Last November on 18-23rd more than 300 hundred students from all around the world gathered in Prague for the 4th World Healthcare Students’ Symposium (WHSS). This biennial event brought medical, pharmacy, dental and nursing students as well as 4 IFMSA TO members: Lukas, Roopa, Marianne and Omar, to participate in workshops and share their experience on interdisciplinary communication, patient safety and pharmacovigilance.
4th World Healthcare Students' Symposium
During the meeting participants had a good chance to get more sensitized by these topics as well as get acquainted with the latest situation of the implementation of these programs in the world. The participants were actively involved in patient safety and the its curriculum guide presentations and workshops, which were given by the experts of the field as well as clinical case competitions and keynote presentations, which included medical ethics, pharmacovigilance reporting systems in different countries and interprofessional communication workshops.
Besides the enriching WHSS experience Lukas and Marianne were also represented IFMSA at World Healthcare Professionals Alliance (WHPA) “Be Aware, Take Action” campaign, the WHPA Central Europe regional workshop, held on 21 November in Prague. We had a valuable opportunity to participate in the following discussions:
- the situation of counterfeit medicines in the region and best practices and measures taken in different countries by the various health professions;
- debate how to encourage actions aimed at reducing the entry of counterfeit medicines;
- consider sustained and collaborative action plans involving the various healthcare professions and to combat counterfeit medicines continuously;
- we proposed to include healthcare students in raising awareness and educating society about dangers of falsified medicines, which was included in the “WHPA Prague Call to Action” urging governments to ramp up fight against falsified medicines (1).
To sum up, WHSS was a valuable experience and a unique chance to get in touch with other healthcare students. A Joint Working Group composed of representatives from International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations, International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation, International Association of Dental Students, European Pharmaceutical Students’ Association and European Medical Students’ Association together with huge efforts from Czech organizing committee made this great event happen and laid grounds for even more successful future for interdisciplinary communication. The next WHSS will be held in 2013, therefore stay tuned not to miss the next one-of-a-kind healthcare students’ meeting.
- WHPA “Prague Call to Action”, http://www.whpa.org/WHPA_Prague_Call_to_Action_21Nov2011.pdf
Posted in IFMSA, Student Organizations
Tagged Counterfeit medicines, health professions, healthcare professions, Healthcare students, IADS, IFMSA, IPSF, Patient Safety, WHPA, WHSS, world healthcare
You probably did not think it could be true, but WHO actually works on Saturdays! Yes, indeed, Member States all convened to the WHO EB Room Saturday morning in order to tackle a very ambitious programme of work. Thinking that IFMSA would have the floor and talk about the Rio+20 Conference (unfortunately was deferred to Monday morning) we consulted the Brazilian delegation to know more on the current situation.
The item that got our attention today was the discussion on Substandard/spurious/falsely-labeled/falsified/counterfeit medical products (SSFFC). The working group discussed in length the following three points in their report:
- WHO’s role in measures to ensure the availability of quality, safe, efficacious and affordable medical products
- WHO’s role in the prevention and control of medical products of compromised quality, safety and efficacy such as substandard/spurious/falsely-labeled/falsified/counterfeit medical products from a public health perspective, excluding trade and intellectual property considerations
- WHO’s relationship with the International Medical Products Anti-Counterfeiting Taskforce
There was a general consensus from Member States to support WHO’s continuation in making medicines more affordable, which is in line with WHO’s resolution to adopt the Rio Political Declaration on the Social Determinants of Health, as well as to establish a new Member State mechanism for international collaboration regarding SSFFC. It will act as a reporting system in order to quantify the scope of the problem, which for now is quite unknown.
An interesting idea was the future implementation of an international legislation which would deal with controlling SSFFC international commerce.
To be continued in May!
Day 4 and 5 of the WHO Executive Board Meeting, and IFMSA took the stage. With Non-Communicable Diseases up on the agenda, the IFMSA brought a statement to the floor on this pressing issue. The UN High-Level Summit in New York last September did not meet all expectations with some vital, key areas still unaddressed. We called upon the member states to
1) call for time-bound commitments and hard indicators towards NCDs,
2) to not isolate NCDs from other encompassing discussions on health systems strengthening and social determinants of health
3) acknowledge the potential influence of marketing and industry on NCD policies, and finally
4) to involve the youth in these processes, as it will be them who will continue the legacy of what is decided upon today.
The statement received positive resonance within both the civil society and the member states.
Furthermore we set personal meetings with the World Medical Association and the WHO Department for Social Determinants of Health to discuss our plans for the upcoming World Health Assembly in May.
Another very interesting agenda point was about poliomyelitis. It is clear now that the anticipated goal of eradicating poliomyelitis by 2012. Small areas of outbreaks have still been defined in Nigeria and Pakistan. Member states have agreed on prolonging the eradication program by 2013. Dr. Margaret Chan’s pledge to the executive board: “Let’s get the job done!”