Name of the activity: Semmelweis Health Competition

Country/NMO: Hungary (HuMSIRC)

Program: Healthy Lifestyles & Non-Communicable Diseases


Contact information: [email protected]

Type of the activity: Education


General description:

HuMSIRC’s most significant preventive programme is the Semmelweis Health Competition. The competition is for secondary school students, has multiple rounds (online tests and a local final round held at Semmelweis University), focusing on disease prevention and health protection. The competition itself is rather special, as it is planned and the professional background is prepared solely by members of one of our Local Committees (BMSA), all of whom are medical students.

The aforementioned professional background is a roughly 300-page comprehensive professional material, which has been reviewed by esteemed professionals, thus providing the competition with credibility and professionalism.
The 2nd Semmelweis Health Competition took place in the schoolyear of 2016/17. 280 teams participated, each consisting of 5 members, making the total number of participants 1400. The 3nd Semmelweis Health Competition is currently underway. This year, 353 teams applied from almost every part of the country, so, in total, we have managed to reach 1765 secondary school students with our preventive materials. The final round will be held on 31th March 2018 at Semmelweis University Budapest.

Focus area:

Prevention of NCDs and Health Promotion

Problem statement:

Hungary has one of the worst mortality and morbidity statistics (especially regarding diabetes, lung cancer, alcoholism, obesity) among the European countries due to lack of health knowledge of the majority of the population. To address this problem, our main focus is the high school students: to raise health literacy among youth, to get as much students involved in the education and familiarize with certain public health related problems. To raise attention for the most critical health problems of our society and form a more health conscious attitude for the youth. To widen the coverage of our preventive program and reach as many rural and municipal areas as possible. We want to give the opportunity to learn for the most deprived social groups.

Target groups and beneficiaries:

Our primary target: students between the age of 14-18 who are in the last four years of high school, because they are the future and their attitude can be changed the most efficiently. Through students, our secondary target group is the population that can be reached directly by the educated students: they speak with their parents, the groups share their knowledge with the rest of the class, they make posters and info-graphics and present them in the school. Moreover the task for the third round was to create a public health related activity in their school or in the area where they live. Approximately 63 groups (altogether 315 students) made an activity like that: in this way they reached thousands of people through social media, YouTube videos, presentations in kindergartens. The form of activities varies: workshops, campaigns, presentations, school days.

Objectives and indicators of success:

The main purpose of the project to motivate at least 1000 high school students in a more healthy lifestyle and improve their attitude towards health between 2016-2017. These students will proactively take part in forming a base of a health-conscious societly.
Our goal was to reach more students than last year. In 2016: 120 five-people groups participated (600 students), in contrast this year the number of groups was 281 (1405 students), so we doubled the number of participating students!
Other aim was to have more high schools involved than last year. In 2016: 25 high school were reached, this year the number was 60! High schools from all over Hungary submitted their application.
We wanted to widen the professional range and improve the quality of the handouts this year: new topics such as AMR, vaccines and endometriosis were involved and the handouts expanded with 150 pages (from 100)! To emphesize the importance of the communation and spreading of the acquired information toward the society, and get involved in social responsibility, a new, third round were developed: the competitors had a task to create a public health related activity.
-Professional handout: 300 pages long, professionally approved by specialist
-Two internet based comprehensive tests: to guarantee the professional knowledge for the third round
-The novel third round: organizing a public health related activity taken place in their vicinity, so the competitors show their knowledge in use.
-An interactive, more playful but informative one day long final, to have the most successful group awarded. Here the taks have a 15 minutes long time frame, so the groups have to work as a team and act as quicly as possible (acting in acute situations) and use there active knowledge.


The core of organizing committee is composed by 25 people from the BMSA (Budapest Medical Students’ Association), they are divided into different subdivisions as marketing and social, finance, professional, logistics. food and beverage, registration, advocacy. During the competition more than 120 volunteer medical student helped to guarantee the high standard of the final and more than 50 peer educator students helped to hold lectures in the competitors’ high schools all over Hungary and make handouts for them. All the handouts were supervised by doctors from the Semmelweis University, Budapest.
The competition composed of four rounds. 2 internet based tests, 1 public health related activity making and the Final.
The preparations started in September, when we reviewed the handouts and the quality of the online platform for the tests and started the preparations for the promotion and registration.We placed nearly 300 posters and sent emails for every high school in Hungary. The high schools were allowed to send as many students as they wanted, only groups consisting 5 pupils were allowed to apply.
The following topics were concerned: Substance abuse, STDs and AIDS and reproductive health, healthy lifestyle, BLS and first aid, tumor prevention, cardiovascular prevention, vaccines, transplantation and blood donation. During the first two round, two short test had to be filled (10-10 questions in each topic).In the third round the participants had to create a public health related activity in their school or in the area where they live. 63 groups (altogether 315 students) made an activity like that.
In the Final, 36 groups with the best results had to show their knowledge in use, during 12 stations with interactive tasks, such as accident simulation, STD poker, vaccine making. The 6 groups with the best results received precious awards (concert tickets, board games, theater tickets).

Plans for evaluation:

– Professional handouts: two internet based comprehensive tests
– Third round: after the carry-out of the event, photos and/or videos had to be taken and with the budget attached and a google form had to be filled. The form composed of the following questions: what is the aim of the program, who is the target group? What is the problem tackled? How was the planning and carry-out conducted? Did you made evaluation? How would you expand the target group of the project? How did you distributed the tasks? What were the expences? Did you have cooperations? These were the elements for the selection process.
– 1 week after the final, we have sent out a google form. This form mostly focused on an overall inputs and advice sharing about the whole competition and the evaluation of the final.