May 18th 2015, Geneva – Today marks the opening of the 68th World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva, Switzerland. The International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA) is represented by a delegation of 35 young delegates and future health professionals from over fifteen countries of the 5 continents, who will strive to address the health priorities of medical students worldwide.
“The World Health Assembly is an excellent opportunity for future health professionals to engage with policy makers, to explore international governance, and to tackle the most pressing global health challenges of today.” – Mr Agostinho Sousa, IFMSA President
During the WHA, IFMSA will present its views on selected priority topics of the technical agenda:
- Agenda Item 11.2: Framework of engagement with non-state actors
- Agenda item 14.2: Health in the post-2015 development agenda
- Agenda item 14.3: Adolescent Health
- Agenda item 14.6: Health and the environment: addressing the health impact of air pollution
- Agenda item 15.1: Antimicrobial resistance
- Agenda item 15.4 : WHO response in severe, large scale emergencies
- Agenda item 17.2: WHO Global Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel
These selected priorities reflect the working areas of the Federation, on which the voices of health students are essential for the clear assessment and of the development of innovative solutions, which will take into consideration the views and needs of present and future generation of healthcare providers. All prepared statements will be made available on IFMSA online platforms.
The preparation and empowerment of young people to meaningfully engage in policy-making on the international stage is of increasing importance given the growing complexity of the global health landscape. IFMSA also underlines the importance of cross-sectorial consultation and approach to the above mentioned priorities topics. Therefore, the IFMSA organized a four-day capacity building event prior to the WHA, “The Youth Pre World Health Assembly: New Voices for Global Health”. The event was held May 14-18th 2015, with the support of the Global Health Workforce Alliance and the Geneva Graduate Institute.
IFMSA will also work with its existing partners, such as the International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation (IPSF), and the International Association of Dental Students (IADS), which are the founding members of the World Healthcare Students’ Alliance (WHSA). Collaboration between healthcare students helps ensuring the good development of comprehensive health care and to implement improved health policies together with multisectorial stakeholders.
As Miss Stijntje Dijk, IFMSA Head of Delegation to World Health Assembly 68, puts it, “IFMSA is confident that an increase of youth visibility and meaningful engagement during the World Health Assembly can support the development of innovative solutions to address complex global health issues so to shape a sustainable and healthy future.”
This 68th World Health Assembly will also serve as an opportunity for IFMSA to formalize a long-standing partnership with the World Medical Association, by signing an historical memorandum of understanding, aiming to encourage medical students and doctors to learn from each other and present a common front to challenges faced by the current and future physicians for the development of medicine and the better care of the patients.
IFMSA is looking forward a fruitful and collaborative World Health Assembly. IFMSA expresses its commitment to continue providing future health professionals with opportunities for developing youth leadership; to promote active participation; and to lead effective youth advocacy in global health
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 125 national member organizations. For more: www.ifmsa.org.
IFMSA will be using the hashtag #ywha to communicate on social media.
IFMSA Vice-President for External Affairs
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