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IPSF PARO NEWSLETTER

ISSUE THREE

IN THIS ISSUE Meet your PARO Regional Working Group, subcommittees & member associations!

What has PARO been up to this year? Experiences from the Pan American Regional Symposium, Student Exchange Program & World Health Assembly

Check out our Public Health corner! Updates from AEFRA, Argentina & ANEQyF, Chile


The International Pharmaceutical Students' Federation (IPSF) is one of the world's oldest international student organizations and is structured into five regional offices representing over 313,000 pharmacy students and recent graduates from around the world. Since its inception in 2002, the Pan American Regional Office (PARO) continues to unify the Americas in IPSF's vision and currently consists of ten member associations from the region. Please note that the articles contained in this publication solely reflect the views of the authors themselves and not those of the Federation.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

1 LETTER FROM THE REGIONAL MEDIA AND PUBLICATIONS OFFICER 2 PARO REGIONAL WORKING GROUP, SUBCOMMITTEES & MEMBER ASSOCIATIONS 4 CHAIRPERSON’S ADDRESS 8 MOMENTS FROM THE 10TH PARS MOMENTS

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HOW PARO ENABLED ME TO BROADEN MY PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT TO SINGAPORE

11 PUBLIC HEALTH CORNER Zika Awareness Campaign

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The Pharmaceutical 12 Chemist of a Country called Chile World Refugee Day: 14 Record Number of Refugees and Pokémon Go

17 THE FOURTH ARGENTINIAN PHARMACY STUDENT CONGRESS: BROADENING THE VISION OF THE ROLE OF PHARMACISTS IN HEALTH CARE 18 THE 69TH WORLD HEALTH ASSEMBLY


IPSF PARO NEWSLETTER, ISSUE 3 Dear readers, colleagues, and friends, It is my absolute pleasure to introduce the third issue of the PARO newsletter! I

truly hope that you’ll be able to learn about what the PARO Regional Working Group (RWG) has achieved throughout the year as well as discover how our member associations have been agents of change in their own inspiring, creative, and awesome ways.

In terms of media and publications, this year, PARO has utilized several methods to increase our online presence. Through the simultaneous use of our social media accounts and our official website, as well as various multimedia, including infographics, videos, quizzes, and photo publications, we have been able to provide the spotlight that our projects so rightfully deserve. This newsletter combines efforts from the PARO RWG, PARO subcommittee members, and member associations (even a potential member!) from across the Pan American region that ultimately render this edition rich in colourful ideas and honest experiences. This project would have been nearly impossible to complete if it weren’t for Tiffany, member of the PARO Media and Promotional subcommittee, who played a pivotal role in all aspects of the newsletter creation. I’d also like to personally thank everyone who submitted their contributions and photos as well as those involved in the review process for their hard work and for their tolerance of my many emails. Finally, I’d like to extend my gratitude to you, currently taking the time to read this edition of the newsletter, for your interest in discovering the projects and achievements within PARO during the past year. Cheers to a pleasant read! Viva la pharmacie!

Matthew Hung, IPSF PARO Regional Media and Publications Officer 2015-2016

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IPSF PARO NEWSLETTER, ISSUE 3

IPSF PARO Regional Working Group 2015-2016 Mr. Jorge Schlöttke (Argentina) IPSF PARO Chairperson

Ms. Stephanie Martinez (USA) Secretary

Mr. Matthew Hung (Canada) Regional Media and Publications Officer

Mr. Diego Funes (Argentina) Regional Relations Officer

Mr. Luis Mejía Ruiz (Colombia) Chairperson of the 10th PARS

Ms. Jessica Rodiles (USA) Regional Projects Officer

Mr. Angel Acosta (USA) Immediate Past IPSF PARO Chairperson

IPSF PARO Subcommittees 2015-2016 Translation

Membership Promotion

Mr. Eric Kao (USA) Mr. Victor Silva (Brazil) Ms. Julia Santos (Brazil) Ms. Marianelly Zavaleta (Peru)

Mr. Juani Flores (Argentina) Mr. Matthew Hung (Canada) Mr. Victor Silva (Brazil) Ms. Kelly Vasquez Quispe (Peru)

Public Health

Website Development

Ms. Vanessa D’amaro Juodinis (Brazil) Mr. Matthew Hung (Canada) Mr. Eric Kao (USA) Ms. Vanessa Vieira dos Santos (Brazil)

Ms. Sara DiTursi (USA) Media and Promotions Ms. Tiffany Lee (USA)

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Member Associations of the IPSF Pan American Regional Office

FECOEF, Costa Rica (Full Member)

ACEF, Peru (Member in Association)

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AEFRA, Argentina (Full Member)

CACIF, Brazil (Member in Association)

CAPSI, Canada (Full Member)

ACEQF, Colombia (Member in Association)

AGEQF-BO, El Salvador (Member in Association)

AEFB-SM, Peru (Member in Association)

TOFARMEX, Mexico (Member in Association)

APhA-ASP, USA (Full Member)


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Chairperson’s Address by Jorge Schlöttke, IPSF PARO Chairperson 2015-2016

With this opportunity, I would like to

update everyone on the current situation of our region and thank everyone that contributed to turning our dreams and objectives into reality.

Ecuador, and Bolivia. During the following year, the PARO RWG will continue collaborating with them and providing assistance in the process to becoming IPSF members.

Our mandate began on October 1st, and one of the main goals of the the PARO Regional Working Group (RWG) was to pursue the growth of our region, which we proudly achieved. First, we were able to increase PARO membership. Following the decisions of the General Assembly at the 62nd World Congress in Harare, Zimbabwe, we now have two new PARO members. Let’s congratulate AGEQF-BO, El Salvador and TOFARMEX, Mexico on joining the IPSF family! The complete list of current PARO members and their status is presented in the previous pages.

Second, this year, we were able to promote inter-association cooperation. In fact, during the 12th IPSF PARO Regional Assembly in Colombia, we strengthened our bonds of solidarity and feelings of fraternity and collaboration between associations. This inter-association cooperation also falls within our other goal to further encouraging and increasing attendance for PARS. We are happy that PARS was able to welcome attendees from across the region, and we are truly looking forward to the success of the Symposiums to come. We have additionally released the call for the host of PARS 2018 early and are currently helping interested countries in their bid to host future editions of the Symposium.

Furthermore, in terms of potential members, Chile (ANEQyF) sent two official delegates to 10th IPSF Pan American Regional Symposium (PARS) and have already began promoting IPSF in their country. They are aiming to become an IPSF member next year. PARO has also established contact with several potential members during this period including Paraguay, Haiti,

Third, one of our greatest achievements this year was improving PARO projects. The PARO RWG and their respective subcommittees continued developing and promoting PARO focus projects that garnered attention and raised awareness on a variety of topics and issues. For future PARO projects, we are looking into collaborating with external partners. We have recently become official partners with REDSAF (South

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American Network of Pharmaceutical Care) to begin offering free online training programs to all members. This year, the 12th IPSF PARO Regional Assembly named our main regional award the Carlos Juarez Award. I am incredibly thrilled to dedicate this award to such an amazing individual. Mr. Carlos “Desmadre” Juarez is a pharmacist from Mexico who has brought the IPSF spirit to Latin America since 1973. He has been involved in many projects, such as organizing the first IPSF World Congress in the Americas and attending IPSF events across the world, and he continues to assist associations in the region to

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advocate for the pharmaceutical profession. I am proud that our regional award now has a distinguished name in honor of such an inspiring pharmacist. To finish, I want invite you all to participate in the 11th IPSF PARS that will be hosted in Ottawa, Canada in July 2017. Having greater attendance of PARO members from across the region will not only help our region grow as we become more open-minded colleagues, but, more importantly, as a even more connected family. Don’t wait for things to happen, make things happen. Viva la pharmacie.


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How PARO Enabled Me to Broaden My Professional Development to Singapore by Mudit Verma (APhA-ASP, USA)

I embarked on numerous wonderful IPSF experiences starting from the 2015 edition of the Pan American Regional Symposium (PARS) in San Luis, Argentina. At PARS 2015, I was a rising second year student pharmacist from the University of Maryland, Baltimore, and I served as a voting delegate for APhA-ASP, USA. I had a tremendously fulfilling experience meeting several student pharmacists and pharmacists across the Pan American region and beyond, and I am thankful for the Asociación de Estudiantes de Farmacia de la República Argentina (AEFRA) for being a wonderful host. One of my passions has always been cultural competence, and immersing myself in Argentinian culture throughout my stay has broadened my repertoire of professional cross-cultural experiences. Furthermore,

I embarked on numerous wonderful IPSF experiences starting from the 2015 edition of the Pan American Regional Symposium (PARS) in San Luis, Argentina. At PARS 2015, I was a rising second-year student pharmacist from the University of Maryland, Baltimore, and I served as a voting delegate for APhA-ASP, USA. I had a tremendously fulfilling experience meeting several student pharmacists and pharmacists across the Pan American region and beyond, and I am thankful for the Asociación de Estudiantes Moreover, I learned how pharmacy is practiced and what regulations are implemented in different countries throughout the Pan American region. I also discovered how the pharmaceutical profession and pharmacy education manifest themselves according to the different nations of our region. By

I widened my networking capacity and communication skills by engaging with fellow student pharmacists and pharmacists in a language I am not yet fluent in. my PARS experience tested my linguistic abilities in Spanish since the majority of the events and activities were primarily facilitated in Spanish. I widened my networking capacity and communication skills by engaging with fellow student pharmacists and pharmacists in a language I am not yet fluent in.

interacting with student pharmacists from other countries, I was able to further contextualize the American healthcare and healthcare education system. My PARS experience served as a stepping stone to subsequent IPSF

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experiences. During the Symposium, I met pharmacy students from Singapore. As India was the only country I had previously visited in Asia, I therefore envisioned expanding my professional experiences by pursuing an IPSF Student Exchange Program (SEP) in Singapore, a country that exudes tremendous diversity and prestige. In fact, my SEP took place at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH) in Yishun, Singapore. At KTPH, I immersed myself in a variety of pharmacy settings. I prepared medication orders and counseled on OTC items in the

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outpatient setting, reviewed clinical guidelines and prepared recommendations for interventions at inpatient rounds, and learned the nuances in the Singaporean healthcare system all throughout the program. Thus, the PARO community has motivated me to continue expanding my professional horizons by reaching out to students of multiple nationalities and cultures. Ultimately, my PARS experience has primed me to globalize my career vision throughout my time in pharmacy school.


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Moments from the 10TH Pan American Regional Symposium (PARS) in Barranquilla, Colombia

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Zika Awareness Campaign

by Margareth Charry (ACEQF, Colombia) Zika virus disease (Zika) is a disease caused by the Zika virus, which is spread to people through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. There has been increasing concern of Zika in the Pan American Region, with several cases having been confirmed by the Minister of Health of our country. In response to this situation, the Asociación Colombiana de Estudiantes de Química Farmacéutica (ACEQF) developed an activity to improve knowledge regarding the Zika virus. This activity took place in an at-risk community in the outskirts of a city called Barranquilla, specifically addressing pregnant women in the community. The awareness campaign took place in Soledad Atlántico, part of the Metropolitan northwest area of Barranquilla by means of the Hospital Materno Infantil de Soledad (Soledad Maternal Infantile Hospital). We provided pregnant women with comprehensive information about the virus, such as methods of disease

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PUBLIC HEALTH

prevention and infection control, as well as the necessary steps to be taken if infected. The campaign was divided into two parts. First, students had a training workshop with lectures about the virus to clarify any confusion and myths about the disease. Thereafter, students dedicated the following three days to the awareness campaign. We shared information through leaflets and flyers designed by our association, and we spoke with pregnant women directly about Zika while providing them with extra information about infection treatment. As a result, we reached 2,250 pregnant women in the Hospital Materno Infantil de Soledad, and we were able to give out 570 copies of printed informative material (leaflets and flyers) and interviewed more than 60 individuals. By sharing experiences and ideas through concrete projects, such as our Zika awareness campaign, pharmacy students can work towards reaching a large populations and providing valuable information.


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PUBLIC HEALTH

The Pharmaceutical Chemist of a Country Called Chile by Camila Figueroa & Alejandra Guerrero (ANEQyF, Chile)

Chile and Chileans are full of distinctive features: 9 out of 10 natural disasters seem to prefer Chile, we change the time on our clocks twice a year, we’re not quite sure of the exact number of our population, and we talk so quickly that sometimes, we can’t even understand ourselves. However, it is without a doubt that our main characteristic is that everything is either said or done in diminutives: we wait a little bit, drink a little wine, dance a little bit, etc. Nevertheless, the role of a pharmaceutical chemist in the country is very different from this custom, demonstrating that we are neither small nor diminutive. The topic of medications always stirs up controversies, and thus decisions regarding this topic must be well thought out, clear, and based on documented, reliable, and unbiased

field of medications by educating the public, increasing professional and students’ awareness, and establishing a voice in legislative government circles. Today, the College of Pharmaceutical Chemists and Biochemists of Chile is committing to moving towards a comprehensive health care model with, as its basis, three fundamental pillars: access, quality, and the rational use of medications. This vision is exemplified by the College’s active participation in proposing amendments, suggestions, and discussions in the Chilean Senate on legislation surrounding medication. This activism aims to guarantee the timely access to safe medicines, of high quality, and at fair prices, for the public. In this context, it has been possible to intervene in relevant issues such as medications being sold in establishments called "gondolas", in

As students of chemistry and pharmacy through (our association), we are equipped with a strong voice in the discussion of public health policies. research in science and technology. For this reason, the most suitable professional to handle medications is undoubtedly the pharmaceutical chemist. In Chile, the College of Pharmaceutical Chemists and Biochemists of Chile (Colegio de Químicos Farmacéuticos y Bioquímicos) has sought to actively participate in the

pharmacies and supermarkets, bioequivalence concerns, and supply problems. As students of chemistry and pharmacy through the Asociación Nacional de Estudiantes de Química y Farmacia (ANEQyF), we are equipped with a strong voice in the discussion of public

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health policies. This initiative enables us to actively engage in legislative advocacy and create the public health policies that we deem as most suitable for our country. Regardless of political affiliation, we are able to work and contribute to health decisions, including creating a health care model where the expert in medications is an essential professional to our public health system. In addition, recently the College of Pharmaceutical Chemists and Biochemists in collaboration with the College of Dental Surgeons of Chile mobilized students and representatives of professional colleges in the field of health to collaborate and advocate for their campaign with the well-fitting slogan "Health Is a Right�. Professionals of the Colleges of Dental Surgeons, Pharmaceutical Chemists and Biochemists, Doctors and Psychologists

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agreed to work together to maintain health as a top priority in the national agenda. From the electron to the molecule, the molecule to the human body, and from the pharmacy to Congress, we need to understand first hand the necessary basis of things to reinvest such knowledge in larger and greater things in the world. This applies to pharmaceutical chemists in Chile and to the world as well. We are increasingly prepared to assert ourselves and demonstrate that we are fully qualified to practice pharmacy from the act of counselling a patient at the pharmacy to discussing legislation in the Senate and advocating for change, ultimately allowing us to help the entire population. Let's hold hands, share our ideas, and


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World Refugee Day: Record Number of Refugees and Pokémon Go by Nathalia Vieira dos Santos (CACIF, Brazil)

World Refugee Day is observed annually on June 20, but there were not many reasons to rejoice this year. This is due mostly in part by the fact that in 2016 the number of refugees is the highest ever recorded, even surpassing numbers from World War II as reported by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Despite the alarming numbers, this issue continues to receive insufficient attention from many media outlets, governments, and general population. According to the UNHCR, the total number of refugees at the end of 2015 reached approximately 65.4 million or one in every 113 people on the planet. Furthermore, in 2005, the UNHCR recorded an average of six people displaced every minute. Today, that figure is 24 people per minute, four times higher. Out of the total number of refugees, 12.4 million were displaced by new conflicts and persecutions in 2015. The majority of refugees (40.8 million) remained within their countries, but 21.4 million had to leave their nation, and 3.2 million applied for asylum. The Global Trends report developed by the UNHCR provided other information about the refugees, such as the main countries of origin and the reasons for displacement. Among the countries listed in the report, Syria appeared as the main source of refugees (4.9 million), followed by Afghanistan (2.7 million) and Somalia (1.1 million).

Regarding internal displacement, Colombia leads the charts (6.9 million), followed by Syria (6.6 million), Iraq (4.4 million), and Yemen (2.5 million, representing 9% of its entire population).

From Saif Tahhan’s “Syria GO” campaign, this image depicts a fully constructed, cartoon house among building remains from the affected region. Photo by Saif Tahhan.

The report also suggests reasons for the increase in the rate of forced displacement, like the presence of longterm conflicts, such as the strife in Afghanistan, new and growing situations, such as the conflicts in Syria and South Sudan, and the slow response in addressing the situations involving refugees and internally displaced persons. However, despite record numbers in forced displacement, the refugee issue has not received much attention. Last year, there was great commotion in the

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photos of a drowned 3-year old Syrian boy, Alan Kurdi, went viral on the internet. He and his family were Syrian refugees trying to reach Europe amid the European refugee crisis, sparking great commotion and controversy. Nevertheless, the unrest was short-lived, and soon the media had other more marketable stories to sell. Even though there are still hundreds of individuals like Alan in peril in the world, the Syrian conflict is no longer considered fresh or interesting to the point where many media outlets are now talking about the new app of the moment, Pokémon GO. Pokémon GO is a free-to-play, locationbased augmented reality game that allows users to track and capture Pokémon (pocket monsters, from famous games and anime series from Nintendo®) embedded in the landscape around them. Don’t get me wrong, being a 90’s kid myself, I love the idea of “catching ‘em all” and becoming a “Pokémon master”. However, it is troubling when virtual monsters can so easily steal the limelight while there are alarmingly high numbers of refugees and while new wars are leaving millions of individuals homeless at this very moment. Considering the disregard for the issues involving the refugees and the stellar popularity of Pokémon GO, the Revolutionary Forces of the Syria Media Office (the media unit of the Syrian National Coalition, a league opposed to the factions of the civil war) organized a social media campaign in which children held pictures of Pokémons next to destroyed landmarks in the country with “Save Me” messages.

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The images are intentionally heartbreaking and shocking, hoping to draw attention to the severity of the struggle Syrians are going through. The images show children holding messages, such as “I live in Kafr Nabl, the Aleppo countryside. Come catch me," and "I am a Pokémon at Idlib in Syria, would you please come and save me?". A spokesperson for the Revolutionary Forces of Syria (RFS) told The Independent that they decided to publish theses images to highlight the suffering of the Syrian people from the bombing of the forces of order and AirAssad.

Photo of a Syrian boy holding an image of a Pokémon accompanied by the message “I am from Kafer-Naboda, Syria, come and save me!”. Photo by the RFS Media Office.

More than 12,000 children have been killed during the conflict in Syria, and 2.3 million have been affected. “Syrian children are victims of the war and the brutal and indiscriminate attacks that are carried out on a daily basis […]. The Syrian children are paying the price for the international inaction to stop the Assad killing machine”, said Mahmod Abo Bakr (RFS Social Media Editor) to NBC News. Saif Aldeen Tahhan, a designer and


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Pokémon GO’s popularity to highlight the plight of people stuck in the 5-year conflict in Syria. In his “Syria GO” campaign, Tahhan took real photos from the Syrian Civil War (demolished buildings, airstrikes, abandoned houses), and instead of Pokémon, added cartoon versions of objects

From Saif Tahhan’s “Syria GO” campaign, this image shows a real photo from the Syrian war with added cartoon versions of objects that are needed by Syrians, rather than Pokémon. Photo by Saif Tahhan.

that are much needed by Syrians. “A child in Syria would be looking for schoolbooks or a couple of abandoned toys,” he explained, “People on social media talk about Pokémon all the time so I created these images to draw attention to suffering during the war and what Syrians are really searching for.” In a desperate situation with no sign of improvement, refugees are using their creativity to try to bring awareness to their plight. However, it remains to be seen whether these campaigns will have any impact in their cause, with many individuals having divided opinions on the matter. Nevertheless, despite these troubling times, we can do our part by bringing awareness to the refugees’ situation not only by volunteering and donating to humanitarian causes, but also by voting and electing officials committed to helping those in need.

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The Fourth Argentinian Pharmacy Student Congress: Broadening the Vision of the Role of Pharmacists in Health Care

by Ezequiel Bertiche (AEFRA, Argentina)

The fourth Argentinian Pharmacy Student Congress is open to all pharmacy students and to those studying in related health care fields as well as those curious about the topics presented during the congress, which will emphasize how the pharmacist's role in health education extends beyond simple pharmacological treatment. Although the primary responsibility of pharmacists is to promote the safe use of medicines, pharmacists must also take part in educating patients on disease prevention and health promotion. As such, this congress aims to provide comprehensive information from different pharmacists to shed light on the fact that our profession does not solely consist of dispensing medicines. During Congress, students from universities from across the country will have the opportunity to meet other

2016. The general objectives of the congress are, first, to showcase the vast possibilities within the pharmaceutical profession, with a focus on professional opportunities on the national level. The second aim is to encourage pharmacy students as future leaders and help them acquire the relevant experience, tools, teamwork skills and educational event organization abilities. Finally, the third objective is to help pharmacy students consolidate their pharmaceutical knowledge, as they further along in their academic and professional career, which will be beneficial even beyond their graduation. We welcome pharmacy students not only from Argentina to participate in our

Although the primary responsibility of pharmacists is to promote the safe use of medicines, pharmacists must also take part in educating patients on disease prevention and health promotion. students as future health professionals, share their distinctive viewpoints and regional issues, and discuss various aspects of the pharmaceutical profession. This congress will take place at the Universidad Nacional La Rioja in La Rioja, Argentina from October 6 to 8,

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upcoming Congress, but also pharmacy students from all PARO members and beyond to share and discover more about our profession.


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The 69th World Health Assembly

by Matthew Hung, IPSF PARO Regional Media and Publications Officer 2015-2016 & Jessica Rodiles, IPSF PARO Regional Projects Officer 2015-2016 The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) and is regarded by many as the leading authority in international health. At its forefront is Dr. Margaret Chan, the Director-General. Each year, the WHO reunites at the World Health Assembly (WHA), the WHO’s decisionmaking body, in Geneva, Switzerland, with member states, stakeholders, industry-leading experts, and nongovernmental organizations (NGO) coming together for several days of discussion and debates. For the WHA, IPSF sends a delegation composed of Executive Committee members and chosen delegation members from around the world to advocate for pharmacy students in public health affairs. In fact, IPSF is one of the only student-led organizations to maintain official NGO relations with the WHO. Prior to the WHA, IPSF delegates are expected to attend online meetings and complete various tasks as well as provide feedback regarding their experience after the event. This year for the 69th WHA, delegates had the opportunity to attend committee sessions and side events, interact with member states’ representatives, help organize their very own IPSF side event on counterfeit medications, and present three policy statements on the health workforce, the global vaccine action plan, access to essential medicines. A statement on

counterfeit medications was also presented in collaboration with Fight the Fakes. Jessica and Matthew were among approximately thirty delegates in Geneva this year and were both thrilled at the opportunity to represent IPSF at this prestigious event. Jessica first learned about the WHA opportunity through IPSF when she was in Porto, Portugal in 2014 at the 60th IPSF World Congress. “From that moment, I told myself that if I ever had the opportunity, I had to apply and go to WHA. I wanted to see how pharmacy students could get involved in the decision-making process that affects health globally.” The WHA was, for Matthew, one of the first things he ever learned about involvement opportunities within IPSF.

In Geneva, IPSF delegates learned about the positions of various member states on the many agenda topics, ranging from non-communicable diseases to precarious health conditions in certain areas of the world. What particularly

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contact delegates had to such important players in the field of global health diplomacy. “In some committee sessions, we would be sitting several seats away from health ministers, Dr. Chan, Director-General, or important players in global health, such as Dr. Richard Horton, Editor-in-Chief of The Lancet. It was amazing to hear them speak live so passionately about public health issues.” Jessica shared this proximity with these important players, claiming that she was terrified at the opportunity to step out of her shell and interact with stakeholders and member state representatives, but proud to have overcome the challenge.

Delegates also attended various side events and workshops throughout the week. For example, Jessica went to one meeting with other student organizations and a WHO representative for the antimicrobial resistance campaign. They discussed new ways in which WHO materials could be better utilized to raise more awareness about the issue and reach larger audiences. Ana Duarte, IPSF Chairperson of Public Health, and Janet Mirzaei, IPSF

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Chairperson of the Asia Pacific Regional Office, had the opportunity to present policy statements on behalf of IPSF. They articulately advocated for the role of pharmacy students and pharmacists in critical health care topics. Nevertheless, pharmacists were not predominantly perceived as parts of solutions to complex public health issues. In fact, Jessica’s experience at the WHA made her realize the growth still needed within the field of global health diplomacy. “There is still much to be done and incorporated,” she tells, “Pharmacists are first line health care providers that are the most accessible in the community, but some of the least utilized, and it will take the WHO to acknowledge that fact to include us, pharmacists, as health professionals with the potential to make significant changes. It will take a lot of work, but by participating at events, such as the WHA, and by advocating for our profession, it can be done.” Other than the delegates’ involvement in diplomatic affairs, the WHA is also an opportunity for delegates to interact with their fellow IPSF colleagues. “One of my best experiences from Geneva is the bonds I have created with likeminded individuals from across the world,” relates Matthew, “From taking the tram to the Palais des Nations every morning to our late-night dinners at quaint restaurants and street food festivals, I am so happy to now call all of the delegates my friends.” If she could choose one single word to describe her WHA experience, Jessica would choose the word “rewarding”. She says that she heard amazing things


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something new every day from the speakers and the delegation members. In counterpart, Matthew chose “awe” because he was in awe of being at the actual World Health Assembly with such important players in the healthcare field. He was in awe at the experience that reunited pharmacy students, like him, from all four corners of the world.

To all interested delegates, the call for applicants for the IPSF delegation at the World Health Assembly is usually released in the winter/spring. To be apart of this year’s delegation, delegates had to send their curriculum vitae as

well as fill out an application form with various questions. All IPSF members are highly encouraged to apply for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Jessica’s words of advice to future applicants are to be prepared to be challenged. “Take this as an opportunity to learn as much as you can, and, most importantly, don’t worry about feeling a little overwhelmed at certain points with the work and scheduling.” Matthew urges future applicants to be inspired, motivated, and ready to put in the required efforts to fully benefit from the one of a kind experience.

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IPSF PARO newsletter, issue #3  
IPSF PARO newsletter, issue #3  
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