IFMSA delegation at World Health Summit 2020
On October 25th to 27th 2020, IFMSA participated in the fully digital World Health Summit, which gathered over 6000 participants to explore and delve into the most crucial global health topics, including health emergencies, gender, climate change and digital health.
The IFMSA delegation consisted of:
- Eglė Janušonytė, the Vice President for External Affairs and Head of Delegation;
- Iris Blom, the Liaison Officer to World Health Organization;
- Mariona Borrell, the Regional Director for Europe;
- Omnia El Omrani, the Liaison Officer for Public Health Issues;
- Ieva Berankytė, the Liaison Officer for SRHR issues, incl. HIV and AIDS.
Throughout the event, the delegates attended and engaged in various sessions, a lot of which focused on detailing the current response efforts in Covid – 19 and discussing novel solutions for managing the crisis on global, regional and national levels. The World Health Summit speakers reaffirmed the need for strong partnerships, leadership and unity in these times as means of ensuring health for all. Discussions and presentations throughout the conference marked the importance of a multidisciplinary approach to maintaining resilient health systems.
The highlight of the event was the youth-led session hosted by IFMSA, entitled “Youth perspectives: Covid-19 response and gender”. The session consisted of 2 panels, exploring both youth involvement and role in this health emergency as well as impacts of gender throughout the pandemic, and was moderated by our VPE Eglė Janušonytė. The speakers shared their unique perspectives on the challenges the youth faced in the response as well as highlighted good practices that were implemented. Gender perspectives brought attention to how an effective response is impossible without the equal and meaningful participation of women and called for the urgent need to ensure their needs are met in regards to safety and decision making spaces in the health workforce. Both panel discussions kept spotlight on youth as one of the key stakeholders in the response as well as the necessity for their full involvement.
Although virtual, the World Health Summit proved to be an impactful event for various stakeholders to facilitate fruitful discussion and send a clear message on the necessity of leaving no one behind when it comes to accessing health – especially in the times of crisis.