[WHA68] IFMSA Statement on Antimicrobial resistance

Statement read on May 21st 2015 during the 68th World Health Assembly on Item 15.1: Antimicrobial resistance

Honorable Chair,
Distinguished Delegates,

The IFMSA commends the WHO’s role in addressing AMR and congratulates the proposed draft global action plan with which member states have so strongly collaborated on.

It is urgent to address uncovered issues on  optimizing antibiotic use, as per the draft Global Action Plan, a point reiterated by this Assembly’s president.

It is alarming to know that as we discuss this urgent topic and surely reach a global agreement, there are still three WHO regions in which zero to a handful of countries neither have surveillance nor are reporting systems to regulate prescriptions of antimicrobials.

Health professionals must provide sound, evidence-based prescriptions . Reaffirming the One Health initiative, we strongly urge Member States to be accountable for integrating relevant and urgent emerging resistance trends, empirical treatment regimens and diagnostic protocols into the continuous professional education as well as the health curricula, eliminating the health literacy gap regarding AM polypharmacy and self-pharmacy.

Finally, we strongly urge member states to actively seek and regulate alternative methods of antimicrobial drug distribution, whether it be on virtual platforms or by unlicensed distributors, to prevent suboptimal drugs from reaching our hospitals and to include all relevant stakeholders in joint discussions.

AMR is a generational issue. As future healthcare professionals, we face the risk of losing essential drugs to treat otherwise curable diseases of patients under our care. We are on the verge of returning to the pre-antibiotic era. Not acting now means we have failed our patients throughout their life course. they face unacceptable health consequences of previously treatable diseases .


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 www.opencon2014.org. 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 www.opencon2014.org/takepart. 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

I HAVE THE RIGHT TO RESEARCH. Access to research is a student right

I HAVE THE RIGHT TO RESEARCH. Access to research is a student right.
Update after the August Meeting General Assembly 2014

The IFMSA (International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations) together with the Right to Research Coalition are happy to announce that the Policy Statement on Open Access, Open Education and Open Data has been unanimously approved by the Federation during the last August Meeting General Assembly, that took place in Taipei, Taiwan from August 5th to August 11th.

The International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA) believes in the importance of openness across all research outputs as an alternative to the current closed system of research.

Specifically, the IFMSA supports:
• Open Access, defined as the free, immediate, online availability of research articles with full reuse rights.
• Open Educational Resources, defined as high-quality educational materials that everyone is permitted to freely use, adapt, and share.
• Open Data, defined as data that can be freely used, shared and built-on by anyone, anywhere, for any purpose. 1

Since the first days of the preGeneral Assembly workshops that took place from August 1st to 5th Joe, Assistant Director of the Right to Research Coalition , contributed to the Research Integrity featuring Information and Communication Technologies preGA with sessions about not only OA, but also Open Education and Open Data – fundamental aspects of Research.4 Indeed Open Educational Resources (OER) provide a strategic opportunity to improve the quality of education as well as facilitate policy dialogue, knowledge sharing and capacity building. Open Educational Resources are teaching, learning or research materials that are in the public domanin or released with an intellectual property license that allows for free use, adaptation, and distribution. 2

In order to follow up with the great work done till now and make sure we will implement the PS in the IFMSA National Member Organizations and Medical Faculties we represent we are launching a survey. Our aim is to know more about your University and IFMSA Local Committee about Open Access, Open Education and Open Data policies and activities. Please take few minutes to fill in this form. Your participation is highly appreciated

SURVEY LINK https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1sRPsxmLdIStYD-hfgjcHdxnTfPwMrL4u0sjuK9T8BJk/viewform?usp=send_form

The IFMSA will also contribute to the OpenCon Student Conference 2014 that will take place in Washington DC from November 15th to 16th 2014. You can apply in the new website http://www.opencon2014.org/.

Do not miss this opportunity to be empowered to change research access and to gain leadership skills to facilitate a positive change!

See you in Washington DC!

Ivana Di Salvo, Joseph Mcarthur, Osman Aldirdiri

1. IFMSA Policy Statement Open Access, Open Education and Open Data, August Meeting General Assembly 2014 Taipei, Taiwan
2. UNESCO http://www.unesco.org/new/en/communication-and-information/access-to-knowledge/open-educational-resources/
3. http://www.righttoresearch.org/
4. For the participants to the preGA, but also for who did not participate and would be interested – this page might be very useul http://www.righttoresearch.org/learn/IFMSAAM2014.shtml