KURDISTAN MEDICAL STUDENTS MAGAZINE 5TH ISSUE 2018 - 2019
CONTENT Director’s Speech President’s Speech What’s IFMSA What’s IFMSA Kurdistan SCOPH Health Insurance As Beautiful As The Moon Orthokeratology SCOME The New Curriculum How to Choose a Speciality Biomimicry SCORA A Culture of Cutting: Female Genital Mutilation in Kurdistan SCORP Hiding Behind a Personality Medicine on the Battleﬁeld SCOPE Naomi and Lona’s SCOPE Experience SCORE My Research Exchange: Tips and Tricks on How to Have a Good Trip UoS students highlight the importance of undergraduate research in the Kurdistan region
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Niga M Hassan KMS Board Director 2018-2019
Our dearest reader, We are proud and delighted to welcome you to the ﬁfth issue of the KMS magazine, as board director being a part of the magazine's evolving has been a privilege. The herculean task of editing this magazine would not have been possible without the sincere support and work of our passionate and enthusiastic editorial board members. In this issue we tried to make the magazine as creative as it could be and I am sure the enthusiastic write ups of our writers and the creative ideas of our editorial board members are indubitably suﬃcient to hold the interest and admiration of our readers. It gives us immense pleasure to ensure that this issue has suﬃciently accomplished its objectives, as in this issue like the previous issues we highlighted and mentioned the best projects of the year for each committee. But newly in this issue we also appreciated the work of our dedicated members by adding "member of the year" which has been chosen by the national oﬃcers of each committee, so watch out surprisingly you might be one of them. And only in this issue we tried to engage our college doctors by asking them to write about topics that we thought could be interesting for their students. I take the opportunity to thank all the contributors as their contribution is the reason that makes this magazine endearing with our readers. Finally, we really hope you enjoy reading this issue as much as we have enjoyed making it.
Mustafa Hushyar KMS Board Member
Payan Payjor KMS Board Member
Miray Yousif KMS Board Member
Shewaz Tariq IFMSA-Kurdistan President 2018-2019
PRESIDENT’S SPEECH Hello everyone, this is Shewaz, president of IFMSA-Kurdistan for the 2018-2019 term. I’m very happy to start this year’s issue off with a brief intro on IFMSA and my personal experiences. IFMSA-Kurdistan is a part of IFMSA-International, and it is an organization for medical students all around the world. The purpose of the organization is to raise health awareness in the community and teach medical values to students. In 2009, IFMSA-Kurdistan was founded in Erbil. I would like to start by brieﬂy introducing the IFMSA structure. IFMSA ﬁrst consists of the Executive Board (EB), which comprises the President, and Vice Presidents of External Affairs, Members, Activities and Finance. After EB comes the Team of Oﬃcials (TO), who are National Oﬃcers and Support Division Directors. Then we have the Local Committees (LC), which are IFMSA’s subdivisions in each city. Each city can have one LC and now we have 4 LCs. We then have Standing Committees: SCOPE, SCOME, SCORA, SCOPH, SCORE, and SCORP. Moving on, we have the international events IFMSA holds every year. The most important of these is the GA (General Assembly), during which every NMO will gather in the country where the GA is held (which is twice a year) and every NMO has 16 seats. Going to the GA empowers your membership each year, but it’s not just that it also lifts your spirit! When you’re at GA, you’re not just a local member, you actually make a difference. We have a quote for it here; “Think globally, act locally.” Now let’s talk a little about myself! When I ran for presidency, my motives were mainly to maintain the excellence here at IFMSA-Kurdistan. You see, I had a vision to make IFMSA better, and IFMSA-Kurdistan always has a special spot in my heart. I believed in my vision. I believed in the success that was bound to happen. I also knew that I needed to give something back to IFMSA, for all it has given me.
Another very strong motive I had was to break the stigma that tells girls they can’t achieve greatness. When I was running for presidency, it had never occurred that IFMSA-Kurdistan had an oﬃcially elected female president! Females rarely ran for presidency here, and I really wanted to show, through my actions, how ambitions can pay off. I wanted to empower girls in my university to step up, and work shoulder to shoulder with the guys! Continuing with the changes made this term, IFMSA took a giant leap this year, and when you take the lead, you have multiple things you need to take care of and ﬁx, especially in the bylaws, which was our most notable improvement, and we did that with utmost perfection. Another notable highlight was our nomination to host the EMR 16 (Eastern Mediterranean Regional Meeting: which is the annual gathering of IFMSA countries in Middle East region, at which we have been actively participating). Although we did not get to host the EMR 16, it was the ﬁrst time IFMSA-Kurdistan steps forward to host an international event. This was a great start in globalizing IFMSA-Kurdistan and an opener for us to apply for many more international events and positions. Can I end this without giving a closing speech? It really is very hard. IFMSA has given so much to me, and I will deﬁnitely stay on as an alumnus after my graduation, and pass on what I have learned in my years. Lastly, for the members, please take every opportunity you get, with IFMSA or in life. Don’t let the downsides get to you, experience everything and don’t let anyone decide for you. If you want a second home and family, IFMSA is where you go!
President of IFMSA Kurdistan 2018 - 2019 Shewaz Tariq
WHATâ€™S IFMSA The International Federation of Medical Studentsâ€™ Associations (IFMSA), founded in 1951, is one of the worlds oldest and largest student-run organisations. It represents, connects and engages every day with an inspiring and engaging network of 1.3 million medical students from 133 NMOs in 123 countries around the globe.
IFMSA KURDISTAN IFMSA Kurdistan is a nongovernmental organization in Kurdistan Federal Region of Iraq and is also a national member organization of the International Federation of Medical Students' Associations since August 2010, representing medical students in Hawler, Sulemany, koya and Duhok.
IFMSA Kurdistan Family
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, health promotion and education, activities.
Sima Ibrahim National OďŹƒcer
world diabetes day campaign. Under the slogan of Diabetes is a disease of all age groups we arranged a campaign from 14th-30th of November of 2018 which took place in 5 malls,1 park,4 maternity hospitals and 10 schools and reached >2000 people from all backgrounds and ages.During the campaign we did basic checkups of RBS,BP and BMI.And gave the unprivileged patients glucometer in addition to brochures and booklets.We spread awareness on the topic among the public,school students as well as pregnant females regarding DM,risk factors, management and screening. We did 2 promotional videos and Tv interview during the campaign.100 members were trained eďŹƒciently to deliver and achieve the goal.
BEST MEMBER OF SCOPH Jeen Sagvan Duhok LC
Health Inssurance Dr Shwan Othman Amin, CARDIOLOGIST Health insurance is a ﬁnancial agreement for the payment of health-related costs made between an individual or group of individuals and an insurance company. The health insurance system is regarded as one of the most prestigious health care system invented to provide the best possible care to patients. Through this system, patients need to pay a membership fee according to their ﬁnancial capabilities regulated by law. In return, the health insurance covers patients treatment and health related costs by directly paying the health facilities providing the health service to patients. The expected main advantage of this system is, in addition to patient beneﬁt of having a secured health service cover , there will be more likely additionally a substantial ﬁnancial proﬁt to Insurance companies. This is due to the reason that younger healthier population comprising the majority our society like most of middle east countries and less elderly people, encouraging health insurance companies to offer health care cover.
In addition, this will enhance patient-doctors relationship and trust because patient will not incur the cost of health service which will be provided by health insurance companies. Therefore, the insurance companies will be directly dealing with health care providers including Hospitals and doctors to avoid any unnecessary investigations, treatments and surgical procedures. Subsequently, this will minimise ﬁnancial incentive that may interfere or affect the quality of or variability in health care provided. Implementing health care insurance system will include all social classes in particular will be more advantageous to lower and middle class people . Subsequently people of poor background and low income will not require to seek desperately help with unaffordable medical treatment related costs from other non governmental sectors such as charity organisations , media and social networks. This will hopefully provide the right to health for everybody in our society to maintain patients dignity and minimise patient suffering in particular those from poor background and underprivileged .
As beautiful as the moon Zeineb Adel Fleih, HMU, Pharmacy, 4th stage “Doctor, please give me some Dexon. Or just anything that swells up the face. I need it for my daughter...she’s getting married in a week!” Being cheap and easily obtainable without medical prescription, Dexon is the most popular cortisone here in Kurdistan and Iraq. Too many female patients go to pharmacies in desperate need for Dexon tablets after hearing that this drug helps in weight gaining and makes look puffy and healthy. Particularly, the face swells up in a certain way, which results more attractive –a phenomenon known as “moon face”. However, this effect fades away within a few weeks after stopping Dexon, making the poor bride take more and more doses, developing life threatening conditions, such as adrenal insuﬃciency. Let’s start from the beginning: what’s Dexon? Dexon (scientiﬁc name: Dexamethasone) is a type of glucocorticosteroid medication, glucocorticoids for short. Glucocorticoid drugs are the synthetic forms of cortisone, a hormone naturally made by our adrenal glands. They work as anti-inﬂammatory drugs, thus treating many conditions caused by a faulty immune system like severe allergies, lupus, psoriasis, arthitis, rheumatic problems and breathing disorders, like asthma, among others. However if abused, like all cortisones, Dexon can cause several problems. The degree of severity depends on the dose: the higher the daily dose and the longer the period of time for which the drug is taken, the greater the risk of side effects. These include increased risk of infection (due to overly suppressed immunity), osteoporosis, insomnia, and of course weight gain.
This is due to its effect on the body’s electrolyte and water balances, and on its metabolism as well (the way the body uses and stores carbs, fats and proteins). Glucocorticoids cause weight gain by increasing appetite, developing ﬂuid retention and changing the places where body stores fat. Fat gets redistributed especially in the abdomen, face and neck, hence the term “moon face”. Furthermore, blood and intraocular pressure increase as a result of the ﬂuid retention. Usually, after the couple gets happily married, the bride sharply cuts off her use of Dexon, falling into the so-called “steroid withdrawal syndrome”. A rapid withdrawal of steroids may provoke adrenal insuﬃciency, joint pain, muscle stiffness and tenderness, or fever, especially if they’ve been taken for more than two weeks. Moreover, the girl’s “beautiful” puffy and good-looking body gives place to a ﬂaccid one –not exactly what she was hoping for. This issue is not limited only to our country. It’s spread in many other Middle Easter countries like Egypt, Qatar, Kuwait and Sudan. Dexamethasone is commonly used in Bangladesh too, where young, malnourished prostitutes are forced to take this medication every day even if they don’t need it, just to look pretty, healthier and attract more customers. So does it really worth it to damage our body to this point just to look “good”? The fault also lies on the pharmacists, who don’t explain to their customers the danger of taking Dexon tablets just like candies. If a patient really wants to become good looking and attractive, there are many other healthier ways to do it, including a balanced diet, regular exercise and out-doors activities, which are all much more productive and eﬃcient than just swallowing pills and damaging our delicately balanced body.
Orthokeratology Dindar H. hama, UoS, Medicine, 1st stage Have you ever wandered to get rid of your eye glasses, orthokeratology may be the solution, all you need to put the lenses during night and enjoy a sharp vision during the next day. Orthokeratology (ortho-k) overnight vision correction, corneal refractive therapy and CRT), refers to the use of gas permeable contact lenses that temporarily reshape the cornea to reduce refractive errors such as primarily myopia, hyperopia, presbyopia (condition associated with the aging) and astigmatism. For best results, patients are encouraged to wear their lenses while sleeping every night. Ortho-K lenses can also be worn during the day, but because they are reshaping the cornea, they are less comfortable for daytime wear than other types of contacts. Orthokeratology is not originally as popular as contact lenses and LASIK eye surgery because of its unpredictable outcomes. It can take two weeks or longer to attain the maximum vision correction from orthokeratology, although some people experience signiďŹ cant vision improvement in days.
In clinical studies of Food and Drug Administration(FDA)-approved ortho-k lenses, most patients achieved 20/40(half) vision or better. The main disadvantage of the technique is the cost, orthokeratology prices in the U.S. generally range from $1,000 to $2,000 (for both eyes). Orthokeratology is not right for everyone, ortho-k can correct mild to moderate degrees of nearsightedness and mild astigmatism. Patients with particularly heavy myopia or astigmatism are still beyond the capability of this technology. However, it is also useful in this case(heavy myopia) for achieving a better outcome with LASIK procedure. Continuous wear contact lenses and laser eye surgery are safe for the overwhelming majority of patients, but each carries some risk. Wearing contact lenses increases your risk of eye infection, and this risk increases signiďŹ cantly if you wear your contacts when sleeping. Orthokeratology is the best non-surgical procedure and maybe, just maybe, the best alternative to keep wearing those eyeglasses!
References: https://www.contactlenses.org/orthok.htm https://www.ophthalmologyweb.com
The International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA) has a dedicated organ which aims to implement an optimal learning environment for all medical students around the world the Standing Committee On Medical Education (SCOME).
Aryan Salah National Oﬃcer
Summer Program One week full program (6 Hours each day) involving both social programme and educational training for medical students , providing a comfortable environment in which students get knowledge about some medical topics and learn soft skills through seminars and practices given by specialists , participants will be able to get conﬁdence and express themselves through social sessions ( Dialogues activities- teamwork task). Multiple of sessions will be covered throughout the program including ( Mental health - personal development - soft skills and medical ethics )
BEST MEMBER OF SCOME Iman rashid Hawler LC
The New Curriculum Ali Al Dabbagh, FICMS,CABS,FRCS, Professor of Surgery Dean of College of Medicine/Hawler Medical University “If we teach today’s students as we taught yesterday’s we rob them of tomorrow” John Dewey Educational reformer, philosopher, psychologist
The need for improving medical education has become worldwide concern. Medical schools all around the world are encouraged by medical education organizations to undertake reform in medical education. In responding to these challenges, medical schools around the world managed to modify their curriculum and various curricular innovations have been adopted by medical schools worldwide. The education and clinical training of medical students is a complicated operation. The traditional model of clinical medical education followed following a pre-clinical sciences curriculum had many positives and generated physicians who met the need of many generations, but it has been criticized by many for not being integrated and not adopting the more comprehensive needs of present-day society. The college of medicine at Hawler Medical University, the oldest in Iraqi Kurdistan, was established in 1977 and like the rest of other medical schools in Iraq, adopted Edinburgh medical school curriculum. The curriculum had many ﬂaws in relation to modern era, among which clear and artiﬁcial separation between basic and clinical sciences, curriculum overload, lack of integration between preclinical and clinical subjects, didactic, too much compartmentalization of the student’s knowledge and reliance heavily on bedside setting, providing students with unnecessary information for the doctors during their practical life, irrelevant information to student's future career, and students’ passivity in the process with inadequate assessment methods.
In 2012 a memorandum of understanding was signed between Hawler Medical University and Dundee Faculty of medicine. This paved the way for our college to plan for the changes needed in medical education, through many meetings and workshops several necessary steps were agreed upon. The curriculum was changed to an outcome based one in the academic year 2014-2015, the educational outcome was based on GMC’s tomorrows doctor and Dundee’s medical school outcomes. The new curriculum is characterized by being; Spiral that provides students to revisit and build up on what has been learned from previous phases of the curriculum, Integrated both horizontally and vertically to remove barriers between basic and clinical subjects that gives the students better learning opportunities that is relevant and essential to clinical practice, Student centered were students are actively participating in their learning process, provider of Early Clinical Exposure, were students are exposed to clinical environment from Year1, user of Core Clinical Problems to learn students clinical practice, review basic science and acquire competences expected from a medical graduate. The curriculum provides the opportunity to participate in Student Selected Components. The college adopts the Iraqi examinations instructions for medical schools with integrated curriculum that is based on the principles of outcome-based assessment.
How a doctor choose a specialty? Dr. Sherwan Rahman Sulaiman, MBChB MSc PhD, Medical Physiologist As a doctor and a specialist with more than 24 years of experience, I believe that this is a very important and diﬃcult question to answer and a decision that will change the entire life of the doctor. That is why it is of crucial importance to spend some time on thinking about how to get a speciality that ﬁt your requirements and at the same time suit you and your ability to make your dreams come true. We can brief factors that shape your career and affect your selection as follows: 1. Interest: this is the ﬁrst and most important factor. You will only get most out of a job when you are interested in what you are doing. 2. Bodily and Mental abilities and tolerance: not every body has the same level of them and different specialities require different levels of abilities and tolerance. As an example, being a pediatrician is not like being a neurosurgeon and being a plastic surgeon is not like a psychiatrist. 3. Childhood dreams: this is also quite important since your brain has set up on some thing since your early childhood, so, you will unconsciously do your best to make sure it works. 4. Consultation: Consulting different doctors with different specialty will never bring you down. 5. Family: ﬁrstly what your family is waiting from you and secondly how they can support you. A rich family doctor has more resources to get degrees from high cost universities and schools than a doctor from a poor family. You might not agree with me, but studying medicine is very costy. 6. Availability: you might have some things in your mind but not listed in what is available in your city or country then you have to change, wait or travel outside the country. 7. Income: unfortunately this has been a very strong cause for selection of specialty for many doctors.
8. Gender: your gender affects your selection as some specialities ﬁt one gender more than the other. 9. Community: some time a certain specialty is more suitable in one community than another one. 10. Luck: never depend upon your luck! You might dislike some specialty but it turns up to you with very good outcomes. Beside all mentioned above, there are few other factors that may also make your decision to be successful. One of the common factor is observing or accompanying a successful doctor as a rotator then you will unconsciously try to be just like him or her, or seeing a ﬁlm or a series in TV and liking the main character which might be a doctor again you will try to be a copy of him. Still, when you ask a specialist why he or she choosed that specialty he or she might say: well, simply I don't know. Not every step we make is usually planned for. So of our future determining step just happens by themselves. As a matter of fact, there are examples where some one had a plan to be a certain specialist then he becomes another and now very happy with the new specialty. Finally, let me tell you about my story in choosing medical specialty. My plan was to be a cardiac surgeon and in only ten minutes two of my professors advised me to be something very different, a medical physiologist, and I agreed. Now, I am very thankful to both of them and all of those who have helped me in selecting my specialty. I hope you all to make your choice successfully and have a great future.
Biomimicry Bushra Qadir hussein, UoS, Medicine, 4th stage Short for transfer of ideas from biology to technology Biomimicry is the examination of nature itâ€™s models ,system ,processes ,and elements to take inspiration from, and to solve human problems .The term biomimicry comes from the Greek word bio meaning life and mimesis, meaning to imitate . The core of the idea is that nature has already solved many of the problems that we grappling with , animals, planets ,and microbes are the consummate engineers after years of research and development failures are fossils, and what surrounds us is the secret to survival Biomimicry is used in many ďŹ elds it depends on whether or not Scientists has looked at nature to search for solution for their problems. So how do we take advantage of nature?
We can get inspired by it ,using its forms of natural phenomenon, or process of biological life, or even the whole eco-system. An Example of biomimicry that is used in medicine is found in penetration of mosquito. That appears from nowhere. It turns out that the tip of mosquito mouth is composed several moving parts that works into skin with minimum of fuss ,and minimum of pain ,so Scientist saw amazing potential in structure of mosquitos mouth ,so then they carved out the structure of the on nanometre scale, the result was a needle that penetrate like a mosquito using pressure to stabilize, and painlessly glide into the skin. test proved it works ďŹ‚awlessly Biomimicry is not only used to solve today's problems. It is also used to solve problems of the future and to build our future .
Standing Committee on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights including HIV and AIDS is a gathering of passionate individuals who are committed to promote sexual and reproductive health and rights and are arduous about creating positive change in their local communities.
Banu Taha National Oﬃcer
Women’s Health and Personal Hygiene We shared self hygiene awareness to families and we explained to them how important self hygiene is.. In order to avoid diseases in such diﬃcult condition "camps" some important points were also explained about women's health on the posters which were given the most important tips (to increase self-awareness about body, plan A daily menu, lose weight with balanced diet and regular exercise, watch out for depression and skin care) also we gave pregnant women informations and how to protect themselves during pregnancy and we distributed leaﬂets and also we prepared free special sessions for 40 pregnant women to visit a specialist Doctor and check them and their baby’s safety .. Some important tests were also done for the families there (Blood sugar,Blood pressure,Dental care, and Body mass index )
BEST MEMBER OF SCORA Ronahi Omer Duhok LC
A Culture of Cutting: Female Genital Mutilation in Kurdistan. Sima Rafaat, Doctor of Medicine student, Flinders University. Introduction Female Genital Mutilation or Cutting (FGM/C) is a cultural practice known to be performed in 49 countries globally . There are currently 200 million girls and women with FGM/C . FGM/C is commonly practiced in countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia . Currently, performing FGM/C is prohibited and criminalised in Iraqi Kurdistan (Baş r) . It is a prevalent practice in the Kurdistan region, particularly in Baş r and Rojhelat areas [4,5]. Within Baş r, FGM/C prevalence was 40% overall but varied based on the geographical location; the Duhok governate reported 4%, Erbil governate reported 58% and Sulaymaniah governate had a 70% prevalence of FGM/C . A study by Shabila et al. showed that in general, knowledge and understanding of FGM/C by health professionals in Kurdistan is poor . This is associated with a lack of teaching by medical and nursing schools . Given its prevalence within Kurdistan, and its signiﬁcant complications, it is crucial to educate medical students and health professionals on FGM/C . What is FGM/C? FGM/C as deﬁned by the World Health Organisation is “the partial or total removal of the female external genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons” . FGM/C differs in severity and type, but all involve excision of the female genitalia and is often performed without consent . The clitoris or labia can be “pricked”, “nicked”, removed or inﬁbulated . Figure 1 outlines the WHO classiﬁcation of FGM/C . Within Baş r, Type I is the most common type of FGM/C and is usually performed on children between 4 and 10 years old [3,4]. Within Kurdistan, FGM/C is performed by birthing attendants or elderly women within the communities with the use of unsterile and basic sharp tools like razor blades . Girls are at high risk of immediate complications such as hemorrhage, septic shock, severe pain, injuries to nearby organs, urinary tract infections, tetanus, and death [4,9]. The signiﬁcant long-term impacts of the procedure include obstetric, sexual and psychological complications .
Figure 1: Classiﬁcation of Female Genital Mutilation. Type 1: partial or total removal of clitoris (clitoridectomy). Type 2: removal/excision of the clitoris and labia minora, with or without labia minora. Type 3: inﬁbulation- removal and apposition of the labia minora or labia majora to narrow the vaginal oriﬁce. Type 4: any procedure involving cutting, pricking, piercing, scraping or cauterising female genitalia for non-medical purposes .
Cultural and Religious inﬂuence The practice of FGM/C is associated with cultural and religious factors in Kurdistan. Studies have shown the reasons for FGM/C implementation in Kurdistan is cultural and social . Performing FGM/C is usually decided by the mother or grandmother of a child . The main reasons for female circumcision in Kurdistan include: controlling the girls’ sexual desire; belief that it is a religious requirement; and social perception that food served by uncircumcised girls is haram . It is crucial to understand that parents who subject their daughters to FGM/C do so without the intention of malice, but to improve the lives of their daughters in their social and cultural setting . The religious inﬂuence on FGM/C varies within Kurdistan, with some religious leaders encouraging the practice as compulsory, while others condemn it and deny it’s encouragement by any religious scripts . Studies have found an association between FGM/C in daughters and socioeconomic status, education level and employment status of the mother . A higher level of education in mothers is associated with a reduced risk of FGM/C of the daughter . With increasing awareness of FGM/C’s adverse effects, it is believed that education of women is leading to a reduction in FGM/C . Additionally, illiteracy in Kurdistan is distributed more to the rural areas, where FGM/C is more prevalent . Obstetric Complications of FGM/C Obstetric complications of FGM/C in Kurdistan are poorly documented. FGM/C has been associated with poor obstetric outcomes for women with FGM/C and their newborns. Studies have shown that women with are more likely to undergo caesarean sections than those without FGM/C [12,13]. In particular, FGM/C increases the risk of caesarean section by 30%, the risk of postpartum hemorrhage by 70%, and the risk of second degree perineal tears [12,14]. Complications for the newborn child have been shown to be increased in women with FGM/C than those without . In particular, studies in African countries found that there were an additional 10-20 newborn deaths per 1000 deliveries due to FGM/C and 66% were more likely to require resuscitation in hospitals with FGM/C-experienced staff [12,15].
Sexual Health Effects of FGM/C FGM/C has been associated with sexual dysfunction . Women in Kurdistan who had undergone FGM/C had reduced sexual functions, including desire, arousal, lubrication, orgasm, satisfaction and pain . Additionally, damage to clitoral nerve ﬁbres and scar formation cause painful sexual intercourse . Healing of the circumcised tissue following FGM/C often leads to adhesions and scar tissue formation . Studies in other countries have shown that inﬂammation and infection during the procedure can also lead to infertility, but this has not been studied in Kurdistan . Infertility and issues with sexual function can contribute to the psychological feelings of anger, anxiety and depression and to the speciﬁc fear among migrant women about the quality of their marital lives . Psychological and Mental Health Impact of FGM/C Psychological impacts of FGM/C can be profound but have not been thoroughly documented in Kurdistan. Hence, there is a requirement that health practitioners are aware of the psychological impacts of FGM/C and provide the adequate support and services. Women with FGM/C are usually faced with feelings of low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, sexual dysfunction and decreased sexual sensitivity [10,17]. Additionally, psychosomatic disorders of mood, sleep and cognition are common [10,17]. According to Kizilhan (2011), FGM/C can be classiﬁed as a psychological trauma that may lead to post traumatic stress disorder . The nature of FGM/C implementation, because it is performed to children from a young age and is a violation of the child’s integrity, can result in psychological trauma that can have effects into adulthood . Kizilhan (2011) compared women in Kurdistan with FGM/C to those without and found that the circumcised women had higher rates of symptoms of depression, psychosomatic conditions, sleep disturbance and PTSD . In understanding this, it is important for health practitioners to remain free
from stigmatization of women who have had FGM/C . Such attitudes are not conducive to good health outcomes . Women who have had FGM/C are their own greatest advocators, and it is important to ensure that health practitioner attitudes are not hurtful, judgemental or indifferent to their pain and suffering . Challenges and Future Directions Although the prevalence of FGM/C in Kurdistan is reducing, it is still a common practice with signiﬁcant adverse health and psychological effects. Eradication of FGM/C in countries where the practice is prevalent forms a component of the WHO’s Millennium Development Goals . FGM/C has been shown to have signiﬁcant impacts on health care costs for complication management and public education . In Iraqi Kurdistan, domestic violence legislation in 2011 was passed to outlaw FGM/C, making it a criminal offence . However, the implementation of this legislation is poor, and the practice continues . Since media and advocacy campaigns in Kurdistan in 2007, but the effectiveness of such education and awareness has not been speciﬁcally studied in Kurdistan . The inﬂuence of religious leaders on FGM/C practice is signiﬁcant, and it is important that they be included in discussions about health effects of FGM/C. Medical students and health practitioners are poorly educated on FGM/C . Better education will lead to better health outcomes for women with FGM/C and improve the quality of maternal health services. Health practitioners currently face challenges in treating patients with FGM/C due to a lack of knowledge and experience. The challenges identiﬁed are: inexperience in cultural sensitive management of FGM/C and its complications; examination and identiﬁcation of FGM/C; asking about FGM/C in a culturally sensitive, non-judgemental manner; and providing adequate care to women with FGM/C including counselling and psychiatric services when required . Table 1 depicts guidelines for health practitioners to managing patients who have or are at risk of FGM/C.
Table 1: Recommendations for Health Practitioners to understanding, assessing and managing FGM/C in girls and women. Adapted from .
Health practitioners should be aware of and underﬆand: WHO classification of FGM/C: http://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/topics/fgm/overview/en/ RACP-DPCH clinical guideline on Genital Examination in Girls and Young Women: https://www.racp.edu.au/docs/default-source/advocacy-library/genital-examinationsin-girls-and-young-women-a-clinical-practice-guideline.pdf Underﬆand how to examine and identify FGM/C in girls and women. Be able to engage with girls and women sensitively and with respect. Underﬆand the complications of FGM/C during childbirth. Underﬆand that not all women are aware that they have had FGM/C. Have skills to approach FGM/C with cultural sensitivity and without judgement. Refer women to gynaecologiﬆs and counselling services. Use simple, direct ﬆatements that do not convey ﬆereotyping or forming assumptions: “I know that in some places in Kurdiﬆan, circumcision is common so I’m wondering, have you been cut down below? Have you been circumcised/cut/closed?” Underﬆand the complications of FGM/C and the difficulties it poses to your patient’s medical, social and emotional wellbeing. Be aware of the complications during pregnancy and childbirth. Document the FGM/C presence, type and impact.
Conclusion: FGM/C is prevalent in Kurdistan, particularly in Baş r and Rojhelat regions. It is a practice which has cultural, social and religious inﬂuences but appears to be decreasing with increasing education about the adverse effects. It is currently prohibited by law in Kurdistan, but implementation of this legislation appears to be poor. FGM/C has signiﬁcant adverse obstetric, sexual and psychological health effects. Research shows health professionals and students have little knowledge of FGM/C and its complications. Thus, it is necessary to educate the health community to identify, examine and manage patients with FGM/C. Further research needs to be done on the health and psychological consequences of FGM/C in Kurdistan to contribute to medical knowledge on the practice and provide steps to stop FGM/C in Kurdish society.
References: 1. World Health Organisation. An update on WHO’s work on female genital mutilation (FGM) [Internet]. YNDP, UNFPA, WHO, World Bank; 2011. Available from: http://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/publications/fgm/rhr_11_18/en/ 2. No FGM Australia. FGM Prevalence In Australia 2018 [Internet]. West Melbourne; 2018 p. 1-12. Available from: http://nofgmoz.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/2018-FGM-Prevalence-in-Australia.pdf 3. Varol N, Hall J, Black K, Turkmani S, Dawson A. Evidence-based policy responses to strengthen health, community and legislative systems that care for women in Australia with female genital mutilation / cutting. Reproductive Health. 2017;14(1). 4. Ahmed, H., Shabu, S. and Shabila, N. (2019). A qualitative assessment of women’s perspectives and experience of female genital mutilation in Iraqi Kurdistan Region. BMC Women's Health, 19(1). 5. Shabila, N., Ahmed, H. and Safari, K. (2017). Knowledge, attitude, and experience of health professionals of female genital mutilation (FGM): A qualitative study in Iraqi Kurdistan Region. Health Care for Women International, 38(11), pp.1202-1218. 6.Momoh C. Female Genital Mutilation. Current Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2004. 16:477-480. 7.End FGM European Network (2019). What is FGM. [online] End FGM. Available at: https://www.endfgm.eu/female-genital-mutilation/what-is-fgm/ [Accessed 6 Aug. 2019].
8. Kizilhan, J. (2011). Impact of psychological disorders after female genital mutilation among Kurdish girls in Northern Iraq. Eur. J. Psychiat, 25(2), pp.92-100. 10. Ogunsiji O, Wilkes L, Chok HN. “You take the private part of her body, … you are taking a part of her life”: Voices of circumcised African migrant women on female genital circumcision (FGC) in Australia. Health Care for Women International. 2018. 1-12. 11. Costello S. Female genital mutilation/cutting: risk management and strategies for social workers and health care professionals. Risk Management and Healthcare Policy. 2015. 8:225-233. 12. Shabila, N. (2016). Mothers’ factors associated with female genital mutilation in daughters in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region. Women & Health, 57(3), pp.283-294. Varol N, Fraser I, NG C, Jaldesa G, Hall J. Female genital mutilation/cutting – towards abandonment of a harmful cultural practice. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. 2014;54:400-405. 13. Correa-Velez I, Ryan J. Developing a best practice model of refugee maternity care. Women and Birth. 2012;25:13-22. 14. Varol N, Dawson A, Turkmani S, Hall JJ, Nanayakkara S, Jenkins G, Homer CSE,, McGeechan K. Obstetric outcomes for women with female genital mutilation at an Australian hospital, 2006–2012: a descriptive study. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. 2016. 16:328. 15. Dawson A, Turkmani S, Varol N, Nanayakkara S, Sullivan E, Homer C. Midwives’ experiences of caring for women with female genital mutilation: Insights and ways forward for practice in Australia. Women and Birth. 2015;28(3):207-214. 16. Biglu, M., Farnam, A., Abotalebi, P., Biglu, S. and Ghavami, M. (2016). Effect of female genital mutilation/cutting on sexual functions. Sexual & Reproductive Healthcare, 10, pp.3-8. 17. Costello S, Quinn M, Tatchell A, Jordan L, Neophytou K, James C. A tradition in transition: female genital mutilation/cutting. Family Planning Victoria. 2014. 29-58.
The Standing Committee on Human Rights and Peace unite students who strive to create an equal and peaceful world and believe in international, intercultural as well as interpersonal solidarity. We believe in everybody’s responsibility as well as the ability to contribute to creating this world, as human rights can only exist when it applies to all humans.
Abdulla Naif National Oﬃcer
Warm the refugees In the past years, Kurdistan has been home to thousands of people who have ﬂed for their lives. It is our responsibility to take part in truly making them feel like home. Hence, supporting these people in any way makes a big difference. "Warm The Refugees" is a clothing donation campaign and has been carried out for a few years here in IFMSA Kurdistan. It’s one of the important projects of SCORP. This project was based on the idea of collecting clothes and other stuff that people don’t need and sending them to the refugees who have suffered a lot and are deﬁnitely not in good ﬁnancial status.
BEST MEMBER OF SCORP Bakhcha Aso Faqe Suli LC
Hiding Behind A Personality Melodya Ghanm Toma, HMU, Pharmacy, 3rd stage
Was it the photo or the title that grabbed your attention? Either way now that you’re here let's dive in. This is about a mental disorder called DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder) previously known as multi personality disorder. It’s a condition characterized by the presence of at least two clear personalities which may have different age, sex, history, identity, reactions, emotions, and body functioning. Basically as if multiple people were living in the same body. The number of identities can range from 2 to an average of 16 , transitioning from one identity to another is called switching which can take seconds, minutes and even days to occur. The cause of 90% of cases involve (extreme, repetitive physical, sexual, or emotional abuse) during childhood era.
Sometimes the harsh memories can be too hard to handle that creating another “individual” sounds like the only way out. Everyone has their own defense mechanism and developing alters turns out to be theirs. This condition is characterized by having memory gaps where the individual can’t remember the people they’ve met, places they’ve been, or event they’ve done while the other character took control, self-harm behaviors (using physical pain as a distraction from the tragic memories) such as “cutting” ,mental health problems such as depression, anxiety are also quite common . According DSM-5 more than 70% of DID patients have attempted suicide at least once. Treatment generally involves supportive care and counselling there are no medications that speciﬁcally treat this disorder, antidepressants, anti-anxiety drugs, or tranquilizers may be prescribed to help control the psychological symptoms associated with it.
Medicine on the Battlefield Rawsht Mohammed Jeza, UoS, Medicine, 1st stage Throughout years of experiences we have learned that medicine is all about precision; giving the right treatment to the patient at the right time to provide the best care for each individual and accounting that not every two patients are similar. But have you ever thought about what happens out there in the battleﬁeld or behind enemy lines? How can a medic be precise when under stress of saving not only ones life but also preventing his own death? How can he make the right choice for that patient at that crucial time? The answer is not simple and a vast amount of training is required for the right solution. Combat medics or ﬁeld medics are military personnel who have been trained to an EMT-B level (Emergency Medical Technician Paramedics), they are responsible for providing ﬁrst aid and frontline trauma care on the battleﬁeld. They are providing the best medical care in the absence of a readily available physician, including care for disease and battle injuries. Combat medics are co-located with combat soldiers they serve to move with the troops and monitor ongoing health. Combat medics also have a different level of treatment on the battleﬁeld. In 1864 sixteen Europe states adopted the ﬁrst ever Geneva Convention to save lives and alleviate the suffering of wounded and sick troops on the battleﬁeld, as well as to protect trained medical personnel as non-combatants, in the act of rendering aid. According to the Geneva Convention knowingly ﬁring at a medic wearing clear insignia is a war crime. Most Field medics carry a personal weapon to be used as a protection for themselves and the wounded or sick in their care. During World War II medics serving the Mediterranean and European areas carried the M1911A1 pistol while those serving the paciﬁc regions carried pistols or M1 carbines.
When and if medics use their arms offensively then they sacriﬁce their protection under the Geneva Conventions. The ﬁrst oﬃcial medical personnel symbol was provided by the International Committee of the Red Cross which was called "Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field" the emblem was a red cross on a ﬁeld of white. Islamic countries use a Red Crescent instead. One story that truly stands out is the story of Desmond Doss (Photo on top right) who served as a combat medic for the United States Army in World War II but refused to kill an enemy soldier or even carry a weapon into the battleﬁeld due to his own beliefs. But his name is still heard today due to his actions during the Battle of Okinawa by heroically saving 75 injured men, he was injured 4 times in that battle. Doss suffered a left arm fracture from a sniper’s bullet and had seventeen pieces of shrapnel in his body. He was awarded the Medal of Honor in October 1945 due to his heroic actions during the Second World War.
The Professional Exchange program is a full educational program offering clerkships to medical students abroad. Annually, around 13.000 students from more than 90 countries travel around the world to discover new health systems, new cultures and to enhance their global health and intercultural understanding.
Kani Peshrow National Exchange OďŹƒcer - Out
Shanga Tariq National Exchange OďŹƒcer - In
BEST MEMBER OF SCOPE Dina Jamal Hawler LC
Naomi and Lona’s SCOPE Experience Payan Payjor, Local exchange officer, Suli LC LEO Speech SCOPE is one of the most interesting standing committees of IFMSA. It is where different parts of the globe will unite and change medical education and culture. I found it most exciting to directly compare the real-life experiences of two students who each did an exchange to the region of the other (bilateral exchange), and for the ﬁrst time in their lives.
Naomi Turner, Czech Republic Arriving at Heathrow airport, without a visa, and unsure whether I needed one (I didn't). It was safe to say I was a little apprehensive about spending the next four weeks in Kurdistan. I didn't really know what to expect so I went into the exchange with an open mind, ready to meet new people and discover a new city and culture. Being the only exchange student in Suli during August, I was given many CPs and had been in contact with a few before I arrived. A couple of them met me at the airport and took me to my dormitory. I've been astounded by the kindness and warm welcome I've received by everyone, and have been invited over for lunches, then dinners, and then to stay the night by multiple people I've met. One of these ended up being my host for the remainder of the exchange I'd practically been moved in to her family's home after my ﬁrst lunch there. Staying with a host family has been my best decision here, not only have I got to experience life in a Kurdish home, I've also tried so much home-cooked food (my favorite being dolma!) and I've seen just how close-knit families here are. I've met parents, siblings, aunts and cousins, all during these few short weeks.
As for my general surgery placement, the tutor I was assigned to was away for the ﬁrst couple of weeks I was here. One of my CPs and I spent the ﬁrst few days running around Shar Hospital trying to ﬁnd doctors that would be willing to have me observing in their OR. I got to see so many cases, and far more interesting ones than I'd see back in The Czech Republic or U.K. I spent the rest of the placement with the 6th year surgical class and attended all their tutorials and seminars. This was great for me, having only just ﬁnished 4th year, I feel I learnt a lot more by being taught by the doctors, despite the content being beyond my stage, and also having other students around was far more enjoyable! The social programs were another great part of my stay here. My CPs had planned loads of activities and events for the evenings. My favorite trip being hiking in Mawet. Around 15 of us set off in a bus towards the mountains, and hiked in 40 degrees heat in the beautiful countryside down to a river, where we spent the next few hours swimming in freezing cold water. Having trips out of the city has been a particular highlight for me, the scenery is amazing and nothing like I get living in London, I only wish I could come back earlier in the spring when it's not so dry and hot, to see it all green.
Despite the initial nerves, I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in Kurdistan; the people, the places, the food, and the rich culture here have all been amazing. Everyone I've met has been so friendly and inviting, and has made me feel so welcomed here.
People in Germany barely knew how to speak English, and this was quite diﬃcult; we always had to be with a doctor to talk to the patients. And outside the hospital, well similarly, we needed a friend to translate for us most of the times.
Lona Abdullah, Kurdistan Hi guys! My name is Lona, I am a 6th year medical student from Suli. I have been an IFMSA member since 2015, and here is my exchange story!
However, exploring a new country is always adventurous. You get to know more about the culture and the way of life of the locals, you see interesting places to visit, you make new friends and you live a completely different life for a while!
First of all, a little background: I had decided early on to dedicate my life to help others, I know, but I’ve always meant it, and that was the reason behind choosing medicine as my future career! I would like to take this chance to share my exchange experience with you.
Personally, I think the most amazing thing about Germany was their culture. Germany is the country of immigrants, so it is diﬃcult to ﬁnd only ‘one culture’ there. For this very reason you will never feel like an outsider here.
See, I have been dreaming of studying abroad since I remember myself, so when the opportunity of spending a month studying in Germany arose, I was on the next ﬂight to Germany. Germany is an amazing country, and I would never have any regrets about the choice that I made. This also allows for a direct comparison between the medical system and education in Kurdistan and Germany!
Using bicycles for transportation was also one of my favorite travel experiences. The weather was sunny and rainy at the same time, which was perfect for biking and I could go out any time of the day. This is a little different in Kurdistan, where the sun is very, very hot.
I enjoyed the exchange period, as you would expect, tremendously! I actually don’t think I have enough words to express the admiration and excitement I have in me after this wonderful experience. Without a doubt, it has been one of the most impressive, incredible, and unforgettable experiences in my life. At the beginning I had trouble ﬁnding places, even getting home, alone, I was getting lost everyday. But that quickly changed when I got used to the city and learned how to use navigation apps to get to where I want. See, we do not use apps to navigate about in Suli, we just know where everything is! Our accommodation was provided by the university; myself and others were given single apartments, and oh boy is living alone awesome! It lets you know yourself and discover who you are! We learnt how to be independent, which was quite challenging.
Being an exchange student is an exclusive chance that opens a person to so many new opportunities to see the world and experience a different side of life. If life gives you a chance like that, don’t be afraid to seize it and the world will be in your hands! ;) .
Research is essential for the development of medicine and without it, the medical ﬁeld could never have reached the stage it is at now with innovative methods of diagnosis and treatments. Put together the experience of improving research skills with an unforgettable cultural learning opportunity and you have the Standing Committee on Research Exchange
Ayat Azad National Oﬃcer
Standing Committee on Research Exchange If you are looking for Research Education! if you want to be part of the biggest exchange program ever ! if you want to explore new country and new culture and gain new friends and be familiar with different medical systems worldwide SCORE is what you should go for. In SCORE we have Research Clubs where you can have great mentors and start your ﬁrst research experience, only in SCORE you can attend Research camp training and be trained by international researchers! Not only this but you get the chance to work with an author and get your name published in an International Research all of this while you are still Undergraduate ! What are you waiting for? make sure you join our Research clubs in different LCs and get your ﬁrst Research Experience as soon as possible!
BEST MEMBER OF SCORE Van Fadhil Hawler LC
My Research Experience Tips and Tricks on How to Have a Good Trip! Soma Rostam, HMU, Medicine, 6th stage I’ve been in IFMSA for over 4 years. It has been an enlightening experience, full of ups and downs. The ﬁrst time I heard about an IFMSA exchange, I had no idea about what it was. I have had many friends in IFMSA over the years who have gone on exchanges and have come back very changed. They have sang the praises of what an experience it is and how much they liked it and learned from it. It was my last summer holiday while being a medical student so I knew that I could not pass that chance up before I graduated and left IFMSA Kurdistan for good! And I chose to do an exchange in SCORE because it is about working together SIDE BY SIDE with your supervising mentor. It means being a contributing participant in the research that they are working on. It means being able to see something start from scratch and evolve into another thing that has a chance to change the face of medicine. After I ﬁlled everything up and applied, I got a conﬁrmation back that I got accepted to go on an exchange this year. Getting accepted depends on many factors. Including whether you have gone on any exchange before or not, what your current score in IFMSA is, and whether you are a full member or a TO member or an alumni. Our current NORE helped me and all the outgoing exchange students a lot while we were preparing our applications and our documents. The process is quite tedious and has many factors that change according to what country you have applied to. But do not fret or be worried, you NORE and LORE will be helping you along with every step! After getting accepted, you get the chance to choose the research that you would like to participate in.
All the researches in SCORE are on a database on the oﬃcial IFMSA website and you can check out their titles, their ﬁelds of study, and what work is expected of you. I was given the opportunity to choose 3 researches in 3 different cities in Turkey. But of course, getting accepted depends on how many empty seats are available in that particular city and on the date of your exchange. After sending all your documents in, you get contacted by your speciﬁc contact person. He/she will let you know the etiquette and the culture of the country that you are going to, and what is expected of you while you are there, and what fun activities and social programs are in store for you. They’re always very kind. When all your documents are conﬁrmed and you have booked your ﬂight, your journey truly starts now! This was my ﬁrst time travelling alone and to a country that I do not know the language of. A speciﬁc point to keep in mind; try to learn the common words of the place that you are visiting, just enough to get you by. It would be great to learn their currency name and their numbers. It would also be great to learn how to say hi/hello, how are you, how to ask where to ﬁnd something, or how much is the price of something? These will really help you out while you are there. You can ask also ask your CP about internet packages and plan ahead to get hold of an app whether online or oﬄine that translates from that particular language into English and vice versa. If you are on a budget and want to keep track of how much you spend while you are there, download an app that converts currencies. I downloaded one and whenever I looked at the price tag of something I would type it in on my phone and see the corresponding price in dollars/iraqi dinars.
When all was done, I got accepted to go to Nigde LC for their research program. When I got to the bus station, my contact person and the local president of Nigde LC were there to meet me. They took me out to dinner before I went back to the dormitory in which I was staying. They showed me how to get around the city by bus and the main areas to shop for essentials in. Over the next few days, they took me to see my supervising doctor and they took me to some shopping streets as well. They were helpful and kind and very welcoming. While I was there,I worked with a doctor named Dr Ismail Sari on his research which was about: Investigation of the effect of gonadotropin treatment for superovulation on the expression of proteins that have a role in piRNA pathway in mouse model. This research was the ﬁrst of its kind to investigate some speciﬁc genes (Miwi, piwi and some others that I am not allowed to mention here) because his research was the ﬁrst and he did not want the gene sequences to be exposed before he published his study. I worked with the doctor for most days of the week usually in the mornings and afternoons in his research room and the laboratories at college. My doctor was quite helpful. He ﬁrst gave me some materials and articles to read and he would give me as much information as possible about what he was doing. He also gave me the opportunity to participate in the laboratory and he would teach me about the proper equipment and the proper technique for certain procedures. He also taught me about the proper way to approach a research and how to search online for a speciﬁc topic that you are interested to start a research in. Up until I left, he had not ﬁnished his research paper yet but he made sure that I participated in most of it and even though I was not able to see the ﬁnal results of the paper, I sure learned a lot and I am waiting for him to publish so I can ﬁnally read all these months’ work. As you know, no experience is perfect or ﬂawless. And I faced problems there as well.
My main problem was the language barrier. During my stay there, I found it hard to communicate with everyone as their English was not ﬂuent at all. Some of them were able to understand but could not speak at all. The doctor knew English but he found it hard to communicate the scientiﬁc terms to me as their scientiﬁc studies are also in Turkish not in English like ours. The people in the city were not used to tourists or foreign people and they barely knew English language if any at all. But I can say that they were really helpful and they tried hard to make me understand all that they were saying. To sum everything up, I can say that this experience was once-in-a-lifetime and you can ask anyone who has ever gone on an exchange, they will say that their ﬁrst exchange is the one that they will never forget and the one that has taught them the most. This experience made me more independent, more put-together, more professional as a medical student, and a better human being in general! I recommend each and every one of you if possible to go on an exchange at least once in your IFMSA career! Because I promise you, the opportunity that IFMSA provides, no other organization and no other place will provide for you! So take the chance while you still got it!
UoS students highlight the importance of undergraduate research in the Kurdistan region, and present their advanced scientific research at 2nd World Congress for Undergraduate Research in Oldenburg, Germany Soma Sardar Barawi, UoS, Biology Science, 4th stage It all started with the summer after our freshman (ﬁrst) year in college. The summer of 2017 that completely transformed our undergraduate education. I mean we did pretty good in our classes and had overall good grades. But we wanted more than just sitting in classes and taking notes and exams. We were curious. We were curious about how to actually apply what we had learned from our classes. We were curious about how to safely handle laboratory equipment and perform experiments on our own. We were curious about the glorious realm of scientiﬁc research. But the question, was how? We wanted to test our abilities outside of the classroom and were speciﬁcally interested about the world of tiny microorganisms involved in every aspect of human life, including its role in disease. This led us to the idea of starting a Microbiology Training Program. We got into contact with an assistant professor, Dr. Haider Hamzah, who was in charge of a Microbiology Research Lab and was as excited as we were! The main objective of the program was to assist curious and creative students to understand the complete basics of General Microbiology and how to actually apply those concepts in real-life experiments. Dr. Haider was not only an inspiring role model, but both our mentor and close friend. Later on, students would be encouraged to formulate their own ideas and hypotheses, and thus being introduced to the enormous world of research. We’re just a group of now 4th stage students studying General Biology at the University of Sulaimani, Kurdistan Iraq. We made this training program an utmost priority after class every single day; we’d be so eager to rush into the lab and ﬁnally work on our experiments. We stuck with this vigorous schedule despite long hours of classes and exams.
We’d pretty much go home at 5-7 PM every day, but we weren’t complaining, because this was a dream come true. We’ve conducted an extremely advanced scientiﬁc research in the health ﬁeld and found a very strong antimicrobial plant extract as an alternative source for antibiotics. Antibiotic resistance is an extremely huge public health threat that occurs due to the inappropriate use of antibiotics. We tested our product against very dangerous bacterial pathogens found in Suli’s hospitals and performed numerous advanced experiments to evaluate our products’ eﬃcacy. We coincidently found the 2nd World Congress for Undergraduate Research in Oldenburg, Germany with only 3 days left for submission! We applied and were extremely excited to know that we were the ﬁrst group of high scorers and the only group from Iraq and the surrounding countries; with Iraq ranking 7th in the list of countries who applied! Therefore, we are not only going to represent Kurdistan there, but all of Iraq. The 2nd World Congress for Undergraduate Research is an extremely prestigious congress where highly active students from across the world are invited to share their research, discuss global issues, and create international research partnerships. We successfully presented our research there in May 2019 and were introduced to many other young scientists, researchers, and IDEAS! Beneﬁts of undergraduate research includes developing numerous practical and independent critical thinking skills, as well as oral and written communication skills. The chances of scholarship opportunities and getting accepted at training graduate programs abroad is also increased signiﬁcantly. Our central goal is to let students living in Kurdistan know that they are capable of doing great, great things. Kurdistan needs to invest
in early education in order to move forward, and undergraduate research plays a very important role. We were the ﬁrst group of undergraduate students at the University of Sulaimani to conduct such an advanced research and actually present it at a huge international congress. Undergraduate research is the epitome of gaining a hands-on experience that’s very beneﬁcial for your future academic career. If more students realize this and are motivated to conduct research, they then can present their researches at many international universities’ and observe, learn, and gain experience. Despite living under such hard circumstances, we want other countries and other universities to know that we’re alive, and that we’re capable of doing just as much amazing things as they are.
Kurdistan Medical Student's magazine is an annual IFMSA-Kurdistan publication. In the 5th issue we have included many articles written by me...
Published on Nov 7, 2019
Kurdistan Medical Student's magazine is an annual IFMSA-Kurdistan publication. In the 5th issue we have included many articles written by me...