IFMSA was represented by the Regional Director for Europe at the WHO European Ministerial Conference on Life-course Approach in the Context of Health 2020, in Minsk, Belarus on the 21st and 22nd of October.
Life-course Approach suggests that the health outcomes of individuals and the community depend on the interaction of multiple protective and risk factors throughout peoples lives. The life-course approach encompasses actions that are taken early, appropriately to transitions in life and together as a whole society. This approach confers benefits to the whole population across the lifespan, as well as accruing to the next generations.
During the meeting IFMSA had the opportunity to discuss some of the stages and transitions in life particularly important for this approach, highlighting the importance of including mental health in the strategy, particularly having into account the high prevalence of mental disorders in the health workforce.
Furthermore, IFMSA also focused on the maternal and children health as as essential focus area, stressing than any kind of stigma and discrimination has to be tackled in order to provide an universal access to healthcare.
The final objective of this Conference was to adopt an action framework in the form of a Conference outcome statement, the Declaration of Minsk, which will now work as a resource for countries that wish to apply the life course approach in public policy-making.