Think Global at March Meeting 2014

Think Global is proud to landscape our achievements from the IFMSA March Meeting 2014, “post 2015, Get Involved!”. We at Think Global with the support of many of the Think Global passionate team certainly did get involved!

Firstly, Think Global is here to stay thanks to your support! The Initiative has been successfully and unanimously re-endorsed for another two years by the plenary. And on the note of elections, Think Global co-coordinator Claudel was elected to next year’s Executive Board as Vice-president for External Affairs.

Back to business; how does one go about creating the next generation of global health leaders? Think Global took every approach we could think of to ensure we were doing just that throughout MM14. Starting with the preGA Think Global was represented in four preGAs spanning global health leadership through to training trainers in advocacy. New Generation of Global Health Leaders participants acted as civil society advocates in the GlobalWHO final day honing their advocacy skills to fight for the advances in global health they feel so passionately about: climate change, health economy, mental health, non communicable diseases and universal health coverage. Cautious not to miss an opportunity, Claudel also ran a session on global health and sustainable development in the exchanges preGA workshop whilst Anya support the advocacy preGA from afar!

Think Global’s name was beginning to seep into the consciousness of those global health minded individuals. Yet more was to come from the team of passionate young global health lovers. The theme of March Meeting 2014 was the post Millenium Development Goals, post 2015 development agenda, suiting Think Global members down to the ground. The topic was introduced through excellent talks from inspiring externals each introducing varying aspects of the post-2015 clearly leading us through what has been a confused and overlapping process. Three subsequent parallel events aimed to educate participants on specific issues within the post2015 agenda. Think Global Coordinators Anya and Claudel facilitated sessions on Health Policies and Sustainable wellbeing respectively, where small group discussions led to excellent debate and intriguing questions to be answered. The need for a health revolution emerged…yet time was insufficient for this to be planned in detail!

Finally the theme event was rounded off with a stimulating interactive session. After being caught up on all the other sessions, a debate on the health aspect of the post-2015 agenda was staged between Mike Kalmus Eliasz (former Think Global coordinator) arguing for Healthy Life Expectancy and Waraguru Wanjau (the IFMSA Liaison Officer to the WHO) arguing for Universal Health Coverage. With IFMSA President implementing his SCORA upbringing and getting the whole room got involved, enraged and subsequently contributed to the creation of the Hammamet Resolution. A truly collaborative document clearly articulating the global views of medical students regarding the future development agenda.

Think Global representatives at the meeting didn’t stop there, there was more work to be done! During the joint Standing Committee sessions we twice ran a session on “Global Health Education – what, why and how?” In total around 60 participants explored the concept of global health and how to tackle their universities to include more of it in the curricula. This showcases the IFMSA at it’s best, where we can all share our experiences to develop the achievements of others and will be carried forward for the next couple of months in order to develop an international guiding document. In addition, you may have already heard that the IFMSA is working to develop a standardised Global Health Advocacy Training; a three day workshop which can be implemented worldwide empowering youth to make change, work is continuing and all will soon be revealed.

We also collaborated on IFMSA policy statements which were successfully adopted, including one on trade and health and one the future development goals. Plus, we have helped increasing the knowledge and interest regarding the Trans-pacific and Trans-atlantic trade agreements. We were also able to meeting with many members of the Team of Officials, specifically including the standing committee directors with whom we met and pledged to improve our communication to facilitate united activities for an even better IFMSA.

Finally, for us as Think Global coordinators meeting some of our inspirational team members face-to-face was a highlight of the conference. There is no amount of words that can thank you all for the hard work you do around the world.

If you are interested in getting involved with us for the rest of the term, please fill out this form. We are very much looking forward your bright ideas and meaningful input!

On behalf of the International Think Global Team,

Claudel & Anya
thinkglobal@ifmsa.org

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Urgent appeal for assistance for the Philippines

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8th November 2013 the Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines. Second-deadliest typhoon on record. Killed over 4 000 mothers, fathers, grandparents and kids. In a period of less then 24 hours the life of 15 million people got a turn that no one could predict. (1) The typhoon Haiyan swept through the Philippine islands and left behind a country in ruins, and people in need of assistance regarding medical health, food and housing. There is lack of water, power and communications. The damage to infrastructure reach about 240 million USD. Many of the hospitals are damaged and out of function. Security is also a concern (2). Due to this scale of negative effects the disaster in the Philippines is categorized to Grade 3; the highest internal emergency category under the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Emergency Response Framework (ERF) (2).

Our national member organisation AMSA-Philippines was overwhelmed, confronted by loss and abject people. A call for help reached our federation. We the IFMSA-Quebec, supported by the IFMSA SWG on Disaster Management, have initiated a collection within IFMSA directed to help the millions of victims of the typhon Haiyan. Now more than ever, medical physicians should be ready to respond and help in disasters, whenever and wherever it happens. The privileges of being a health professional come with responsibilities to society. Every contribution counts.

We ask you as a humanitarian and future doctor to spread this call for humanity, this appeal of helping people suffering.  The donations will unshorten assist AMSA-Philippines work to maintain best possible mental and physical health among the victims of Haiyan. Health is a human right and not just a civil right. As future medical professionals it is our duty to help all people in need of health care.

We invite you to join this urgent appeal of assistance to the Philippines. We invite you to join our campaign.  Let us fulfill our future oath as medical professionals and let us be humanitarian. Together we have joined and improved the world. We would be truly thankful if you could help us by doing following three things:

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The donations will unshorten assist AMSA-Philippines work to maintain best possible mental and physical health among the victims of Haiyan. You can read AMSA-Philippines latest blogpost on Haiyan here. The online donation platform is only a click away

As medical students committed to sharing your knowledge and skills internationally, you are a powerful source of hope for the future. I commend your determination to use your medical training to benefit all members of society. – Kofi Annan as UN Secretary General

In solidarity we stand,

Camille Pelletier Vernooy | Moa Herrgård
Team SCORP-Quebec | Project Leader PSWG Disaster Management IFMSA
norp@ifmsa.qc.ca | drm.ifmsa@gmail.com

Supported by the IFMSA Think Global Initiative

1)  OCHA, Relief web, Philippines: Typhoon Haiyan – Humanitarian snapshot, 2nd December 2013 http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/PHL_Haiyan_131202_HumanitarianSnapshot.pdf

2)  SitRep No. 26 Effects of Typhoon “Yolanda” (Haiyan). National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, Republic of the Philippines. 18 November 2013. http://www.ndrrmc.gov.ph/attachments/article/1125/NDRRMC%20Update%20-%20Sitrep%20No%2026%20re%20Typhoon%20Yolanda.pdf

3)  SitRep No. 2 Typhoon “Yolanda” (Haiyan), Philippines. World Health Organisation Pacific Regional Office and the Philippines Country Office. 17 November 2013. http://www.who.int/hac/crises/phl/sitreps/philippines_sitrep_17november2013.pdf

IFMSA at the 9th Conference of Youth (COY9)

The 9th Conference of Youth (COY9) has been an inspiring way to lead-up to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 19th Conference of the Parties (COP19).  Held over the past four days preceding the COP, it offered participants the opportunity to network with similar minded youths from across the globe. Youth from the international community joining together to prepare for the upcoming climate negotiations is symbolic of the inter-generational equity challenge that climate change poses. Passionate about climate justice and equity, the voice of youth offers an insightful and passionate discourse to the climate change discussions. From different backgrounds, cultures and experiences; the enormous challenge which climate change poses to our generation transcends barriers of language and unites participants in forming a platform of solidarity in preparation for the next fortnight of negotiations.

Various topics discussed at the Conference of Youth have included resilience, the influence of big business on COP19 and climate negotiations, and the Polish energy economy and positions of local stakeholders. Workshops have focused on skill building and sharing across a variety of areas, with much opportunity for participants to shape the direction of the discussion. We learnt about how and why different participants are passionate about climate change and the environment, and what their goals and aspirations for the coming weeks were. A passionate delegate from the Maldives shared her experience and perceptions of climate change with the knowledge that her homeland lies just 1.8 meters above sea level and will be particularly vulnerable to the impacts of warmer temperatures and rising sea levels.

There has been vibrant discussion on climate justice, systems of oppression, and the empowerment of youths and communities. COY9 also provided information and training to people wishing to partake in actions whilst at COY9 or COP19. Participants then applied this knowledge to create an action of solidarity related to the recent typhoon tragedy in the Philippines. It is hoped that from this recent tragedy will come concrete action during COP19 to protect those global communities most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. The irony that it is also these same communities who have contributed least to global carbon emissions and global warming should not be lost on anyone, particularly big polluters and those in allegiance with them for political and economic reasons.

The voice of youth will offer a valuable contribution to the critical climate negotiations taking place in Warsaw over the next two weeks. Let’s hope that it is one that is heard.

Charlotte Holm-Hansen & Rachael Purcell