Environment and Health Program encourages NMOs activities that address climate change, water sanitation, outdoor and indoor air pollution, fossil fuel divestment, health sustainability and green hospitals, food production and security. These kind of activities that tackling these issues are matter because they are actually making the change across communities. They not only improve the environment of people around us but also improve our health through decreasing the negative impact of the environment on health.
This year, a lot of impactful activities have been enrolled in the Program. An example of these activities is No Slum Areas from IFMSA-Egypt. I am happy to share with you such an enlightening activity.
NO Slum Areas
Shreef Nasser- IFMSA Eygpt
Physicians have a noble message in life; some might even consider it the noblest of all. This noble message involves helping people in their greatest times of peril, when their health is endangered or when pain and suffering is all they can feel. Out of such belief and the belief that we can make a change no matter how young we are, The members in Students’ Scientific Society, came up with the idea of a project which aims to lessen the agony of the poor living in slum areas, even if just a little. With that noble aim in mind, the project was called NOSA, short for No Slum Areas. It had started in 2014 and is ongoing to this date. This project was carried out in 5 slum areas and is still expanding.
Students’ Scientific Society’s activities usually aims at raising awareness of students in universities and schools about different diseases, especially the most prevalent ones in Egypt. However, a question rose among the members: “why don’t we aim this campaign at people who barely receive any awareness?” This question led to the execution of NOSA.
The first step was the preparation of the medical convoy. Students went to specific slum areas on different days, raising awareness and measuring blood pressure and blood glucose levels to provide enough information for the doctors on the convoy who accompanied the students with the necessary medical equipment and knowledge.
Specific clinics were prepared to provide the best working atmosphere for the doctors, while the SSS members divided the tasks among 5 teams:
- Registration and preparation team to organize the entry of patients to the clinics.
- Doctors’ assistant team to help the doctors in examining the patients.
- Awareness team to roam the streets of the slum area and visit homes to raise awareness about the different diseases.
- Screening team to measure the blood pressure and blood glucose level of the patients.
- The pharmacy team which collected the medications which were later provided for free as well as directing the slum area’s actual pharmacies, which patients were directed to when their prescriptions contain medications that couldn’t be found elsewhere.
- Follow up team to follow the serious and chronic cases after the end of the convey , to provide free examination and prescription also .
NOSA provide health awareness of many diseases as diabetes mellitus, hypertension, anti-addiction and hepatitis to more than 800 family , and provide health services to more than 4000 case.
What truly made NOSA successful, however, was the organization, execution, and, most importantly, the motivation. Members participating in the project were full of unparalleled drive to solve problems slum areas suffer from such as hunger, poverty, illiteracy, insufficient facilities and many others. While we might not be able to solve these core problems, we are planning to make a change, however slight it may be.
If you are interested in the topic or planning to have an activity with the line of this program, don’t hesitate to contact me on environmenthealth@IFMSA. If you’re running activity, I encourage you to enrol it by simply filling out this Enrollment Form and attaching a Candidature Form signed by the NMO president or official NMO representative. This way, you can get support from PC, access to resources and your activity will be recognized as an official IFMSA activity. For more information, you can read the Program Description. You can always approach me if you have any question, concerns or need any kind of help. Share your activities, join the program and shape your world.
AlQasim Abdallah, Program Coordinator on Environment and Health