Meet Your IFMSA Delegation to COP20

In only a few days from now, we will be leaving our homes to go to Lima, Peru, to attend the 20th Conference of Parties, also known as COP20.

The COPs, organized by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), are the supreme decision-making bodies that regulate the work of the UNFCCC with the overall objective of acting on climate change and regulating greenhouse gas emissions.

COP20 is held in Lima, Peru, and will start on December 1st, only to finish on December 12th. During those two very busy weeks, the IFMSA Delegation will work with its partners, such as the World Health Organization, the Global Climate and Health Alliance, and YOUNGO, to ensure health stays on the climate agenda. But we will get to our strategy later on…

For now, we would firstly like to introduce you the delegation!


Claudel P-Desrosiers
Claudel currently sits on the board of the IFMSA as the vice-president for external affairs. She is from Montreal, Canada, but currently spends her time in Geneva. She became interested in climate change and health the first month she got into medical school, and her interest has only grown ever since. A few years in, she has given several workshop and trainings sessions, and has represented the IFMSA at the 1st ever World Health Organization Conference on Climate and Health in August 2014. She is very excited to be leading the IFMSA delegation and is looking forward connecting with the youth and other organizations during COP!

Maria Jose (Majo) Cisneros
Majo is a 4th year student from the Universidad Internacional del Ecuador. She works as an Official in IFMSA as the regional coordinator for the Americas. Majo first became interested in global health and climate change when she attended training sessions given by IFMSA “Think Global” Initiative. Since then she has become motivated not only to make climate change a health issue but to help our leaders see the whole picture.

Joel Rodriguez
Joel is a 4th year student from the Universidad Católica De Santa María in Peru, and has recently been elected as national president of APEMH-Peru. Joel has been interested in climate change since he was a small boy, and conducted many science fair projects dedicated to the issue of global warming. Joel is keen to discuss and debate topics with people from around the world to help come up with some solutions.

Mark Hayes
Mark is a 3rd year student from the University of Melbourne, Australia. Mark has been interested in climate change and health since attending conference held by Doctors for the Environment Australia in 2013. Mark hopes to work at galvanizing medical and humanitarian organisations from around the world toward a global response to the health impacts of climate change.

Hangout with us!

Meet IFMSA COP20 Delegation 2Finally but not least, the delegation invites you to a hangout session on Sunday November 23rd at 2pm gmt. If you are interested in hearing more about COP20; the UNFCCC negotiations processes; the strategy and priorities of the Delegation and how to get involved even thought you can’t make it to Lima; or if you are just looking for a general discussion about climate change; this is your chance.

We are looking forward to discuss and exchange ideas with you, your input will be extremely useful! In between, if you have any questions, please email us at

Don’t forget to register here:

Medical Students Improving Research at OpenCon 2014

Washington, DC: Students and early career researchers are reunited in Washington DC to improve the way research is presented and shared at the OpenCon 2014.

Science must break the tyranny of the luxury journals. The result will be better research that better serves science and society
- R.Schekman, eLife Editor in Chief and 2013 Nobel Prize- winner

OpenCon 2014 is starting today at the American University Washington College of Law. The OpenCon is organized by the Right to Research Coalition, SPARC, students and researchers from different associations and organizations such as the IFMSA, Max Planck Society, Stanford Graduate School of Education,US Student Public Interest Research Groups, US National Association of Graduate Professional Students, Asia Pacific Alliance of Postgraduate Students Association, Emory University, Medsin-UK, Medical Students Aassociations of Kenya, European Federation of Psychology Students, European Council of Doctorate Candidates and Junior Researchers and the American Medical Students Association. It brings together around 120 students and early career researchers from all over the world. More than 1700 applicants from 120 countries showed their interest for attending the conference and for learning more about Open Access, Open Educational Resources and Open Data.

Access to scholarly and scientific research, educational materials and digital data play a crucial role in preparing medical students to practice medicine. IFMSA maintains a policy in support of open access, most recent updated at August Meeting 2014. Many students involved in IFMSA’s NMOs are presenin DC for this important meeting, namely Elizabeth Wiley (USA),  Meggie Mwoka (Kenya) , Osman Aldirdiri (Sudan), Ahmed Ogunlaja (Nigeria), Roshan Karn (Nepal), Anamika Karn (Nepal), Arslan Inayat (Pakistan) and Ivana Di Salvo (Italy). Ivana is a member of the OpenCon Organizing Committee.

“Why do you care about Open Access? Is it because of its social impact? Or is it a deeper human rights based value that moves you to be engaged? Find the fire that you have inside, you can’ t just think that Open Access is a good idea. You have to understand it and have to believe in it”
- Heard at the Opening Speech this morning

The first two days (November 15th and 16th)  includes workshops, panels and keynotes. You can follow the live webcast at On Twitter, follow and engage in the discussion using hashtag #opencon2014 and sending tweets @ifmsa. You can also sign up for updates on the meeting at The last day (17th) will be an advocacy day and will be not on live webcast.

Entry written by Ivana Di Salvo, IFMSA Liaison Officer for Research and Medical Associations

IFMSA for the World Diabetes Day 2014

Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the body cannot produce enough insulin or cannot use insulin effectively. Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas that allows glucose from food to enter the body’s cells where it is converted into energy needed by muscles and tissues to function. A person with diabetes does not absorb glucose properly, and glucose remains circulating in the blood (a condition known as hyperglycaemia) damaging body tissues over time. This damage can lead to disabling and life-threatening health complications.

The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) estimates that 8.3% of adults – 382 million people – have diabetes, and the number of people with the disease is set to rise beyond 592 million in less than 25 years. Yet, with 175 million of cases currently undiagnosed, a vast amount of people with diabetes are progressing towards complications unawares. Moreover, with 80% of the total number affected living in low- and middle-income countries, where the epidemic is gathering pace at alarming rates, the IDF Diabetes Atlas’ latest figures provide a worrying indication of the future impact of diabetes as a major threat to global development. Diabetes in all its forms imposes unacceptably high human, social and economic costs on countries at all income level.


World Diabetes Day 2014

The World Diabetes Day (WDD) was introduced in 1991 by IDF and WHO, the Day is celebrated on 14 November to mark the birthday of Frederick Banting who, along with Charles Best, was instrumental in the discovery of insulin in 1922, a life-saving treatment for diabetes patients.

The World Diabetes Day unites the global diabetes community to produce a powerful voice for diabetes awareness and advocacy, engaging individuals and communities to bring the diabetes epidemic into the public spotlight.

Healthy Living and Diabetes is the World Diabetes Day theme for 2014 – 2016. The 2014 activities and materials proposed by IDF focus on the importance of starting the day with a healthy breakfast to help prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes and effectively manage all types of diabetes to avoid complications. Special focus will be placed on the importance of starting the day with a healthy breakfast.

“This year, World Diabetes Day focuses on healthy eating as an important component of both preventing and treating diabetes.  Healthy eating and regular exercise can prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes and are important in managing all types of diabetes.  I call for Governments, as well as the private sector and civil society, to unite in producing and promoting more food products consistent with a healthy diet that are affordable, accessible and available to all.”
-UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

The campaign

WDD14_2IFMSA recognizes the need to tackle, prevent and control the global burden of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), and reduce the worldwide morbidity and mortality related to cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes, as well as reduce the four shared risk factors, namely tobacco use, physical inactivity, unhealthy diets and the harmful use of alcohol.

For the WDD 2014, more than 60 National Member Organizations representing medical students are standing up to raise awareness about diabetes, its risk factors, preventive and control methods. Highlighting the adoption of regular exercise and healthy eating as important life habits will prevent not only diabetes but other NCDs.

IFMSA members around the world are taking “selfies” and sharing it on social network with the Diabetes Blue Circle – the global symbol of diabetes to promote the importance of healthy habits no matter your country, culture or social conditions.

Join us and upload your selfie using the WDD App.

Let’s fight Diabetes together!

Arthur Mello – Liaison Officer for Public Health issues 2014/15
On behalf of the SCOPH International Team 2014/15


International Diabetes Federation. IDF Diabetes Atlas, 6th edn. Brussels, Belgium: International Diabetes Federation, 2013.