Earlier in June, IFMSA was invited to attend both regional meetings organized by the International Committee of the Red Cross as our collaboration has grown strong and steady the past 7 months.
The ICRC has decided to forego their global conference and allocate their time and investments on regionalizing their work to increase impact and devise evidence based interventions relevant for each region.
Thus, they decided to have an Asia-Pacific and an Eastern Mediterranean Regional meeting in 2019 and an Americas & Africa RM in 2020.
IFMSA was present in order to share one the recently published best practices: the Healthcare in Danger Toolkit! (find it here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Eitvq4pbnK5cFf-bCaAZOGFWe2szvTsr/view?fbclid=IwAR2bABQmN6cjE66jViZ9EnAvVg0wSdfuCJphHsGqIt8H2TCx6ZbmGANjPNk )
The AP meeting happened in Manila, Philippines and the EMR meeting was in Beirut, Lebanon. They both were 3 day meetings, focused on small working groups functioning in unity, sharing best practices and lessons learned.
Participants included some governmental bodies (representing ministries of health), civil society organizations, national red cross and red crescent societies and representatives of the department of defense of several nations.
Some of the sessions focused on international humanitarian law and its applicability in different settings (refugee camps/different cities or regions within a country); other sessions focused on healthcare in danger initiative initialization in various countries and some focused on best practices.
There was a variety of topics to keep the discussion running and the outcome of the AP RM was the drafting & adoption of the Manila Declaration by the attendees of the meeting and the outcome of the EMR meeting was the drafting of an outcomes protocol.
Both the declaration and the protocol will act to serve as a guiding principle for national Red Cross & Red Crescent societies in addition to MoH until the next regional meeting in 2 years.
Hiba Ghandour, Liaison Officer for Human Rights & Peace Issues