This coming September 13-16, 2012, the Asia-Pacific region of IFMSA will be holding its annual Regional Meeting in the city of Penang, Malaysia. It will be hosted by the Society of Malaysian Medical Association Medical Students (SMMAMS), one of IFMSA’s active member organizations. More than 300 medical students from all over Asia-Pacific will gather in the beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site to engage in dynamic and fruitful discussions, learn from outstanding leaders in medicine and public health in the region, and participate in cultural and knowledge exchange beyond the four walls of medical school.
The theme for this year’s regional meeting is “Transitions 2012: Doctors-in-training changing the global health landscape of Asia-Pacific.”
Asia-Pacific is a rapidly evolving and changing region. And so do its health care systems, which are as diverse and unique as its many cultures and populations. Countries in the region are now striving hard to transform their health systems, adopt new medical technologies, address emerging health threats, and reduce lingering health inequities. Indeed, the entire Asia-Pacific region is in itself a health system in transition.
The region’s medical students should also join this massive transformation. Now more than ever, we need a new generation of doctors with a deep understanding of the complex changes happening in global health, both in the region and in the world at large. Furthermore, the 21st century Asia-Pacific doctor must be in the forefront of action in addressing these transitions, committed to achieving a global health future that we all profoundly want and truly deserve.
The first night of the APRM will be opened by Dr. Tikki Pang, former Director for Research Policy & Cooperation at the World Health Organization in Switzerland and currently Visiting Professor at the Lee Kwan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore.
Global Health Debate
This year’s APRM will inaugurate the first-ever Global Health Debate in the whole of IFMSA. In this competition, two teams composed of members from various NMOs of the Asia-Pacific region will engage in a highly-charged discussion on a specific pressing health issue that is currently facing the region. The debate hopes to deepen mutual dialogue and critical thinking among participants, as well as to contribute new insights to the selected issue that will certainly shape the future of Asia-Pacific’s health.
Student Panel on Comparative Global Health
This panel will allow medical students to give a presentation about their respective health care systems, raise issues that are shared by the different countries, and identify features that are unique to the diverse country settings.
Global Health Film Festival
Soon to evolve as the “Asian Oscars of Global Health,” this event will enable participants to watch thought-provoking films covering different health themes and issues. The show will be followed by a moderated discussion, hoping to synthesize global health lessons gained from the movies.
Asia-Pacific Global Health Fair
This global health fair will showcase the best projects, campaigns, and other activities of the various NMOs of the Asia-Pacific region. Each NMO will also install an exhibit of the country’s health system, trends, and determinants. Sponsors and partners such as nongovernmental organizations and UN agencies will also be invited to set up a booth and present various global health work opportunities for the participants.
Democracy as a Path to Health for All
International Day of Democracy at the Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting 2012
This coming September 15, 2012, the world will commemorate the International Day of Democracy. As the third day of the Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting of the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations falls on the same date, we medical students from across the region plan to organize an afternoon of public gathering as our way of celebrating democracy and educating the local people about the gifts and ways of democracy.
The United Nations define democracy as a “universal value based on the freely expressed will of people to determine their own political, economic, social and cultural systems and their full participation in all aspects of their lives.” The Asia-Pacific countries represented in IFMSA, including the host country Malaysia, all share a common desire to enhance people’s participation in everyday governance.
As doctors-in-training, we acknowledge the role of democracy toward achieving the vision of health for all. In 1978, the Alma Ata Declaration recognized the value of people’s participation in health care. The 2008 Commission on Social Determinants of Health under WHO also called for the creation of spaces for enhanced participation of individuals, communities, and civil society groups in the shaping of health systems and addressing of various health determinants. The timing of the conference vis-à-vis the International Day of Democracy is perfect, as now we see a great transition in the global health landscape in Asia-Pacific – health is now gradually being put in the hands of the people at last.
Standing Committee Sessions
Penang Heritage Walk Tour
Penang Hawker Festival
National Food and Drinks Party and Cultural Night
with Pre-APRM Workshops on September 10-12, 2012 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
on Social Determinants of Health, Projects Management, Advocacy and Policy, and Training New Trainers (TNT)
Everyone is invited! Special rates for non-Asia-Pacific medical students are available.
For more information about the meeting, you may visit http://www.aprm2012.org/.