On Thursday, one of the important meetings of the day was at the UNAIDS office with Dr Joy Backory, senior partnership advisor for UNAIDS and Dr Kate Thomson, Chief of Civil Society Partnership Team of UNAIDS.
UNAIDS is a very important partner for IFMSA and the Committee on Reproductive Health including AIDS (SCORA). It is a joint programme created by ten co-sponsoring organization (UNFPA, UNDP, WHO, UNICEF, World Bank etc.) working on achieving their vision of a worldfree of HIV/AIDS.
We presented IFMSA activities and suggested exploring new ways of collaboration, which would be identified in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) we are aiming to sign between our IFMSA and UNAIDS.
MoU is an important document that all our NMOs can use when asking for support to their projects and activities in means of receiving materials, publications, condoms for World AIDS Day, using UNAIDS Regional Offices when organizing different trainings, inviting UNAIDS external speakers to the Regional Meetings and many many more!
The possibility of UNAIDS opening internship places for IFMSA members was also raised. UNAIDS Internships are an amazing opportunity to get involved into youth HIV/AIDS and reproductive health issues. Places would be open for the applicants not only in UNAIDS Headquarters in Geneva, but also in the Regional Offices. It is definitely something we would be following upon, as we believe that many SCORAddicts and IFMSA members would be interested in it!
As we are in the 10th week before the August Meeting in Denmark, we invited UNAIDS externals to attend our GA and to provide us with the special SCORA package containing materials and resources about HIV/AIDS and sexual and reproductive health.
In the afternoon, after having to choose among too many exciting side events, part of the IFMSA delegation attended “Youth and Health Risks” side event. It was organized in collaboration with UNFPA Regional Offices in Tunisia and it included a videoconference with three young people from Tunisia who talked about health risks young people, especially adolescents, face during that period.
Side event, of course, ended with everyone knowing who is IFMSA and what do we stand for as we made an intervention stating that young people are important part of the solution in initiating healthier actions and catalysing healthy lifestyles among youngsters.
There were present representatives from the WHO Department on Maternal, Neontal, Child and Adolescent Heath, as well as UNAIDS and UNFPA representatives.
On friday, we had a meeting with the Partnership for Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health (PMNCH) of the WHO. With the PMNCH we are collaborating on the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health. To make it clearer, IFMSA has set up a SWG of 8 members who will work on creating IFMSA’s commitments to the Global Strategy. The PMNCH recognizes us as the ones who can contribute in achieving the common MDG 5 goal by 2015 and for that reason we decided to start creating a short set of measurable and reachable interventions and entry points that will guide SCORA’s work on maternal health towards achieving the Global Strategy.
We also asked for the materials for AM (for SCOPHians as well 😉 and we gave them an invitation for our GA in Denmark which they accepted finishing the 1 hour meeting with the words: use us! 🙂
These meetings and side events are only part of the entire program that I have been attending this week, defending the colours of our beloved SCORA and making sure that people know SCORA and IFMSA.
I am honoured and proud to be part of this amazing IFMSA delegation!