WHSS in Prague: Healthcare students’ synthesis and awareness of counterfeit medicines

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
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.

  1. WHPA “Prague Call to Action”, http://www.whpa.org/WHPA_Prague_Call_to_Action_21Nov2011.pdf
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