Name of the activity: IFMSA-Québec Neglected Tropical Diseases Manual

Country/NMO: Canada – Québec (IFMSA-Québec)

Program: Communicable Diseases

 

Type of the activity: Education

 

Focus area:

Prevention of Communicable Diseases | Neglected Tropical Diseases of the Americas

Problem statement:

We have found that few medical students in Quebec have knowledge on neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), little can they even describe what they are. Considering that NTDs significantly impact global health, we wish to raise awareness about this issue in the medical student community. Medical students may be exposed to cases during their internships, especially if they leave for foreign countries for an international clinical experience. Within the context of globalization, international exchanges are more and more important and increase significantly the probability of encountering these diseases even in a non endemic place such as Quebec. These diseases carry the burden of being “neglected” and that is why they deserve to be known by future doctors, as much on the pathophysiology level than on their impact in the community. That is why we need to share our knowledge so that we can move forward and help medical students in understanding this issue by providing them a practical resource. Surveys will of course be backing up our claims that Medical students lack knowledge on NTDs.

Target groups and beneficiaries:

For now, we interact directly with students at our University (Université Laval) who share an interest in our project. Our primary target group is the medical students in our province, Quebec. Indeed, we will first create a manual in french and in the long term, hope to translate it to english so that students from around the world can access it. For now, we have focused on the 10 most important NTDs from the Americas as described by PAHO. Of course, most of these diseases can be found in other regions around the world. We would be open to eventually including all main NTDs in this manual. We think that all medical students could benefit from this comprehensive manual regardless of their location.

Objectives and indicators of success:

1) Peer-education : Increase the overall knowledge on NTDs within an NTD SWG as assessed by verbal feedback within a five month period of peer presentations.
2) Education and awareness : Increase the knowledge/awareness on NTDs within the Quebec medical student community by one point, as measured by a self-assessment questionnaire which produces a knowledge/awareness score on 10, within a four month period following the publication of the NTD Manual. This could also be assessed internationally.

Methodology:

1) SWG Presentations : Each participant chooses a NTD, researches this disease and, presents it to the other students in the group. Questions and quizzes are addressed at the end of the presentation. A discussion may follow. These presentations were held between 2016 and 2017.
2) Written reports : Each participant must produce a report, respecting a standard template including respected references. The deadline for the reports was the 1st of july 2017.
3) Revision of the work : The revision will begin shortly after we received all of the reports. The reports are distributed to other members in the group. We will review the grammar, orthography, content, layout. After, the reports are given back to the authors so that they can address the comments. The revision will take place between july to december 2017.
4) Contact the coordinator of Communicable diseases in IFMSA in order to help us find financial support and, technical support also for the e-manual (November 2017).
5) Review of the work by experts (scientists and doctors): We will send the final documents, revised and corrected to infectious diseases specialists. In such, they will contribute to the validity/quality of our work and provide a thorough scientific support. From december to march 2017-2018.
6) Publish the data in the form of a manual(ebook) with the help of IFMSA. End of the year of 2018.
7) Translation/Input by the IFMSA community: In parallel, a call will be made for the international IFMSA community to help in translating the manual to English as well as in reviewing its content. People will be designated to write an appropriate preface and a general overview of NTDs around the world. This SWG could also help in producing a policy statement on NTDs.
8) The translated manual will be published internationally through the IFMSA (timeline TBD).

Plans for evaluation:

An electronic self-assessment questionnaire will be sent to all medical students at our University (possibly all medical students in Quebec) before we publish the manual. This questionnaire will produce a knowledge/assessment score. A follow-up self assessment questionnaire will be sent again to all medical students at our University four weeks after the publication of the NTD manual. The average follow-up score will be compared to the average pre-publication score.