Outcomes of the 66th IFMSA August Meeting General Assembly 2017

Amsterdam, The Netherlands – The International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA) has just wrapped up it 66th August Meeting General Assembly. The meeting, which was the biggest ever in terms of countries represented, hosted over 800 medical students from 102 countries in the beautiful city of Arusha, Tanzania, and took place from the 1st until the 7th of August 2017, under the theme Human Resources for Health within the SDG3 Framework.

The Pre-General Assembly:

Prior to the meeting, from the 27th of July until the 1st of August, Arusha was also host to an additional 200 students who had the chance to participate in one of ten Pre-GA Capacity Building Workshops: Public Health Leadership Training (PHLT) on Mental Health, Activity Management: From Idea to Impact, Essential Leadership Skills, Presidents’ Pre-GA Workshop, Women’s Reproductive Health and Access to Safe Abortion (Ipas), Human Rights for Medical Practitioners, Training Medical Education Trainers (TMET), Training New Exchange Trainers (TNET), and Training New Trainers (TNT).

Each of the these 3-day workshops aimed to engage participants and teach them new skills in the different fields of medical education, public health, sexual and reproductive health, human rights and peace, as well as leadership, and personal development. This is but one part of how IFMSA aims to create better healthcare professionals, who are well equipped to face growing health and social challenges.

IFMSA is Growing!

During the General Assembly, IFMSA has grown to 136 National Member Organisations (NMOs) across 127 countries, with the newest candidate members being FNESS-Senegal, MSANC-Northern Cyprus, NAMS-Yemen, QMSA-Qatar, and TTMSA-Trinidad and Tobago. Congratulations and welcome to the family!

We would also like to congratulate AEMP-Togo, AMSI-Ireland, CyMSA-Cyprus, FJMSA-Fiji, MSA-Democratic Republic of the Congo, and SMSA-Syria on becoming full members of the Federation!

Strategy, Agreements, and Policy Documents:
After a year-long process of planning and consultations, the Executive Board submitted the final draft of the IFMSA Strategy for the period of 2017-2020. This document outlines the most important strategic goals that the Federation should work on in the upcoming three years; it was submitted for adoption by the General Assembly, and the motion passed memo contra! You can read the full document here.

Further, IFMSA adopted several new agreements with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), the Asian Medical Students Associations (AMSA-International), the World Organisation of Family Doctors (WONCA), the International Veterinary Students’ Association (IVSA), the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Students (IPSF), the Union, and with Y+/Youth Voices Count (YVC)/Jamaican Youth Advocacy Network (JYAN).

In terms of policy and advocacy work, 12 new policy documents were adopted by the General Assembly. These concern topics such as Active Ageing and Life Course; Antimicrobial Resistance; Children’s Health and Rights; Disaster and Emergency Management; Ethical Finance in IFMSA; Health Equity and Social Determinants of Health; Meaningful Youth Participation; Migrants’ Health; Noncommunicable Diseases; Open Access, Open Education and Open Data; and Peace, Peacebuilding, and Health. These documents will support IFMSA global health advocacy efforts at the highest of levels, and are be available online at www.ifmsa.org.

Theme Event and the IFMSA Action Plan:


This General Assembly’s theme was Crisis in Human Resources for Health: Innovative Health Financing within the SDG3 Framework. Seeing that, without enough healthcare workers with the right set of skills where they are needed the most, neither Universal Health Coverage (UHC) nor the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can be achieved, this theme event brought together several high profile and national speakers to engage participants and try and find possible solutions to the problems at hand regarding Human Resources for Health.

The speakers included:

  • Professor David Gordon, President of the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME);
  • Professor Amanda Howe, President of the World Organisation of Family Doctors (WONCA);
  • Dr. Tana Wuliji, Technical Officer at the WHO Health Workforce Department;

All discussions resulted in the drafting of the IFMSA Plan of Action: Developing Human Resources for Health within the SDG3 Framework, which was written in the context of increasing high level action on the topic, ahead of the 4th Global Forum on Human Resources for Health, in November 2017. With the continued belief in the role of youth and their leadership, IFMSA is co-organising along with the WHO Health Workforce department, the Youth Forum on Human Resources for Health.

Election of the Team of Officials 2017-2018:
During every August Meeting, the IFMSA General Assembly elects the Team of Officials that will lead the Federation for the upcoming term. AM2017 was no exception, and the officials-elect are:

  • Regional Director for Africa Ms. Alaa Ibrahim from Sudan
  • Regional Director for the Americas Mr. Ivan Fabrizzio Canaval from Peru
  • Regional Director for Asia Pacific Ms. Mokshada Sharma from India
  • Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean Ms. Salma Ben Letaifa from Tunisia
  • Regional Director for Europe Mr. Birk Bähnemann from Bulgaria
  • Director on Medical Education Mr. Pablo Estrella from Ecuador
  • Director on Professional Exchange Mr. Tommaso Pomerani from Italy
  • Director on Public Health Ms. Nishwa Azeem from Pakistan
  • Director on Sexual and Reproductive health incl. HIV/AIDS Ms. Anshruta Raodeo from India
  • Director on Research Exchange Ms. Kathrine Wang from Norway
  • Director on Human Rights and Peace Ms. Ugonna Nwankpa from Malta
  • Liaison Officer for Medical Education issues Ms. Katerina Dima from Greece
  • Liaison Officer for Public Health issues Ms. Sanne de Wit from The Netherlands
  • Liaison Officer for Sexual and Reproductive Health issues incl. HIV/AIDS Mr. Carles Pericas from Catalonia-Spain
  • Liaison Officer for Human Rights and Peace issues Mr. Marian Sedlak from Slovakia
  • Liaison Officer to the World Health Organisation Mr. Amine Lotfi from Morocco
  • Liaison Officer to Students Organisations Mr. Jonne Juntura from Finland
  • Supervising Council 2017-2019 Mr. Sharif Ba Alawi from Oman and Mr. Firas Yassine from Lebanon

The positions of Vice-President for Capacity Building and Vice-President for Public Relations and Communication remain vacant, unfortunately. A special election will be held for the former while the latter will be filled by appointment of an interim official via the current Executive Board.

The Post-General Assembly:
Though the meeting came to a close on the 7th of August, a group of 30+ students went on separate 4-day 3-night trips across Tanzania, thus experiencing the best of what this beautiful country has to offer! On the program were a Safari in the Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area and a trip to the island of Zanzibar.

IFMSA wishes to thank TAMSA-Tanzania and all members and volunteers of the Organising Committee of the August Meeting 2017 for their enormous efforts and their dedication to make this meeting one of the most memorable IFMSA meetings in recent years. We’ve enjoyed our stay and surely hope to be back soon!

The International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA) envisions a world in which all medical students unite for global health and are equipped with the knowledge, skills and values to take on health leadership roles locally and globally. Founded in 1951, IFMSA today represents a network of 1.3 million medical students through its 136 national member organisations in 127 countries. More information can be found at: www.ifmsa.org.

Contact Information:
Firas R. Yassine, VP for Public Relations & Communication
(E): [email protected]
(T): 00 961 71 571 269

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