine go to: www.iagg. com 10th Oct- World Mental Health Day World Mental Health Day is an initiative under the World Federation for Mental Health. The day seeks to draw attention to and educate people on mental health issues. SCOPH supports this day particularly through our Mental Health Initiative Project. For more information visit:

November 14th Nov - World Diabetes Day This is one of the most important days in our SCOPH calendar. This day is organized by the International Diabetes Federation. The aim of the day is the spread information about diabetes and a different theme is chosen for each year. Each year SCOPH has projects worldwide on this day and we are able to reach thousands of people to better educate them on diabetes. For more information you can check the website:


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15th Nov - World COPD Day This day is organized by the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease. The aim of the day is to better educate people about the disease and its management. For more information 20th Nov - Universal Children’s Day This day is coordinated by UNICEF. Every year activities are carried out to raise awareness to children’s issues and to improve their welfare. SCOPH carries out numerous projects related to child health. This day is a very special one in which we should all be involved.

December 3rd Dec - International Day of Persons with Disabilities This day highlights the issues faced wwby persons with disabilities and seeks to educate people on their rights. This is a particularly important day for SCOPH to get involved so we can focus on this group of people who are often forgotten.

January 30th Jan - International Leprosy Day Leprosy, a very stigmatized disease, is thankfully decreasing in incidence. This is largely due to the use of multidrug therapy in the treatment of the condition. Unfortunately not everyone has been able to benefit from this. The major cause of this deficit is the lack of knowledge of many affected and at risk persons about the possibilities of treatment. World leprosy day seeks to increase people’s knowledge on the management of leprosy, to decrease the stigma and allow for those affected to get the help they need. SCOPH has a great role to play in this kind of campaign. We can help spread the word about the disease, to let people know it is a curable disease and the stigma associated is unwarranted.

February 4thFeb - World Cancer Day This day raises awareness about cancers and how to prevent them. Since 2007 the International Union Against Cancer has adopted a 5 year campaign titled “Today’s Children, Tomorrow’s World”, which focuses on preventing cancer with healthy lifestyles. The focus is on children, as lifestyle habits adopted now will have an impact

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in later years. SCOPH has the opportunity to get involved and support this theme through our various activities. Every year we carry out projects to educate people on cancer and the risk factors, and we definitely intend to continue this tradition. For more information you can check the website: Theme of the March Meeting

March 24th Mar - World Tuberculosis Day Tuberculosis has for many people become a forgotten disease. What many of us do not realise is that this is still a particularly important disease that causes numerous deaths worldwide each year. Even more, with the increased prevalence of AIDS in our societies, tuberculosis has again come to the forefront. World tuberculosis day seeks to increase public awareness of the disease. Through our educational campaigns, SCOPH

April 7th Apr - World Health Day This event is sponsored yearly by the WHO and aims to increase awareness of a particular public health issue. A different theme is celebrated each year. SCOPH gets involved each year by supporting the chosen theme. For more information see: 25th Apr - World Malaria Day World Malaria Day seeks to educate people on this very serious disease. Persons are told about the effects of the disease and how to reduce the environmental risk factors for contracting it. Through SCOPH’s International Campaign On Malaria (ICOM) medical students can get involved in the fight against malaria. For more information see:

May 31st May - World No-Tobacco Day This celebration day seeks to educate people on the dangers of tobacco use and on what we can do to reduce tobacco related problems. This is traditionally a major campaign day for SCOPH. We support this day through our Anti-Tobacco Cam-


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Campaign, one of our biggest international campaigns. For more information and campaign material see:

June 1st Jun - International Children’s Day Children are so important that we celebrate two Children’s Days, International and Universal Children’s Day. Both days are geared towards promoting the rights and care of children worldwide. 14th Jun - World Blood Donor Day World Blood Donor Day seeks to recognize those who have helped save lives by donating blood. It is also a great opportunity for us to promote blood donation so as to encourage past blood donors and attract new ones. As medical students we can be very effective in promoting blood donation campaigns, especially given the niche of University students we are surrounded by. For more information see: www. 26th Jun - International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking This day seeks to raise awareness of the negative effects that illicit drugs have on the individual, families, and the society at large. SCOPH can play an integral role in spreading this message amongst our peers, our elders, and children.

July Theme of the August Meeting

September 10th Sep - World Suicide Prevention Day This day draws public attention to the many lives that are lost to suicide each year. It seeks to get everyone involved in the prevention of suicide. SCOPH gets involved in this campaign though our Mental Health Initiative Project. Activities include educating people on the warning signs for depression and suicide, and on where they can go for help. Visit this web site for more information:

Issue 2 | August 2010 28th Sep - World Heart Day


This event, organized by the World Heart Federation, seeks to increase public awareness on the effects of cardiovascular disease, the risk factors and how to minimise them. Each year is celebrated under a different theme. SCOPH gets involved in this day through our various healthy lifestyle projects and especially through the Trans-Obesity Network (TON) campaign. For more information you can check the website:, one of our biggest international campaigns. For more information and campaign material see:

List of World Health Days This day is organized by the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease. The aim of the day is to better educate people about the disease and its management. For more information

October 1st International Day for Older Persons - (SCOPH & WHO LO) 1st Weekend WHO walk event - (WHO LO & SCOPH) 2nd World Habitat Day - (SCOPH involving SCORP & UNFPA LO) 10th World Mental Health Day – (SCOPH & WHO LO) 11th International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction - (SCORP & SCOPH) 16th World Food Day - (SCOPH involving WHO, UNFPA & UNICEF LO) 17th International Day for the Eradication of Poverty - (SCOPH & WHO involving UNICEF & UNFPA LO)

November 14th World Diabetes Day - (SCOPH & WHO LO) 25th International Day for Prevention of Violence Against Women - (SCORA involving UNICEF LO & SCOPH)


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December 1st World AIDS Day - (SCORA involving UNICEF WHO & UNFPA LO & SCOPH) 3rd International Day for Disabled Persons - (SCOPH involving WHO & UNICEF LO) 5th International Volunteers Day - (UNESCO LO) 10th World Human Rights Day - (SCORP involving SCOPH)

January 30th International Leprosy Day - (SCOPH involving WHO LO)

March 8th International Women’s Day (SCORA with UNFPA & UNICEF LO) 22nd World Day of Water - (SCOPH, SCORP involving UNFPA, UNICEF & WHO LO) 24th World Tuberculosis Day - (SCOPH with WHO LO) April 7th World Health Day (WHO LO with SCOPH) 13th World Day of the Book - (UNESCO with SCOME) 22nd Earth Day - (SCOPH) 25th International Malaria Day - (SCOPH, UNICEF, WHO) May 15th International Day of Families - (UNFPA & UNICEF LO involving SCORP & SCOPH) 28th International Day of Action for Women’s Health - (SCORA & SCOPH involving WHO, UNICEF LO) 31st World No-Tobacco Day - (SCOPH with WHO LO)

June 1st International Children’s Day - (UNICEF LO involving SCOPH) 1-7th International Volunteers’ Week (UNESCO LO) 5th World Environment Week - (SCOPH with WHO LO) 14th World Blood Donor Day 17th World Desertification Day - (SCOPH involving WHO LO)

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26th Int. Day against Drug Abuse & Illicit Trafficking - (SCOPH, SCORA involving WHO & UNICEF LO) 26th International Day for Victims of Torture - (SCORP)

July 11th World Population Day - (UNFPA LO)

August 1-7th World Breast Feeding Week - (UNICEF LO involving SCOPH & UNFPA LO) 6th Hiroshima Day - (IPPNW LO)

September 8th International Physiotherapy Day - (SCOPH) 8th International Literacy Day - (UNESCO involving SCOME) 19th International Day of Peace - (SCORP & IPPNW) 21st World Alzheimer’s Day - (SCOPH & WHO) 28th World Heart Day - (SCOPH & WHO)


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SCOPH in the Regions

The process of regionalization within IFMSA started in 2001-2002. Why? Good question! Given the advent of the era of globalisation, the word has become so inter-connected that it has become necessary for any global organization to ‘regionalize’ to survive and thrive. Through regionalisation, our mission is to promote communication and cooperation between National Member Organisations to foster high quality regional projects. By increasing communication between officials and National Member Organisations, and between National Member Organisations, we will improve infrastructure both on a national and international level. Through common external representation, we will gain support on a regional level for National Member Regionalization within IFMSA relies on people who are the most obvious experts on their own respective regions, having the most experience in them in terms of issues to be addressed, contacts with externals and the regional IFMSA members themselves. Regionalisation also goes a long way to decrease any bureaucratic inefficiency, and allows for a much faster and smoother running of any organization. The World Health Organization (WHO) itself has such a structure since many years, as do the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), just to name a few. In these organisations, national departments from different countries within the same region cooperate. Why do these NGO’s and IFMSA want countries within a region to cooperate more? Of course all countries are different, even “neighbouring countries”. Every country is unique and has its own special situation. Nevertheless, NMOs in the same region often face comparable situations, pursue similar interests, and run similar projects. Combined with the socio-cultural and geographical advantages, it is, therefore, easier for countries within the same region to work together than it would be to achieve the same degree of cooperation among countries all over the world.

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This also paves the way for better God-fathering, which is the process by which

older NMOs help establish and develop newer ones. With such a structure, it is hoped that all the NMOs can benefit their region in one way or another, paving the way for stronger regions the world over. Will this regionalisation lead to the division of IFMSA into regional organisation? Will IFMSA no longer be a worldwide organisation? No, that’s not at all what it’s about! In fact it’s the other way round. If anything, regionalisation opens the way for more inter-regional cooperation, with more follow-up and clearer interaction. The Regional Assistants would be better able to communicate the differences and experiences within their regions, and work together to improve the federation. Strong Regions make for a Stronger IFMSA, and this cannot be over-emphasized! The regions will not form new, separate organisations and IFMSA will remain united and strong. Juan Manuel Muñoz, Vice-President for Internal Affairs 2001/2002, underlines this point: “We are not going to establish new regional organisations. The position of the Executive Board is to strengthen and keep the importance of other regional students’ organisations, not to compete with them.” Regionalisation also allows externals, such as the WHO, to more easily relate to IFMSA activities, whether for funding, sponsorship, material support or otherwise. For these reasons, among others, IFMSA was encouraged to undertake this restructuring. Consequently, IFMSA has adopted the same regions as the WHO, namely: Africa, Americas, Asia & Pacific, East Mediterranean, and Europe.



The SCOPH Manual

Every year millions of Africans die needlessly of diseases that are preventable and treatable. The important problems Africa is facing now are weak and fragmented health systems, inadequate and poor management of human resources for health, recurrent natural and manmade disasters, lack of basic knowledge on health and hygiene, and extreme poverty. The development of Africa is the responsibility of all Africans and human beings in general, including medical students. African countries will not develop economically and socially without substantial improvement in the health of our people. The health care interventions, treatments, diagnostic and preventive methods that are needed in this region are KNOWN. The challenge that faces us is to deliver these to people who need them, and the best way to do this is to establish well functioning health plans and strategies. We as medical students should respond to improve and save the land we love and care. SCOPH Africa has had many steps towards these goals. It looks more organized than ever before. It now knows itself, its problems, needs and opportunities. It is the time to ACT, the time to look forward and not at the past. Africa is still using the best weapon it has, the ‘’human resources’’. Poverty, poor hygiene, tuberculosis, malaria, and maternal and child health are considered the main public health issues in Africa. Also considered are the lesser known problems of chronic diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension, and other non communicable conditions such as mental illness and injuries. SCOPH Africa active projects and activities: -Health week / Medical mission. -Child health activities: Save the African Child and the projects under its umbrella (e.g. Help on Pain Ending ‘’HOPE’’ for street children, malnutrition activities & maternal health projects). -IFMSA Campaign on Malaria (ICOM). -Anti-tuberculosis campaign. -Good life project (Mental Health project). -Anti tobacco project. -Think global project. SCOPH Africa regional yahoo group:

Issue 2 | August 2010 Americas


SCOPH Americas includes all the SCOPH groups in NMOs of PAMSA. PAMSA includes all IFMSA members within North, Central, and South America, and the Caribbean. The Pan-American region faces many health problems. The major causes of mortality are non-communicable diseases, of which those with highest mortality rates are cardiovascular diseases, neoplasms, and respiratory diseases. Many of our countries also have indigenous and some impoverished groups that are often not able to access modern medical attention. As a result they are at increased risk for many preventable diseases. SCOPH Americas tackles each of these health issues through our various campaigns. Some include our anti-tobacco campaign, tuberculosis campaign, lifestyle diseases campaigns focussed on diabetes and hypertension, rural and indigenous medicine campaigns (our health brigades), mental health initiative project, teddy bear hospital, child eye sight screening, cancer awareness, organ donation, vaccination week, and many more. SCOPH Americas has a very vibrant group of SCOPHians who work tirelessly on our projects and campaigns. We achieve success in our campaigns because of the dedication of our members. It is our hope that our efforts will help in the improvement of health within our region. SCOPH Americas Regional Yahoogroup:



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A bit of Facts Asia-Pacific Region within the IFMSA is situated on two continents: Asia and Australia. As you might understand nowhere else in the World you can see that variety of geography, socio-economical and religious differences. And as a consequence you can’t see that variety of Public Health Issues anywhere on the Planet.

SCOPH in Asia-Pacific Asia-Pacific Region is one of the most dynamic and highly developing Regions in the World and within the IFMSA. It is famous for its Projects, which have a reputation of very well organized and creative ones. Among those you can find such well-known and promoted projects as Teddy Bear Hospital, African Village Project, ACTION Project, Bone Marrow Donation, Anti –Tobacco, World Diabetes day… Parallel to all those each National SCOPH Network and even each Local SCOPH Network have their own projects, which satisfy demands of Public Health problems locally. And this fact makes us believe that Public Health Projects are increasing Health in Communities, weather they are local or transnational. We can name such Local projects as Asia Community Health Project, Community medicine Tour Project, MIRACLE Project, Indonesia Disease Project and many others…And we are happy to say that with every new project we get more of experience and professionalism.

SCOPH Asia-Pacific Vision We Asia–Pacific SCOPHians are very inspired with every successful project, with every victory and achievement. And we are very interested in starting New Projects and sharing ideas with other regions. We are ready to receive “foreign” SCOPH Experience as well as we are willing to share our own SCOPH experience gained through years of work and efforts of devoted and passionate SCOPHians. As our vision for this we can name a project that can be next page in long SCOPH history – SCOPH Exchanges. We truly believe that this kind of sharing and exchange will bring us closer to achieve SCOPH Goals all over the World.

Issue 2 | August 2010 East Mediterranean


The Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) is composed of 11 NMOs, all of us making an amazing SCOPH family. The members of the region extend over 2 continents which makes this region special. NMOs are from both West Asia and Northern Africa. Even though we are separated by geographical boundaries we have many things in common and all work towards a common goal. SCOPH members of the EMR have removed all the borders in between and for many years have worked together to promote a healthy life in the region. Many topics and concerns are tackled by the EMR SCOPHians including smoking, Chronic Diseases, child health, Mental Health, Tuberculosis, Viral Hepatitis, and Illegal Drugs. Projects are run by individual NMOs to tackle the health issue of concern in their respective countries such as Viral Hepatitis in Egypt, Anti-drug Campaign in Bahrain, RTA awareness campaign in Saudi Arabia, and organ donation in Lebanon. Other projects being organized are global and initiative projects such as Teddy Bear Hospital, Anti-Tobacco campaigns, smoke free party, Anti-TB campaigns and many more. Let’s not forget world health days that are celebrated every year. most importantly world diabetes day and world cancer day. Communication between the EMRians are in various ways but we have our yahoo group that is the pivotal to us all,



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We cannot talk about Europe if we don’t mention some geographical facts that are very important in order to have the chance of a general understanding of the oldest continent on earth. Let’s remember the basics… Europe is one of the smallest continents after Australia although it has 11% of earth’s population. Of course it is impossible that so many people have an easy life without some conflicts on the regions, on the customs, religion and of course the money that means resources. These many conflicts ended with some concrete borders that divide the continent into approximately 50 countries. We are also divided into spiritual regions that usually have the same climate, the same religion, the same traditions, and in general the same way of living. There is one more big difference between Europe and other continents. We also have a lot of Councils and , Unions that are European forums and their characteristic is that they act locally but think globally Let’s think of the most important public health issues of Europe. Every day you hear in your family, at school, in hospitals, on the street, on the radio about some concrete problems of public health that affect peoples’ lives and cause difficulty in dealing with everyday activities. These problems are cancer, nutrition, tobacco, and alcohol. There are many projects in Europe. There are projects for old people, for children, for adults. There are campaigns on blood donation and organ donation, projects that raise the awareness for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, mental health, TB, fighting against Pharmaceutical Companies, or even Projects abroad in Peru or Brazil. Some examples of our major projects are: - Tobacco Initiative Project that fights with tobacco every month in most NMOs - Fight against Tobacco with the Czech Republic - Help Sweden to fight against TB in the streets of Lima - Find Organs Donors with the Germans - Stop the Climate Change with UK This is absolutely great! We hope that you enjoyed this article and learning more about SCOPH Europe.

Issue 2 | August 2010

SCOPH Meetings


Many SCOPH meetings are hosted throughout the year. The purpose of the meetings is for members to know what SCOPH is, how it functions, what the projects are, and what new events are coming up. They provide the opportunity for members to exchange ideas and experiences, are also for IFMSA officials to stay updated about what is going on in each NMO, to know who needs help and how they can offer their experience. SCOPH Meetings: -2 IFMSA General Assemblies: March Meeting + August Meeting (SCOPH Sessions of 16 hours each, organized by the Director and the Dream Team) -2 pre-General Assemblies: March Meeting + August Meeting (Specific Workshops of 3 full working days about different kind of topics, organized by a volunteer) -5 Regional Meetings: Africa, Americas, EMR, Europe and Asia Pacific (SCOPH Sessions organized by the Regional Assistant) -NMO National Assemblies: National Meetings in over 100 NMOs of IFMSA -NMO SCOPH Meetings: open for national or international attendance General Assembly There are set sessions for each Standing Committee during the IFMSA General Assemblies (GA) which are held twice a year, one in March and the other in August. The sessions are usually run by the SCOPH Director. Sessions are set so that the members get an introduction to SCOPH, updates about what has occurred since the last GA, presentations on major public health issues and SCOPH projects, presentations by externals on Public Health topics, and other activities. Small working groups are included in the meeting and they provide the chance for SCOPHians to work on projects and topics that matter to them. Regional Meeting Each IFMSA region organizes its own Regional Meeting annually and standing committees have sessions during these meetings. Regional meetings are set to meet the specific needs of the members of that region.


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These sessions are organized and facilitated by the SCOPH Regional Assistant. All Regional meetings are set so that new NMOs are welcomed and introduced to SCOPH, our structure, our goals, and projects. There are NMO and project presentations, and small working groups targeting Public Health topics that are of concern for the region. This facilitates the exchange of ideas and thoughts amongst SCOPHians and allow well established NMOs to pass on their experience to the newer members. Externals are also invited to talk about Public Health issues related to the region. Taking part in a Regional Meeting has advantages for both new and old NMOs. For the new NMOs it is the 1st step to understanding SCOPH’s work and establishing a good base for their SCOPH group. For the old NMOs, it is the best way to be updated about matters in the region and newly established projects, to train new members in the NMO, and to gain knowledge from externals. Online Meetings Regional online meetings are organized depending on the members of each region and when is the best time for them. These meetings are run by the SCOPH Regional Assistants. Don’t miss your online meetings, they are the best way to stay on track and get all the help and information you need.

Issue 2 | August 2010 How to Establish SCOPH in your NMO


The SCOPH Dream Team has decided to provide a guide for NMOs wishing to start a SCOPH. These ideas can also be used by existing SCOPHs which need further development. Once your NMO is recognized by IFMSA you can start your own SCOPH group. Below are some simple steps towards starting a SCOPH within your NMO: 1.Appoint an NPO and LPOs. 2.Make a plan of action 3.Inform your NMO, your faculty, and university about your new group and your plans 4.Recruit members 5.Start projects 6.Submit Project Reports

Appoint an NPO and LPOs The LPO is the Local Public Health Officer, and is the person responsible for coordinating SCOPH activities within their local committee (ie. their medical school). The NPO is the National Public Health Officer. This person is responsible for coordinating the activities of all SCOPHs within the NMO (ie. all the medical schools represented by their association). These people are integral to the development of SCOPH, they are in charge of running SCOPH within the NMO. They are the heads of the committee and provide leadership and support for the members. They guide the committee to come up with project ideas, and facilitate the planing and execution of these projects. In essence they are the backbone of SCOPH. The persons chosen for these positions should be hardworking, good planners and organizers, accessible, approachable, reliable, and responsible. Some responsibilities of the LPO are (but are not limited to): -Seeing to the general management of the SCOPH group including membership


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recruitment -Coordinating local projects -Reporting to and keeping in contact with the NPO -Keeping abreast of SCOPH international activities Some responsibilities of the NPO are (but are not limited to): -Keeping in contact with the LPOs and getting regular reports -Coordinating National projects -To encourage the sharing of information between local SCOPHs -To asses the country’s health situation and come up with project ideas to target these issues -To liaise with externals so as to garner support for the SCOPH -Giving regular reports to and keeping in contact with the SCOPH Regional Assistant It is also good to appoint a council to assist the public health officers. These support persons can be responsible for projects, marketing, fund raising, etc, depending your personal needs and assignments in your NMO.

Plan of Action Before beginning your term, it is important to first come up with your plan of action for the year. What is your vision for SCOPH and its impact in your community and how will you achieve this? It is important to be realistic in your plans. Activities chosen will be dependent on your resources: financial, personnel, and time. They should be well laid out for you to present to your SCOPH members and others. You should decide what public health issues you would like to tackle, and come up with ideas on how you can do this. It is also helpful to come up with a draft timeline for your activities. Having a good and clear plan of action will help to recruit members and also to get current members more motivated for the activities for the year.

Make your presence known It is important to ensure that the student body, your faculty, and your University

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know about SCOPH, what your group has done in the past, and what your plans are for the year. This is important when seeking support from these groups. It is also good to get in contact with key externals who may be integral to the running of some projects, for example your ministry of health and other service groups.

Recruit Members Your members are the body of SCOPH and are probably the most important persons in SCOPH! They are your idea makers and work force. They are the ones who will help plan projects and actually carry them out. It is therefore very important to have a good group of highly motivated, hardworking members. To recruit members you have to make people interested in the group. For SCOPH this is easy because we are about health, and our target group is medical students! But even with this advantage membership recruitment still requires some work on the part of the officers. Presenting your plans for the year is a useful tool in membership recruitment. People will be drawn to your activities and want to get involved. One of the most important and effective way of encouraging people to work within SCOPH is during your national and local meetings. If you are NPO, you should definitely organize SCOPH sessions on your National Assembly, where you can introduce your SCOPH plans and public health projects. While being LPO, it is essential to prepare introduction meetings at your university. You can also organize special public health issue oriented workshops - so that you may all work together on one of the projects you want to implement. To recruit members you should always remember to ensure promotion for your meetings and projects. This can be done through flyers, posters, stickers, announcements in classes, articles in your University’s newsletters etc.

Keep in touch with your team Once you build a team of SCOPH members (both on the local and national level), always remember to ensure good communication within your team. This is especially difficult if thinking on a national level with communication between different Local Committees. In order to stay in touch with them you can set up a SCOPH


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mailing list through a yahoo group. Through it you will be able to announce all the activities and meetings, share experiences between different local committees, give information about some of the public health issues. All of this to keep your SCOPHians motivated.

Start Projects! Once you have a work-force – its time to start work! Please bear in mind that at the beginning your work-force could be comprised solely of you and a few friends, but even with small numbers it is possible to achieve much! It is important to ensure that projects are well planned and well executed.

Submit Project Reports It is very important to do reports of all your projects. Local reports should be sent to your NPO, and national reports to your regional assistant. Reports are a great way for you to keep track of your progress as a group and to asses the effectiveness of your work. Reports can be used to keep your faculty, University, and external supporters up-to-date on all your activities. It is also important to share your activities with other SCOPHs so that we can all learn from each other and get project ideas and information. Be a part of international SCOPH Family If you need support never hesitate to contact your Regional Assistant or other members of SCOPH Dream Team. To draw on other experiences and look for some answers, join international yahoo group ifmsa-scoph or your regional SCOPH yahoo group. A great way to find inspiration and to gain new knowledge about public health is attendance in international meetings: General Assemblies (they take place twice a year - in March and August) and Regional Meetings (organized once a year for SCOPHians from each region). Try to encourage active SCOPHians from your NMO to take part in them. They will surely come back motivated and with new ideas about public health projects. Being a part of SCOPH can be one of the most fulfilling things of your medical

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school career. You are given the unique opportunity from early in your medi-

cal career to actually be able do things to improve health within your community and your country! You will also get the chance to meet many new and wonderful people who are equally passionate about helping their society, and you will learn so much from all your activities. Being a SCOPHian is truly a great experience and we wish you enjoy all of it. We wish you all the best as you become members of our big orange SCOPH family!

SCOPH Management SCOPH is big. Projects are making big things happen on the ground, there are big personalities running them, lots of projects come together to make big national collections of SCOPH projects, and then internationally SCOPH happens all over the world. That’s big! With so much big-ness it’s easy to get lost. It’s easy to feel like you’re not in control of it. It’s easy to feel like projects are impossible to change. With so much big-ness it’s easy to forget the basics. 1. Starting Things “Starting things” doesn’t mean starting from scratch. It could be that you are starting a completely new SCOPH committee or a completely new project. Maybe you have just been voted in and want to take it in a new direction, or maybe you just fancy re-evaluating where you have got to and where you want to go. Starting things is about all of this and requires you to step back, breathe, and imagine a perfect world... 1.1 A Perfect Vision For SCOPH... Imagine there are no barriers. No essays to plan, no exams, no time restrictions. You have as many people on your SCOPH committee as you need and they’re all brilliant. What could you achieve? This is called a vision. Although it might not be possible- it’s important that you write it down in a short snappy way. This can help define what it is you want SCOPH to be, and then any steps towards this, however small, will be progress. As soon as you start thinking of everything that’s holding you back you will lose focus on this vision. Here are some examples for you:


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1) Our vision is that of a SCOPH National Committee who are accessible, reliable, just, trustworthy, and function as a cohesive united team. We aspire to have the knowledge, skills and experience to support members and branches, have the capacity to respond to SCOPH needs, deliver timely results, innovate and problem solve, represent and promote, develop and evaluate, and inspire and cultivate a SCOPH for the future. Coming together as a committee to write down a vision statement you all agree with is also a very effective way of starting your committee on the right track. If this is one of the first things you do, then the whole committee will feel ownership of the vision and will all be working for the same ultimate goal. You can even write it by sticking post-it notes on the wall! If two people in a SCOPH team are working towards different goals then soon there will be a conflict in your committee. Planning a vision together at the start of the year will find these conflicts early and start to resolve them. 1.2 What’s your mission? A “mission statement” is a bit similar to the vision but goes into a little bit more detail. The aim of the mission statement is to define: -Your purpose: What are you trying to accomplish? -Your business: What activities do you actually do? -Your values: What are your principles or beliefs? Here are some examples for you. I have added colour to the purpose, business and values to help you identify where they are. 1) The SCOPH National Committee aims to support, lead, govern and regulate SCOPH; to develop knowledge and skills with which to provide education, continuity and internal sustainability. We take the responsibility to act as figure heads and provide an ethical and moral framework for SCOPH. We plan to achieve this through developing and maintaining an infrastructure for communication, support and governance and leading in policy and resource development and review. We aspire to foster a culture of learning and internal evaluation within SCOPH. We

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do this because we are passionate, motivated, and we believe in the capacity of SCOPH; to play a role in developing healthcare professionals of the future and to impact upon health equity and social justice. “ Don’t worry if this is feeling like it is taking too long. You’re nearly at the bit where you say exactly what you want to do.

The mission statement acts like a bridge

between the vision and the goals. It’s still describing a perfect SCOPH, but it is giving more details about how and why. 1.3 Scoring goals Some people pick out differences between “objectives”, “aims” and “goals”. The truth is there’s no real difference. All you have to do is start being specific about how you will achieve your mission statement. And if you achieve your mission statement you are heading towards achieving your vision statement. Woohoo! So we’ve already seen how to pick your top-level objectives- they pretty much write themselves in the mission statement. Let’s try working through the first example. I can find 3 things in the “business” section of the mission statement: 1. Developing and maintaining an infrastructure for communication, support and governance 2. Leading in policy and resource development and review. 3. Foster a culture of learning and internal evaluation within SCOPH. There are good, but they still need to be more specific. The question you need to ask every time you see an objective is “how?”. If the objective doesn’t answer this question then you need sub-objectives. For example: 1. Developing and maintaining an infrastructure for communication, support and governance This statement doesn’t answer the question “how”, therefore let’s add sub-objectives: 1.1 Develop regular two-way email communication between SCOPH National and SCOPH local branches.


The SCOPH Manual

1.2 Ensure each local SCOPH has a member of the National SCOPH they can phone 1.3 Create reports that will identify areas for support early 1.4 Ensure all local SCOPHs are communicating with each other

Establishing S

1.5 Develop a system of rules that everyone inputs into ad everyone agrees to that will govern what we do and how we communicate as SCOPH

Together these sub-objectives (1.1-1.5) now completely answer the question “How?”. But you might even start to think “How?” to a sub-objective... 1.1 Develop regular two-way email communication between SCOPH National and SCOPH local branches. But How are we going to do this?! Time for some more sub-objectives... 1.1.1 Ensure each SCOPH committee has an active email account 1.1.2 Develop a system of weekly emails from SCOPH National to local SCOPHs letting them know everything that’s going on 1.1.3 Ask for SCOPH branches to send monthly email updates to SCOPH National This can go on and on, until you get silly numbers like “ SCOPH treasurer to design a questionnaire at the end of each financial year.” You know you don’t need any more sub-objectives when the current ones completely answer the question “How?”. From any rank- the objectives in the lower ranks answer the question “How”, and the objectives in the higher ranks answer the question “why?”. So if you get to 3.2 and ask “Why on earth should I do this?” – then the answer is- “to achieve objective 3”...why achieve objective 3? Because only by achieving objective 3 will you achieve the vision mission statements, which you have all agreed to. Now you have a ready-made answer to any committee member who asks why they have been given a particular job! Last thing to say is that it’s good practice to try to make sure your final sub-objectives (i.e. the ones that completely answer the question “How?”) are SMART... SMART means: - Specific (e.g. “The SCOPH Treasurer will design a questionnaire for all local

Issue 2 | August 2010


SCOPHS to evaluate the financial year”, but not “There will be financial questions”)

- Measurable (e.g. “The SCOPH Treasurer will send out the questionnaire to 12 local SCOPHS, 3 times in the year”, but not “The questions will be sent out”) - Achievable (e.g. “The SCOPH Treasurer will send the questionnaire 3 times”, not

“The SCOPH National Treasurer will send a 1000-page questionnaire every day”) SCOPH - Relevant (e.g. “The SCOPH Treasurer will send out a financial questionnaire to local SCOPHs”, but not “The SCOPH National Treasurer will send out a favourite movie questionnaire to her family”) - Time-bound (e.g. “The SCOPH Treasurer will send out a questionnaire by 31st October, 31st January and 31st July”, but not “The SCOPH Treasurer will send out 3 questionnaires.” So let’s put these all together: BAD example: “1.5.1 There will be many financial questions for SCOPHians and others to evaluate SCOPH” SMART example: “1.5.1 The SCOPH Treasurer will design a questionnaire to send out 3 times in the year to 12 local SCOPHs to evaluate the financial year. These will be sent out by 31st October, January and July each year.” I can see you’re eager to get going now. Once you’ve set a vision, a mission, objectives and sub-objectives you will basically have a ready-made plan for the year and can get going with it. The other great thing is that your whole committee will have been involved in designing it so they’ll all aiming for the same thing. Here’s some tips on planning gathered from SCOPHians around the world: “Produce your big plan for a year, and then smaller activity plans for important days. It’s important to have a long-term vision, but it must also translate to events on the ground.” “Have the proposals and plan of action clear enough for local coordinators to be able to manage it.”


The SCOPH Manual

“I quite like the idea of a social contract. We gave our committee 1 week to fill in their fears, expectations and goals on a googledoc, then we had an msn meeting to talk about it. At the meeting we decided “this is what we want to do and we want to do it together”. A common fear was “not effective communication”, a common expectation was “respect the deadlines” and our common goal was “make SCOPH a powerful team.”” “Motivate SCOPH members to start projects of their own, and to take the initiative, innovate.” “Compare results for similar projects and share best practice. Set some common goals across all projects. It’s really helpful to have an overall SCOPH strategic plan which all feeds into the same vision. This really empowers the team.”

1.4 The dream team The last consideration for you is your dream team. Don’t just recruit people to your committee because that’s how it’s always been done. Think about who you actually need, what their responsibilities will be, who they report to and what their workload will be like. It makes a lot of sense to design your committee structure based on your strategic plan 2. Keeping things going Great, so we’ve started something amazing- but what’s the point if it just stops there? One of the most common problems for SCOPH is that people set up amazing committees or projects and then when their medical work gets busy and they leave, everything goes wrong. If communication is the most important thing in medicine, why should it be any different with SCOPH? 2.1 Communication Here’s some tips from our international friends on how to communicate well in a SCOPH team: “I think that how you present yourself make a real difference. For externals or for recruitment I always like to introduce myself, who I am, what I am working on... I also like to focus on what people can gain and learn from the SCOPH experience- the positives. I like to foster a sense of community- you’ll not only be a leader but also a member of the project.”

Issue 2 | August 2010 “Say things as they are, but don’t let things get personal, and don’t be arrogant.”


“Speak out when you have to- do not be afraid to give a bad impression.” “For us, we worked so much better once we had set clear groundrules. Everyone in the room assumes the other people are working on their rules- but everyone starts with different expectations. Some people try their hardest not to interrupt, but for some it’s normal to interrupt. By setting clear rules at the start of the year we all understood what we would and wouldn’t do.” “If there’s a problem then communication becomes essential. I try to talk to the people involved and take the time to really make sure they understand what the problem is and the history behind it. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that some people haven’t been around as long as me.”

2.2 Communication (again) OK so that advice was on how to communicate- but what methods of communication did the group think worked best? Here they are again: “Don’t just communicate by email, also use mobile phone. Before a meeting it’s much better to use a mobile phone - either calling or text. It’s just so much more effective for inviting people!” “I think that communication outside of meetings is often forgotten about. Informal communication with your team is a great way to keep things relaxed- like everyday communication during lectures or educational time. I’ve also discovered pre-meetings: where you try to catch everyone individually in the corridors before you get to the meeting to make sure they know everything that’s happening and any issues coming up. That way you can know what’s coming up and what conflicts there might be before you get to the meeting.” “It’s so important to talk face to face: this is always the best way to communicate with members, and is worth the trouble even if it’s difficult.” “If something is wrong we have to deal with it earlier rather than later. We try to say what the person involved is doing right and what they are doing wrong- in a way that’s sensitive.” “I found that making sure meetings were on the same day at the same time every week increased attendance at meetings loads.” “Try to involve LPOs by talking to them directly. It’s also nice to always cc the LPOs when emailing the local presidents.”

The SCOPH Manual 54 3. Stopping things from going wrong Panic! Actually, try not to. Things often go wrong, and when they do there are usually a lot of people you can go to for help. One of them will have the answer, right? In the longer-term, strategic planning might help prevent a disaster, and communication will always helps solve problems. This document won’t help you solve your crisis, but it might help you prevent it. And as a SCOPHian, we can all assume that you love prevention. 3.1 How to panic Sometimes just sitting back, breathing, and concentrating on not panicking will give you your answer. It will certainly calm your committee down to see that you’re not panicking too much. Lots of people in a panic doesn’t help anyone. Here’s the international SCOPH group again with some thoughts... “The worst thing to do is to try to resolve things whilst you are angry. Don’t even touch your emails, just go away and rest. Later you can come back with a clear mind and try to resolve the situation. Don’t do anything when you are angry. Be professional.” “After being on the committee for a few months, I realised that sometimes we tend to focus too much on the person who thinks there is a problem. Sometimes it pays to get all points of view before you try to fix something- it certainly helps keep things in perspective!” “Ask for help, ask for help, ask for help. The two of us running SCOPH thought we had to deal with everything between the two of us. We didn’t realise we could turn to past coordinators for advice, the international SCOPH team, or even our own committee- who would often have the best solutions.”

3.2 I can’t be bothered We’ve all felt this way before, so it’s understandable that your committee members sometimes feel unmotivated. Getting new members motivated can unlock lots of potential and really benefit your committee. How did our international SCOPHians motivate new members?.. “We held this great orange-colored party for new comers. Being able to socialise with new SCOPHians really helped bring them into the team and make them confident.” “I showed the SCOPH movie, to all committee members at the start of the year. Both new and older members found it really motivating to know all about SCOPH and what it means to be part of SCOPH. Especially knowing you are part of one big international family!”

Issue 2 | August 2010


“Training really helps. People feel like they are learning new skills and coming away with something valuable.” “Our coordinator showed us pictures of SCOPH activities from other places in the world.

This sparked an interesting discussion about all of the things we could achieve in my country.” “You must give trust to new members. You cannot be bugging them all of the time and not trusting that they will do their task. If you trust people then they can perform really well and feel ownership over their role in SCOPH.” “Just simply promotion gadgets and material worked for me!”

The things that motivate me as a SCOPH member who’s been around for some years are exactly the same as the things that motivate new members (it’s all about the orange parties). But sometimes for members that have been around a bit longer it’s a bit different and you need other ways of motivating them. How did the SCOPHians from around the world motivate older members?... “For older members it’s good to remember the good times, thank them, feedback to them, show them that you need them, make use of an alumni coordinator if you have one. It might even be worth making them responsible for the new members.” “We set up a mentor system- where they would help a committee member whenever they needed it. This helped them feel involved.” “Training is always useful, no matter how experienced you are. Find something they’re not trained in so they still feel they are gaining from being involved.” “I find that older members are quickest to give feedback on how you’re doing. This can sometimes feel like criticism, but it’s important to thank them for feedback. Feedback can always be useful, even if you don’t always have to listen to it!”

3.3 I hate the group It’s all very well motivating individuals, but wouldn’t it be nice if the whole team was motivated, and worked well together. Here’s some international tips from SCOPHians: “Team building games work. They can build team spirit and it’s always good to be silly, personalize and socialize.” “I found that I must solve conflicts immediately, else they would just linger and te group would start to split apart.” “Basically, it’s about showing personal interest, but also assuring everyone that the right


The SCOPH Manual

people are doing the right job.” “I am with my team, I’m not above them. I like to discuss things and come to a group decision, not to give orders.” “In SCOPH we sometimes forget that everyone is a volunteer and that this is their free time. It’s easy to forget, and an understanding of this can help.” “Replace trouble makers” “Be sensitive to burnout, let people rest before you try to motivate them again. Too much motivation in burnout just overloads you.”

4. Surely there’s more to it? If you get the basics right- planning, communicating and problem solving- then you are well on your way to running successful SCOPHs. But of course there is more… Always take advantage of opportunities to improve your leadership and project management skills by getting involved in trainings at IFMSA meetings. Also seek advice and assistance from members of the SCOPH dream team and other SCOPHians through our various communication platforms.

Issue 2 | August 2010

Project Planning


Here are some steps in project planning: 1) Needs assessment 2) Set goals 3) Define Objectives 3) Plan of Action 4) Detailed project plan 5) Getting relevant externals involved 6) Fundraising 7) Promotion of the project 8) Execution 9) Evaluate the project 10) Ensure sustainability 11) Report of the project

Needs assessment Identify what the important public health issues in you community are. Projects must always be chosen based on whether they are important or not, and if they are relevant to the target population. Sometimes this needs assessment may involve getting relevant data from health sources. This is especially important when presenting a project to externals, you must be able to show that your project is needed and that benefit can be gained from it.

Set goals for the project The goals represent the ideal of the project and what you would like it to achieve both in the short and long term. The goals must be clearly defined so that the scope of the project is known and understood.

Define Objectives While the goals of your project are general and broad, the objectives are more specific and comprise of accomplishments which together will achieve a project goal. The objectives you set, should always be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant/Realistic and Time-bound.


The SCOPH Manual

Plan of Action Plan of action includes who your target population is and how you intend to reach them. The means of delivery must be suited to the population. For example formal medical lectures are probably not appropriate in a rural village. Establish what your resources are in terms of time, funding, equipment, and human resources. Assign members to manage different aspects of the projects so they are actively involved from the planning stage. f they are a part of the planning process then you will get more ideas for the project and will have more support from your members. Allow them to choose which aspect of the project they are most equipped and interested to assist with.

Detailed project plan This is where you do a step by step plan of how the project will be carried out. You should assign people to different tasks and ensure that their roles are well defined to avoid anything being neglected and overlap. It is important to remember the importance of delegating people to assist in the planning of the project. It is impossible for one person to be able to manage everything effectively on their own. Delegate responsibilities and monitor the progress of each section. Before starting, analyze your project using SWOT analysis – Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats. This is a useful tool to evaluate positives and negatives of your project. Through it, you can define what your project’s Strengths and Weaknesses are. These include internal factors, those depending on your team or organization. You can also define what the Opportunities and Threats are with regards to external issues, which depend on the external environment of the organization. With this analysis you will be aware of how to use the strengths, stop weaknesses, exploit opportunities and defend against threats.

Externals Establish contact with other groups with particular interest in your project. The will provide extra resources in the form of funding, human resources, and promo-

Issue 2 | August 2010



Fundraising You must decide how you will raise funds for the project. This could be done through allowances granted through your NPO or University or through your own fundraising ventures. Be creative when coming up with fundraisers. A simple food or sticker sale, or a walkathon can help yield funds to start off a project.

Promotion Promote the project in your NMO, the University and the community. There are many ways of doing this. For example through flyers, posters, stickers, announcements etc. Ensure that your organization’s name and logo are on all promotional material. This helps to create a corporate image for you so that when people see or hear of you again they will remember your past work.

Have the project After all your well laid plans comes the execution of the project. Good planning is essential to ensure a smooth running of the project. Follow your plans for the events so as to not leave out important details or get flustered. However remember that even with the best planning things can always go wrong. It is important if this happens to remain cool and collected and be creative and flexible so as to work through these problems. As project coordinator it is very important to keep your members motivated. They look to you for guidance and support. If you fall apart at the sign of trouble then your members may also loose focus and the project could suffer. At stressful moments never hesitate to ask for help and never forget to delegate! Take a deep breath, review the plan and see what needs to be changed to suit the new situation. It is good to get input from others at this time so that you will get new ideas and different approaches.

Evaluate the Project Once the project is completed it is important to consider the following: -Were the goals and objectives of the project met? -What difficulties were faced and how can you overcome them?


The SCOPH Manual

-How can you improve the project? -How can you get more people involved in the project? Evaluating is important so as to ensure that when next the project is undertaken you would have learned from the past experience and can pass on that knowledge to others.

Sustainability To ensure sustainability of the project you must monitor the effectiveness and progress of the project, and monitor the use of resources. You should always look for ways to improve on what has been done in the past (again the importance of evaluating the project). It is also important to do a full report on the project so that project coordinators will have information from your experience to use in their plans and so that other groups interested in adopting your project will have a working model.

Reporting It is important to record what you have done and share it with others. Report everything that was planned, any challenges and recommendations. This will help garner more awareness to your group and more support for the project. If externals were involved then a report should be given to them and all support persons. It is also good to submit the report to you NPO and maybe your faculty so that they are always aware of your work. In SCOPH all reports from LPOs should be sent to the NPOs, and then the NPOs should send reports to the SCOPH regional assistants who will then report to the SCOPH Director. -How can you improve the project? -How can you get more people involved in the project?

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Evaluating is important so as to ensure that when next the project is undertaken you would have learned from the past experience and can pass on that knowledge to others.

IFMSA Project Recognition Transnational, Endorsed, Initiatives‌ Sound mysterious? Feeling lost hearing all this? Wondering why and how? I hope this short explanation will make you more familiar with IFMSA official projects and how to apply for them. What? Each activity (project, event, campaign, workshop, etc), complying with the IFMSA Constitution and Bylaws, can apply for IFMSA recognition. All official projects are divided into three categories: Endorsed, Transnational and Initiative. Endorsed Projects are those run by just one NMO or a partner organisation. Transnational Projects are organised by more than one NMO, or by at least one NMO together with another organisation. Lastly, Initiatives are projects or series of projects centrally coordinated under the responsibility of the IFMSA Executive Board. The Coordinators of Transnational and Initiative Projects are appointed each year on October 1st and so all the candidatures should be submitted at latest on September 15th. Transnational project coordinators open a call for candidates at the end of their term. This should be done before September 1st. The detailed description of the election process can be found in the IFMSA Constitution and Bylaws. Why? You are probably asking what the benefits of IFMSA project recognition are and why you should apply for it. While managing a project, one of the most important issues we all focus on is promotion, both amongst IFMSA members and externals. The status of IFMSA official project creates a great opportunity for further promotion of your activity, by gaining priority for its promotion within IFMSA and our partner organisations. This includes displaying information about the project on the IFMSA website and in the official projects database, receiving recommendation letters from the IFMSA Executive Board, and being supported in grant application and fundraising. In addition, the official projects have spots secured for their representatives at each General Assembly. Endorsed Projects have 1 place secured,


The SCOPH Manual

and Transnational and Initiative Projects have 2 places each. When and how? So now, after realising the many opportunities IFMSA recognition creates, you are quite sure you want to apply for recognition of your fantastic SCOPH project! Let’s then get to know when you can apply and how to do it. You can apply for IFMSA Endorsed Projects at any time of the year. If you consider applying for Transnational or Initiative, there are two deadlines for submitting your application: 1st December (for March Meeting) and 1st May (for August Meeting). Why am I mentioning General Assemblies here? This is because the final decision on whether to accept, reject, or accept with revision a certain project, is taken by the General Assembly. As there is no deadline for endorsed applications you should send them at least one month before the GA if you want them to be taken in account at this meeting. To apply for all these projects you need to fill out a candidature form and create a project proposal. There are different candidature forms and different information you should include in project proposals for each category of official projects. All the information about IFMSA projects recognition you can get from SCOPH Development Assistant for Projects, and of course from the IFMSA Projects Support Division Director. Never hesitate to ask for this information! After the success… Congratulations! Your project is officially recognized by IFMSA! But this is not the end, it is just the beginning… Try to take advantage of all the opportunities recognition gives to your project! Follow the plan of action, motivate your international team of co-workers, and promote the project. To maintain IFMSA recognition you need to submit half-year reports by specific deadlines (easy to remember as they are the same as for applications: 1st December and 1st May). Don’t forget to also collaborate with the Projects Support Division and with your SCOPH Dream Team. I keep my fingers crossed for all the projects applying for IFMSA recognition and for you, future International Project Coordinators. I encourage you to contact your DA for Projects for further information at, or the Project Support Division Director at

Issue 2 | August 2010



In the world of the IFMSA, particularly in SCOPH and other project based standing committees, one often hears the word “advocacy”. Often it is used in relation to policy statements or campaigns, but what does advocacy actually really? If you look up the verb “advocate” in the dictionary it will say, “to speak, plead, or argue in favor of a certain issue”. This definition already comes quite close to the sense in which we can practice advocacy within our organization. Generally speaking, advocacy is a tool we can use to speak up for ourselves and others. There are many ways in which to go about advocacy. However the common goal is directed towards changing policies, positions or programs of institutions. This may range from a small NGO, to Ministries of health and large international agencies. By addressing social inequities, and educating and empowering the community, public and political pressure can be built up, which eventually leads to further actions and steps that influence people’s lives. Hereby we cannot only train ourselves to advocate effectively within our own environment, but also acquire knowledge and skills to speak up for others. In some cases specific causes, groups, or individuals are not able speak for themselves, because they are either neglected, or too weak to be heard. Through taking the lead, we can ensure that their opinions are voiced and create widespread awareness. Advocacy therefore plays a key role in promoting public health and can be used in virtually any setting in which change needs to occur. There are three main ways through which we can use advocacy in the IFMSA: projects, campaigns, and policy statements. Within SCOPH, advocacy is already implemented to a certain extent in many projects. Whenever a project seeks to raise awareness about a certain issue, i.e. through distributing flyers, organizing theme events with speakers, or simply by talking to people, we advocate for a


The SCOPH Manual

certain cause. Campaigns act in a similar way to projects. The main difference is that a campaign usually targets a whole population and/or institution in order to achieve high-set long-term goals, whereas the aims and outcomes of a project may be set on a more individual, community based level. Policy statements are a way through which we can state our opinions and raise concerns that will be published to a broad audience. Considering that the IFMSA is a very large organization and represents students all over the world, policy statements are a great chance to build pressure needed to promote change. In order to provide SCOPHians the necessary framework, the following paragraphs will focus on how to prepare and carry out an advocacy campaign. Before thinking about specific steps you need to take, keep in mind that during the whole process you need to ensure that the fundamental needs of your projects are met. In any case you will need enough, time, money and human personnel to reach your goals. Furthermore it is good to involve a group of people in the planning process, in order to benefit from each other’s experience, to derive as many ideas as possible and to include and motivate every team member. When working in a team it is essential to have somebody in charge of coordinating the work and keeping an overview of what is happening. Also keep in mind to plan your steps in advance and to make a timetable for your actions start off.

A possible way of managing your campaign is to divide it into 5 stages: 1.Issues– First of all you need to identify the needs and issues of your campaign. Get to know what you are talking about! It can be embarrassing, if you are exposed as being improperly informed or half-hearted later on. 2.Solutions– Once you know enough about the topic you want to address, you can go over to thinking about possible solutions. Try to look for goals that are politically, economically and socially realistic to achieve. Also define your goals, make sure that your policy targets are clear and understandable to everyone, especially to the audience you want to. The SMART objectives (simple, measurable, achievable,

Issue 2 | August 2010 realistic, time-bound) can help you in the planning process.


3.Political support– This is the stage where actions come into place. The aim should be to strengthen the campaign’s support, and build political will. This can be done in numerous ways and may include public education and awareness building, or involving key stakeholders. If you involve spokes persons, they should be well trained and be able to deliver the campaign’s message clearly and effectively. Know and speak out the needs and concerns of your audience in order to gain maximum support. 4.Bringing things together– As soon as public support/pressure is large enough it is time to confront your audience with possible remedies and remind them why these actions have to be put in place. The more feasible your solutions, the more likely they will be implemented and bring about change. This is the most dynamic stage of the campaign, so stay updated and informed of what is happening, in order to be able to respond quickly to new situations. 5.Evaluation– Sadly, this is one of the most forgotten parts of project & campaign management. Evaluation will help you in identify strengths and weaknesses of your campaign and help you to plan better next time. Evaluation is a vital step of any project and campaign!In the world of the IFMSA,

Fundraising This is a simple guide to help you understand the basic guidelines and ideas of fundraising so that you can use of these to find money for your projects. Under no circumstances does this text substitute the knowledge and experience you can gain when you take part in IFMSA fundraising trainings that occur. So make sure that even as you read this paper, you seek more information about fundraising so that you succeed in finding money for your great projects. Before beginning fundraising check that you know the project and the organization inside out, and that you believe in the project and are prepared to argue its case Have a list of everything needed to carry out the project and the resources made available by the organization. Decide to what extent you are prepared or


The SCOPH Manual

authorized to adjust certain aspects of the project, and ensure you have the support and agreement of the other partners in the project and the members of your organization. Strategic Planning of Project Fundraising 1.Finding sources of finance The first step in fundraising is to make a list of funding opportunities, noting the variety of potential sources and types of resources. There are three types of sources of funding - grants, sponsorships, and individual donations. However you will follow the same procedure when applying for any type of funding. The first step during this procedure is to make an application. 2.Making an application It is your goal to prepare a presentation pack in which your project is fully, clearly and concisely described, each project stage is outlined, and the project is shown to be realistic and to have every chance of success. You have to present your project. First of all, check whether an application form exists (most programs provide a form) and if it does, use it. Your application must explain in full what the projects consists of, in what context is to be carried out, the size of budget and how much funding is being requested. The clearer and more detailed the project, the more realistic it is likely to appear. Another important point is to follow the rules about how to fill in the AF, even if they seem silly to you. Not following them is the shortest way to be rejected. But what exactly should we include in our application? To answer this question, make use of the application objectives. The application objectives are a series of information that has to be included in the application form that you prepare and it should contain the following aspects: a.Project title, location, duration, and target group b.Needs analysis c.Aims and Objectives d.Methods

Issue 2 | August 2010 e.Necessary resources


f.Coordinator-s g.Implementation time h.Evaluation Needs analysis is the process that you make to answer the simple question “why do we need this project?” Why is the project necessary? Why should everybody be interested in it? What statistics do you have in support of the needs analysis? Do other members of the community share your view of the situation? These are the questions that need to be answered in the needs analysis. During this process you have to make sure that you answer those questions reliably and with accountability. To meet this purpose, be sure that you ask the opinion of those involved in the project, including potential partners, sponsors & supporters. Look for results of similar projects elsewhere (did it work?). Make use of the IFMSA’s resources and experience, talk with other workers or volunteers in IFMSA as they may have similar projects. When you try to identify and write down the aims of your project you have to answer questions like, what do you hope to achieve through the project? What are the anticipated results? How will the project affect those around you? How will it affect the community? How do the project goals reflect those of your organization? It is rather important that while identifying project’s aims, you make sure they are sufficiently clear, specific, and capable of being assessed. The objectives of your project have to be SMART, namely Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound. If you meet those goals then it is quite sure that you have successfully identified your project’s objectives. 3.Budget planning Managing the budget of a project is the most important process in creating the perfect application form or sponsorship package. Your budget must inspire confidence and show your project to be both realistic and trustworthy. It should match your project description and be as close as possible to final figures.


The SCOPH Manual

Even before putting the budget down in the Application Form check how much the sponsor can sponsor. Asking for more than they can give reveals bad financial planning. Get information about the funders’ criteria for selection, priorities, rules of calculation, etc. and make sure that you follow them. So as to make it perfect and ensure that it meets the sponsor’s qualities, make a specific budget for each activity of the project. It is rarely possible to fund the project as a whole and it is easier to find a sponsor for one activity rather than for the whole. Therefore you may find many sponsors for each of the activities you describe in your project, making you seem accountable and reliable of each sponsor. While creating the budget make sure that you list all the receipts connected with the project. Include all sources of funds necessary for the project, such as your organization’s own resources, participants’ contributions, grants, materials and services donated or loaned, amounts requested from backers, etc, and calculate the total amount. Have proper bookkeeping, as you are accountable for the money involved, if not legally, at least morally. 4.Make contact with the funding organization The next step is to make contact with the sponsor. Target select institutions, foundations, or companies that are likely to provide funding for your project or organization because your aims are similar. Adapt your application to the priorities of the funding organization. Do not systematically send an identical project presentation to a large number of foundations, institutions or companies. Where there is a person responsible for dealing with applications, write directly to this person, or use personal contacts. Do not be shy of making contact with the funding organization and publicizing your organization. Do not hesitate to enquire how your application is proceeding, whether all selection criteria have been met, and when a decision will be taken. Finally, invite the funding organization to inspect your project first-hand as this will increase

Issue 2 | August 2010

your credibility.


Think of different kinds of support which the company could give you (not only money, but also equipment or even a member of staff). Even gifts in kind should be given an estimated value and included in the budget. Think of alternative sources. Stress the benefit which funding the project will bring to the company in terms of publicity. When you make an application or request put yourself in the company’s shoes: why should you put money in your project rather than invest on the stock market? Why your project and not another? What advantages can they obtain from identification with your project? Try to develop a long term partnership with backers, especially with those whose aims are similar to those of your organization. Do not forget to thank sponsors for their support. 5.Tips during the project Publicize the project and… don’t forget to mention where the money came from! Check what expectations sponsors have regarding the publicity and the use of their name. Remember to invite sponsors to certain stages of the project-especially the final stage. Think of and start preparing the report (activity and financial). Consult the sponsors for any change you want to make to the project implementation and program. 6.Project report Sponsors will request two reports; the activity report which has to be concise, and the financial report which has to be detailed. It is part of the long-term fundraising strategy! Attach copies of invoices of all expenditures and make sure to maintain good relation with sponsors for future fundraising and as an act of thankfulness for their help. And here are 9 truths about fundraising and 8 reasons why projects succeed. Make sure you abide by all of them, and be sure that if you don’t get funded, you will at

The SCOPH Manual 70 least have created the perfect project proposal! 9 truths about fundraising 1.Organizations are not entitled to support; they must earn it. 2.Successful fundraising is not magic; it is simply hard work on the part of people who are thoroughly prepared. 3.Fundraising is not raising money; it is raising friends. 4.You do not raise money by begging for it; you raise it by selling people on your organization. 5.People do not just reach for their cheque-books and give money to an organization; they have to be asked to give. 6.You don’t wait for the “right” moment to ask; you ask now. 7.Successful fund-raising officers do not ask for money; they get others to ask for it. 8.You don’t decide today to raise money and then ask for it tomorrow: it takes time, patience, and planning to raise money. 9.Donors are not cash crops waiting to be harvested; treat them as you would customers in a business. You should never forget that the purpose is not to get the money, but to achieve the objectives. If you don’t have much you can do anything, but if you have money you can do it better.

Issue 2 | August 2010

Main Focus Points Child Health


Every 3.6 seconds a child under the age of 5 years dies prematurely. Added up, each year nearly 10 million children worldwide. A number equivalent to the total population of a whole country, similar to the Czech Republic or Tunisia, pass away before their 5th birthday. The ma-

jority of these deaths can be ascribed to now easily preventable and treatable medical conditions. One of the measures used to indicate child health is the child mortality rate. Child mortality is defined as death of a child below the age of 5. Sub-Saharan Africa and South-East Asia carry the greatest burden of child mortality. However, child health is a global issue and for this reason the United Nations and 192 of its member states devoted one of the eight Millenium Development Goals directly towards child health: “Reduce child Mortality� by 2015. Within the first month of life, infant health is most vulnerable. Improving perinatal care and assuring safe delivery by skilled birth attendants is the key to better child care. Between one month and 5 years, the main causes of death are infectious diseases, including pneumonia, diarrhea, malaria, measles and HIV. Additionally, it is estimated that a third of all child deaths is attributable to the simple condition of not having enough food. Pneumonia vaccinations, oral rehydration therapies, insecticide-treated nets, promotion of breastfeeding; all of these practical and cost effective measures, could signifi-


The SCOPH Manual

cantly increase child survival. Thinking broadly, child health reflects the health status of all age groups within a community. Moreover, the lack of a young and healthy population exerts tremendous negative effects on social systems including the economy. It is therefore an absolute necessity to build a protective environment for children in order ensure the stability of our societies for years to come. Within SCOPH, many of our projects are either directly or indrectly devoted to child health. Smile-X, Teddy Bear Hospital, 1st Aid Course, Teddy Bear under Christmas Tree, but also projects like the National Health week and the International Campaign on Malaria strive towards improving children’s quality of life. For us it is clear that we have think about the future generation. Through our activities we send a strong common message around the globe in improving child health. All we have to do is keep up the good work!


Every 30 seconds an African child dies from malaria... And about 40% of the world population is at risk of getting malaria. Malaria is one of the most dangerous diseases in the world, killing about two million people a year.

IFMSA has committed itself to help in the fight against malaria through our project - IFMSA Campaign On Malaria (ICOM). The main aims of the project are: raising awareness of medical students about malaria, motivating them to take part in the fight against the disease, educating local communities about the prevention and treatment of the disease, and advocating on malaria. What can you actually do? You can get involved in numerous different activities regarding malaria, such as: - Health education days - Malaria Training Workshops - World Malaria Swim day

Issue 2 | August 2010 - Bednets distribution


- Anti-mosquito creams distribution These activities can be organized the whole year round. However for the World Malaria Day (25th April) we especially want to encourage you to join us and organize your own local or national activities. To get to know more about IFMSA Campaign On Malaria (ICOM) please contact the SCOPH team or the IFMSA Project Support Division Director at projects@ Visit also:

Healthy Lifestyles Chronic diseases have replaced infectious diseases as the major cause of mortality. Non-communicable diseases caused about 35 million deaths in 2004, that’s almost 60% of all deaths globally, and mortality is projected to increase by 17% over the next 10 years. The most important illnesses include diabetes, hypertension, and cancers. It is widely known that individuals’ lifestyles play a major role in the prevention of these illnesses. In particular, a healthy diet and physical activity are important factors for ensuring good health. Poor diet and lack of exercise increase the risk for hypertension, diabetes, abnormal blood lipid, overweight/obesity, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. WHO reports that over 2.7 million deaths are attributable to low fruit and vegetable intake, and 1.9 million deaths are attributable to physical inactivity. It is important for us to focus on preventing these diseases and limiting their impact on our societies and in fact worldwide. But many of you already know the importance of healthy lifestyles and carry out various projects worldwide. Our projects focused on obesity, diabetes, and hypertension promote the importance


The SCOPH Manual

of healthy lifestyles in ensuring health. We are able to have a positive impact through our health education and health promotion activities. The SCOPH Healthy Lifestyles Campaign seeks to combine our efforts worldwide as we promote healthy lifestyles within our own communities. We carry out activities on World Diabetes Day, World Cancer Day, World Heart Day, World Health Day, and other major health days. Our combined efforts will see greater project resources, support, and promotion as we combat some of the greatest health issues of today.

Mental Health : A public health perspective Mental health is essential to the well-being of individuals and their communities. Indeed, the absence of mental health prevents individuals from developing their full potential, coping with the stress of daily life, or working productively for their society. Nevertheless, mental disorders are still largely neglected in many parts of the world. Resources are inequitably distributed among socioeconomic gradients and mental disorders continue to be the source of a stifling stigmatisation. The WHO estimates that 450 million people currently suffer from mental, neurologic, or behavioural problems and that some 900,000 suicides occur each year, with most of these in low- or middle-income countries. Depression, alcohol abuse, schizophrenia and bipolar disorders are among the six leading causes of years lived with disability (YLD). Depression alone accounts for 12.15% of YLD, and ranks as the third leading contributor to the global burden of disease. One in four families has a least one member with a neuropsychiatric disorder. Because most of these disorders are neither diagnosed nor treated family members are often the primary caregivers of people with mental disorders. Children and adolescents are particularly vulnerable to mental disorders; 20% of these are affected worldwide and half of the mental disorders begin during puberty. Yet, most low- and middle-income countries have only one child psychiatrist for every 1 to 4 million people.

Issue 2 | August 2010


The economic burden of mental disorders directly affects not only sufferers or their family, but the society as a whole as well. In developed countries, mental

health problems, with their direct and their indirect consequences, cost from 3% to 4% of GNP. In the US, the unique cost of patients suffering from Alzheimers’s disease and schizophrenia represents the most costly expenses of the healthcare system. Absenteeism form work is due to mental health problems accounts in 35% to 45% of cases. Hence, the high costs of mental disorders make them comparable to other major chronic conditions, such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. The stigmatization of patients and families affected by mental health problems is one the main obstacles in the provision of care for these people. The effects of stigmas cannot be underestimated. Manifested through stereotyping, fear, personal shame, and rejection, it more than often leads to discrimination. Affecting households, mental health institutions, and healthcare professionals, it negatively influences the allocation of health resources. Contrary to expectations, a South African survey suggests that the levels of stigma were higher in urban areas and among people with higher levels of education. These stigmas account for the frequent human rights violations of psychiatric patients. Too many psychiatric institutions, hospitals and social care houses still use old-fashioned physical restraints methods such as cage beds, in which patients are kept for extended periods, sometimes, even years. The living conditions in these institutions can be unhygienic and even harmful. In sum, to care for psychiatric patients, one needs to advocate for their human rights. When addressing mental health, one addresses an important risk factor for com-

The SCOPH Manual 76 municable and non-communicable diseases. For instance, it has been shown that treating comorbid mental disorders improves medical compliance of patients and thereby reduces their mortality. Conversely, many physical conditions such as obesity, cardiovascular disease or AIDS predispose to depression, anxiety disorders and adaptation disorders. All in all, one out of four visiting patients will have concurrent mental disorders, complicating the diagnosis and their treatment. Veritably, there is no mental health without mental health.

Scaling up mental health disorders services To address mental health, global intervention has to face poverty, marginalisation and social disadvantages as well. While not mentioned in theMillennium Development Goals (MDGs), enhanced mental health services directly affect progress toward their achievement. There are staggering inequities in the distribution of mental health resources, principally for 85% of the world population that lives in low-income and middle-income countries. Shortages of psychiatric workers (psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses and social workers) are an important obstacle to the provision of mental health care. Low-income countries have 0.05 psychiatrists and 0.16 psychiatric nurses per 100,000 people, compared to 200 times more in high-income countries. The WHO identified four more key barriers that need to be overcome in order to increase access to proper mental health care: 1) the omission of mental health from the public health agenda; 2) the inadequate organization of mental health 3) the lack of integration within primary care, and 4) the lack of public mental health leadership. Economic intervention packages are available: 2 US$ per person per year in lowincome countries and US$ 34 in lower middle-income countries. These modest investments would create an enormous difference. However, the success in these investments is dependent on the effective collaboration of governments, donors, researchers and groups representing mental health workers, patients and their families. The mental health Global Action Programme (mhGAP) is based on four core strategies derived from the recommendations of the World Health Report 2001. It rec-

Issue 2 | August 2010


ommends to 1) Increase and improves information for decision making and technology transfer to increase country capacity; 2) Raise awareness about mental

disorders through education and advocacy for more respect of human rights and less stigma 3) Assist countries in designing policies and developing comprehensive and effective mental health services. 4) Build local capacity for public mental health research in poor countries. A call for action to address the gross deficiencies in mental health coverage was published in the Lancet in 2007. It calls upon the global health community, ministries of health, donors and health care professionals to embrace the priorities set by the WHO and includes more specific recommendations on the identification of priority package of service intervention, on research priorities and a strengthening of data-collection and monitoring mechanisms.

Tobacco Introduction Tobacco as one of the main causes of death in the world, killing over 5 million people annually. According to WHO, the tobacco epidemic killed over 100 million people in the 20th century worldwide. In the USA male smokers are estimated to be 24% of the whole population, whereas female smokers are 19% of the whole population. This means that 73.378.800 men and 58.091.550 women in the USA smoke. 292.000.000 male smokers and 219.000.000 female smokers exist in Europe, and 4.085.000 male smokers and 3.440.000 female smokers exist in Australia. Clinical Aspects Smoking is responsible for 87% of cases of lung cancer, and 30% of cancers in general. It is an important risk factor for cancer of the urinary bladder, pancreas, breast, and stomach. Regarding the respiratory system, smoking is held responsible for many conditions like chronic bronchitis, COPD, and deterioration of asthma. It can double the risk of having coronary disease and strokes, and causes sexual dysfunction.


The SCOPH Manual

Passive smokers deal with these same problems. In fact that passive smoking has been defined as a “group A” carcinogen. They tend to be less open to the severity of the diseases caused by active smoking, but this depends on the frequency of exposure to second hand smoke. Role and Activities of International Organizations Fortunately many actions have been taken to change the situation that exists today, so as to move towards a more hopeful and tobacco free future. The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control is a multilateral treaty with more than 150 Parties. It was the first step in the global fight against the tobacco epidemic with a view of reducing both the supply of and the demand for tobacco. Parties to the WHO Framework Convention have committed to protecting the health of their populace by joining the fight against the tobacco epidemic. To help countries fulfill the promise of the WHO Framework Convention, WHO has established MPOWER, a package of the six most important and effective tobacco control policies: monitoring the epidemic and prevention policies (MPOWER), protecting people from second hand smoke (MPOWER), offering help to people who want to quit (MPOWER), warning everyone about the dangers of tobacco (MPOWER), enforcing bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship (MPOWER), and raising taxes and prices (MPOWER). These policies are proven to reduce tobacco use. Role of Medical Students IFMSA gives medical students the chance to become part of actions against tobacco. SCOPH and the Tobacco Initiative Project provide the opportunity to become active in tobacco issues by participating in anti-tobacco sessions, trainings, updates or working groups during SCOPH or General Sessions at IFMSA General Assemblies. Regarding prevention of tobacco among young people, medical students can be part of a team of students who have been trained by the tobacco workshop’s trainers to intervene with children at schools. What can be more important

Issue 2 | August 2010


than showing children the healthy way to live? Children are the future of our society! Conclusion The reality is that tobacco kills one person every six seconds. Our view is to change this reality and make our society tobacco free. Lets all give a hand to this purpose and contribute to sensitizing about tobacco!

Tuberculosis Historical View Consumption, phthisis, phthisis pulmonalis, scrofula, wasting disease, white plague, king’s evil, vampirism or Koch’s disease. Many names were given to the monster to which 2 billion people worldwide are exposed, according to the World Health Organization. This makes tuberculosis one of the fastest spreading infectious diseases. The study of tuberculosis dates back to “The Canon of Medicine” written by Ibn Sina in the 1020s. He was the first physician who identified pulmonary tuberculosis as a contagious disease and developed the method of quarantine in order to limit the spread of tuberculosis. The bacillus causing tuberculosis, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, was identified and described on March 24th 1882 by Robert Koch for which he was awarded with the Nobel Prize in 1905. Hopes that the disease could be completely eliminated have been dashed since the rise of multi-drug resistant strains in the 1980s. The following resurgence of tuberculosis resulted in the declaration of a global health emergency by the World Health Organization in 1993. In the 20th century, tuberculosis killed an estimated 100 million people. Epidemiology Annually 8 million people become infected with tuberculosis, and 2 million people worldwide die from the disease. The annual incidence rate varies from 356 per


The SCOPH Manual

Passive smokers deal with these same problems. In fact that passive smoking has been defined as a “group A” carcinogen. They tend to be less open to the severity of the diseases caused by active smoking, but this depends on the frequency of exposure to second hand smoke. Role and Activities of International Organizations Fortunately many actions have been taken to change the situation that exists today, so as to move towards a more hopeful and tobacco free future. The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control is a multilateral treaty with more than 150 Parties. It was the first step in the global fight against the tobacco epidemic with a view of reducing both the supply of and the demand for tobacco. Parties to the WHO Framework Convention have committed to protecting the health of their populace by joining the fight against the tobacco epidemic. To help countries fulfill the promise of the WHO Framework Convention, WHO has established MPOWER, a package of the six most important and effective tobacco control policies: monitoring the epidemic and prevention policies (MPOWER), protecting people from second hand smoke (MPOWER), offering help to people who want to quit (MPOWER), warning everyone about the dangers of tobacco (MPOWER), enforcing bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship (MPOWER), and raising taxes and prices (MPOWER). These policies are proven to reduce tobacco use. Role of Medical Students IFMSA gives medical students the chance to become part of actions against tobacco. SCOPH and the Tobacco Initiative Project provide the opportunity to become active in tobacco issues by participating in anti-tobacco sessions, trainings, updates or working groups during SCOPH or General Sessions at IFMSA General Assemblies. Regarding prevention of tobacco among young people, medical students can be part of a team of students who have been trained by the tobacco workshop’s trainers to intervene with children at schools. What can be more important

Issue 2 | August 2010


According to regional prevalence Asia Pacific & Africa are the most infected re-

gions due to the extremely low socioeconomic standards in these regions. Within the last decades, Europe and America have experienced resurgence of TB, which is related to the strong correlation between TB infection and HIV/AIDS.

Riskfactors •People with low socioeconomic standards exposed to inadequate hygiene standards - slums, overcrowded areas with insufficient ventilation e.g. refugees & Internally Displaced Persons camps. •Inadequate education and poor access to health care •Immune suppression: Malnutrition, Poverty, HIV/AIDS, Drug abuse, Alcoholism

Main Goals of WHO & Other Major Institutions •Raising awareness about the disease and how to control it •Supporting government policies in treating and eradicating the disease through ministries of health and hospitals •Encouraging research towards more updates and understanding of the disease •Inventing new drugs especially towards resistant strains, aiming to control, eradicate, and decrease the burden of TB towards global health and the economy

Medical students’ role What is effective? Medical students can play a major role in their society by raising awareness about the disease. This can be achieved through campaigns and celebrations of World Tuberculosis Day aimed at the public, high risk groups, and medical students future doctors. This is highly effective and represents the real power of medical students. The prevention of the disease is the most powerful tool regarding disease control and eradication. So what can you do? -Organize an awareness campaign -Tell people about TB, the ways to prevent and to treat TB. Use posters, leaflets and flyers. Also try to get more attention by asking the TV or newspapers to report your activities.


The SCOPH Manual

-Advocate against TB -Demand attention and speak as the voice of medical students. Collect signatures and write statements to put pressure on your Ministry of Health and government to take action against TB. Be active on the World TB Day It is celebrated on the 24th of March within IFMSA and all over the world. Share your plans and ideas with SCOPHians from all over the world. What is not effective? Activities like mass X-Ray screenings, treatment of patients, vaccinations or any other specific measure, are not as effective for students to do. Medical students cannot support activities like these as they cost a lot of money and require alot of effort. Moreover, these measures are already implemented in the main plans and duties of health authorities in many countries. What medical students can do though is advocate the importance of this process and encourage authorities to allocate more financial resources for this goal. Important Links:

Issue 2 | August 2010 List of Contributers Ahmad Younes

Jan Kocanda

Aleksandra Herbowska

Jelica Alargic

Alexander Papadopoulos

Jesús Mateos del Nozal

Altynay Satylganova

Karina Larsen

Anca Chelariu Raicu

Kim Le

Anneliese Willems

Knakita Clayton-Johnson

Anthony Gifuni

Kushalinii Ragubathy

Assem Elsokkary

Kyriakos Martakis

Belén Barrera Aranda

Louise Mulcahy

Christopher Pleyer

Magda Kaminska

Constantinos Christodoulidis

Marco Saucedo

Danny Hutley

Marco Zavatta

David Sancho

Mariana Freitas de Aguiar

Eman Ahmed Dashti

Marko Jovic

Erica Pool

Mireia García-Villarrubia Muñoz

Filip Dabrowski

Mohamed S. Abdelsalam

Florian Stigler

Nicole Lescure Diaz

Gemma Owens

Olympia Samoglou

Huzeifa Jabir

Siddhartha Yadav

Iwona Kalinowska

Vladimir Prelevic

Jade Khalife

Yasutaka Konishi



The SCOPH Manual

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 (ACOME) Colombia (ASCEMCOL) Costa Rica (ACEM) Croatia (CroMSIC) Czech Republic (IFMSA CZ) Denmark (IMCC) Ecuador (IFMSA-Ecuador) Egypt (IFMSA-Egypt) El Salvador (IFMSA El Salvador) Estonia (EstMSA) Ethiopia (EMSA) Finland (FiMSIC) France (ANEMF) 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)

Kuwait (KuMSA) Kyrgyzstan (MSPA Kyrgyzstan) Latvia (LaMSA Latvia) Lebanon (LeMSIC) Libya (LMSA) Lithuania (LiMSA) Luxembourg (ALEM) Malta (MMSA) Mexico (IFMSA-Mexico) 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) 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) Sierra Leone (MSA) 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) 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

SCOPH Manual Issue 2  

The 2nd issue (dated August 2010) of the official manual of the Standing Committee on Public Health, IFMSA!

SCOPH Manual Issue 2  

The 2nd issue (dated August 2010) of the official manual of the Standing Committee on Public Health, IFMSA!