IFMSA dancing “samba” for health equity in Rio – and everywhere!

Good day IFMSA family!

I write to you today from Rio de Janeiro, in behalf of the 11-member IFMSA delegation to the WHO World Conference on Social Determinants of Health. For the next three days, more than 1000 leaders from around the world, representing Member States, civil society, intergovernmental organizations, and academia, will be convening to exchange ideas and experiences on how to advance the global movement for health equity through action on social determinants of health. “All for equity,” the conference theme says, and our participation in the WCSDH is our way of saying “IFMSA is for equity too!”

But we also want to ensure that ALL of IFMSA is for equity, as we envision a new generation of doctors who will champion health equity in all places and at all times. That is why our Federation designated the week of October 17-23, 2011 as the IFMSA Week of Global Action on Social Determinants of Health. We want to send a signal to the leaders in Rio that we medical students support action on social determinants, and we want to start doing the action now.

Thus, we invite you to keep track of updates and reflections from our delegates in the IFMSA wordpress ( and in the Root Out, Reach Out website ( The campaign website also contains useful resources on SDH, the World Conference, and the Week of Global Action. Also, we ask you to help spread this SDH-virus that has been lingering in IFMSA for the past few months. Share our website as well as our Facebook page in your Facebook account, and follow our tweets on SDH and WCSDH in the IFMSA and Root Out, Reach Out Twitter accounts.

Finally, at this juncture, it is also fitting to recognize the outstanding work of the Small Working Group (SWG) on Health Inequities, which in the previous months has laid down the groundwork for a global campaign on health equity within our Federation. The work of the SWG is the reason why some of your National Member Organizations (NMOs) will be holding educational fora and multi-stakeholder discussions this week in your respective countries. We hope that we as a Federation will sustain this global movement even beyond the WCSDH. This will only happen if all of us will join in this global “samba” for health!

Let’s all “samba” for health equity, in Rio and in the world entire!

In behalf of the IFMSA delegation to the WCSDH,

Renzo Guinto

Facilitator, SWG on Health Inequities

Over-all Coordinator, Root Out, Reach Out Campaign

Regional Coordinator for the Asia-Pacific

International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations

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