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March Meeting 2019 - Slovenia

By İdil KINA, Director on Human Rights and Peace

4 weeks ago in Portoroz Slovenia, more than a 100 SCORPions met for the MM 2019 SCORP Sessions. In 5 days we have gained many experiences and promoted human rights through our standing committee sessions,our Small Working Groups, Joint Sessions, Global Priority Events, and even plenaries! By this, it was a very unique General Assembly for the work of SCORP and the involvement of SCORPions.

During our Standing Committee sessions we covered many (if not too many) areas from nuclear abolition to extremism, from mental health to ethics and corruption. We discussed human rights based activity building, how hate speech and fear mongering works, what is human trafficking, and how to build resilient cities. We had externals from ICRC and IPPNW joining us for some of our sessions, with especially IPPNW supporting us throughout the SCORP Sessions. We also hosted the SCORP Fair where many NMOs got to present their activities, discuss their work, and got inspired from each other. In addition, we conducted a plenary within SCORP to vote upon important regulations,where many new regulations were adopted that will guide the NORPs clearly through the tasks they have and what an NMO should do in order to be SCORP Active.

Lastly we were also present in the plenaries through joint statement with IFMSA-Czech about human rights within IFMSA and the incidents that took place in SCORP Camp 2018 and called for action to be taken in order to tackle such issues. And we finished the GA again in the plenary, through our joint statement with SCORA on behalf of the International Women's Day 2019 Small Working Group. Our members supported us in the preparations as the plenary room was dyed with purple with our balloons as we read the statement.

We thank all the Sessions Team members, The OC, The NMOs, and most importantly the SCORPions for this amazing experience.

External Representation Updates

By Hiba Ghandour, Liaison Officer for Human Rights and Peace

The past three months have been very busy for SCORP's external representation world. From finalizing the outcomes of the Intergovernmental Conference to Adopt the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly & Regular Migration to having discussions with UNICEF and OHCHR for possible future collaborations, it has been a busy 3 months.

End of December was mostly focusing on internal IFMSA work, attending the African Regional Meeting in Ghana, delivering PHLT & TNT sessions in the pre-meeting and spending most of the meeting with passionate SCORPions in addition to hardworking presidents and other IFMSAians in SCOPH & SCORA sessions. This was followed by an efficient and productive TOM 2 in Poland and a very inspiring Americas Regional Meeting in Ecuador where we were able to deliver a very successful Health Care in Danger workshop and spent the meeting with inspiring SCORPions, sharing external representation capacity building knowledge with them.

Mid January to Early March was spent having external representation capacity building for the SCORP International Team so they can deliver it to their NORPs in turn. I had several online meetings, with OHCHR, IOM, UNHCR, UNICEF, ICRC, IPPNW-Students and WHSA to assess the status of several ongoing projects and plan for the future, in addition to MM preps of course. Lastly, attending MM and getting to see the ever amazing IT, and of course SCORPions from ALL regions was how the last month has concluded.

See you in a few months with more updates hopefully!
Find out more about SCORP Camp 2019

Events in Green

Human Rights for Medical Practitioners, Pre-MM19

By Sahiba Maniar, MSAI - India

The craters of this crafty world
Engulfs souls powerful and numb
The bruises of misery lay deep within
In this cycle of viciousness you succumb
Equality let’s out a painful sigh
The clouds of ignorance blanket above
Hence we stand with the uncared for,
Repeatedly Ensuring, “Make SCORP not WAR!”

A doctor’s role goes beyond surgeries and diagnosis. We are bestowed upon a gratifying status to reflect the society. 3 powerful days covering the aspects of human rights, extremism and hate speech, and nuclear war instilled in me the power to believe that I could bring about a change. Various SWGs throughout the workshop not only gave us a platform to share our ideas but gave us a window to the problems engulfing the world as a whole. While as a group we found great amusement in bombing each other through the nuclear bombing activity, it gave us an insight into the catastrophe and pain which neither could we imagine nor want to revisit. The HRMP workshop ended with a mighty debate which gave us the confidence to advocate the most obvious, still the most violated aspect of life: our rights and peace. The HRMP workshop ensures that before I
become a doctor with a magical scalpel, I become a doctor with a better heart !

TNHRT Egypt 2019, a family of SCORPions!

By Ahmed Zayed, IFMSA-Egypt

Locking 24 people in a room to talk about human rights and tackle human rights problems for 3 days will definitely make those 24 person a family of dedicated trainers, equipped with all the necessary skills and knowledge to defend human rights and to build the capacity of IFMSA-Egypt SCORP. Ladies and Gentlemen, I'm talking about SCORP's very own workshop: the TNHRT. Attending a TNHRT is always a life changing experience; you get to have a family of people who have the same goals as you, fighting by your side for a great cause. And being the coordinator of the workshop was an experience I would love to have again!. You have missed a lot if you haven't attended a TNHRT yet. So consider attending one, for you will surely get to have a new family, a family of SCORPions.

SCORPions' Activities

The March Charity Bazaar

By Aylin Feyzullova, AMSB - Bulgaria

This year my SCORP team and I decided to show respect for one important part of human rights –  children’s rights and health. The idea came one morning a few days before Christmas and it’s true that there are Christmas miracles! We decided to prepare Christmas cards for a Charity bazaar and one Primary School in Plovdiv helped us by preparing 150 of the cards! For only two days we sold all of them for almost 1000 Leva! It was a great job, it was magic!

All of the money were intended to help a 5 years old girl - Irene who has been diagnosed with Cerebral palsy and Spastic diplegia. We really wanted to change her life, to make it better, because every child must have this opportunity! She already has a date for an operation – Selective dorsal rhizotomy in April 2020. We didn’t stop there, we decided to continue by making a bigger project – March Charity Bazaar. We prepared it during one whole month by making traditional Bulgarian bracelets – “Martenichki”. They symbolize health, luck, fortune and love. We give them on the 1st of March to our family, friends and loved ones. And during the past month we prepared thousands of them! We were selling them all over the Medical Universities in Bulgaria in the same time. The result was 4600 lv.!

The family of the girl was so thankful! I met them and Irene when the Bazaar started! They couldn’t believe that someone is helping them that much. Now, we know that we should not stop because our mission is not finished yet! We still have the resources, the time and the energy to continue collecting donations for our girl. We are preparing a big Charity concert with famous Bulgarian musicians and a AMSB Charity Spring Ball for her! We have also a strong partner – Interact Plovdiv, who will also make campaigns for Irene. Our dream is to collect all of the money needed for the operation of Irene and we think that is absolutely possible to change one life and to show humanity... !

Gender in Healthcare

What is our role as future practitioners in fostering a gender-inclusive environment?

By Berkehan ERKILIÇ, TurkMSIC

Gender Representation in every platform including areas of work has been up for debate even as early as the Industrial Revolution. Women were suffering unbelievable gaps in terms of opportunities and access to healthcare. But the times have changed and we’re facing rapid changes within the structural dynamics of societies, more than ever now. However the changes are drastic and are exponential as science cumulatively heap on and the societies fail to keep up with this speed. What exactly will help us fight this inequality and build a bridge that will provide every other human being with the same rights and opportunities?

Medicine is prestigious and this is a well recognized fact almost all around the globe. This is due to both the sacredness of the job itself and the difficulty of enrolling in faculties and studying the field as well as being a student all your life. If this faculty is so wonderful, what is the role and position of women in healthcare? This is not a pleasant question to ask since everyone who is reading these words are already aware of the concept of equality and human rights. But it’s still a huge denial for most of the countries and even the majority of the population. Both the effector and the effected are us, medical students/professionals. This is a double edged sword and the responsibility lays a burden up on our shoulders. Since medical students are the new generation of healthcare professionals, we are put in a very strategical position in tackling gender inequalities.

I believe the most reliable way of establishing an inclusive and sustainable future for healthcare is through sound education. Most of the medical curricula doesn’t include gender issues sufficiently and the more experienced lecturers are unwilling to change their language and teachings accordingly. What we do within IFMSA, peer education methods, is also a great tool for us to capacitate our members, who are medical students themselves.

All in all, the key to tackling gender inequalities within the healthcare system is through remodeling the medical curricula and mobilizing the future medical doctors.

Medicine is for MEN, nursing is for WOMEN !

I was volunteering in a homeless shelter here in Prague last year. One night, I was accompanied by a fellow med student. As we were going on with our business, mostly changing bandages and issuing cold medicine, one of our patients who knew me from before remarked: “What a skillful nurse you’ve got here, Doc.” My colleague was two years above me, much more experienced in the field of medicine. But because I was a man and she was a woman, I was the doctor and she was the nurse. And this stereotype is quite common in Czech Republic.

Linguistics may be partly at blame here. Here’s a little journey into the wonders of Czech language: word for “a nurse” is the same as for “a sister”, and while “a brother” is sometimes used to refer to a male nurse and health officials are looking to implement a more gender-neutral nomenclature, connection remains strong in hearts and minds of Czech people.

Is the language to blame, though? I don’t believe so, at least not entirely, as the stereotypes tend to run much deeper. Before I’ve entered med school, I took a gap year and worked at our teaching hospital. I was a lowly order, expected to perform tasks that didn’t require too much skill. Men, however, frequently asked me if I was charged with overseeing the nurses. I was by far the youngest, least experienced and qualified of our hospital fellowship, but because I was a man, I was supposed to run that place.

There is no easy solution to this problem. It has been more than a century since first woman graduated from Czech medical faculty, yet their contribution to medicine still waits to be recognized!

Breaking Barriers for Women Physicians

By Mohamed El-Zemety, IFMSA - Egypt

The medical profession is committed to the protection and promotion of health and well-being of all persons, irrespective of their sex, cultural or social background. However, while gender equality has made a progress in areas such as education and workforce involvement, gender inequality continues to plague many communities today, the reinforcement of stereotypes, inequity and gender-based discrimination persist, even within the medical profession itself.

For example, in Egypt, women do not progress to leadership positions at the same rate as their male peers. Highly qualified women do not attain independent grants and publications at the same rate, either. Evidence shows that women in academic medicine experience more challenges finding sponsors, are offered less research funding, and they continue to earn considerably less than men, even among those at the same level and with comparable productivity. These disparities are terribly disappointing, because women physicians add tremendous amount of strength to this field. Recent studies show that women physicians may provide better clinical care and healthcare system savings in comparison with their male counterparts, and women may also be more collaborative in both research and education pursuits.

This year in IFMSA-Egypt we launched a project that aims to educate medical students to fight gender-based discrimination in order to empower our future female physicians to carry their health leadership role in the society. And without doubt, ensuring meaningful participation in decision-making processes and leadership positions, implementing new policies and frameworks regarding the equality in the work settings and ensuring the best possible gender representation in our activities in IFMSA are crucial to ending the gender-based discrimination prevalent in many medical communities around the world.

From SCORPions

March Meeting Experience

By Mafalda Bessa de Melo, ANEM Portugal

I have always been interested in students’ initiatives and going to an IFMSA meeting seemed like a logical next step. So I packed my bags and flew to Slovenia.

I spent a week learning and meeting new people. It’s impossible not to find something on a topic you enjoy. You have so many different sessions and if you're still keen on discussing anything I'm sure you would find someone just as passionate as you. The beauty of the March Meeting is that you actually have different perspectives contributing to the discussion, which enriches all of our perspectives and makes us acknowledge cultural diversity. If it's true that two heads think better than one, think about the possibilities we can accomplish if we work all together towards a common goal!

I left Slovenia with friends from all around the globe, memories I’ll cherish for a lifetime and inspired to do so much more.

Meet the NORPs

My name is Pollyanna Belford, I am 23 years old and I’m NORP of IFMSA Brazil. In IFMSA Brazil, we have 146 local committees and more than 6000 medical students, so I don't work alone. During this term, I have a national team that works with me as regional assistants in contact with all LORP-D’s, training, facilitating online meetings and advocating for human rights and peace around Brazil! In this year, we expect to motivate even more of our LORP-D’s to know and do activities about human rights. Besides that, we will work to improve the capacity of human rights trainers in our NMO, host national and international SCORP events, conduct national activities with vulnerable populations, especially refugees that live in Brazil and advocate with external partners. We want to spread Human Rights and Peace even more around our country <3

It’s a great pleasure for me to write about the SCORP work in AMSB - Bulgaria and a little bit about myself as a NORP as well! I’m Aylin Feyzullova, a third year Medical student in Medical University of Plovdiv, Bulgaria. I have been a part of AMSB since my first day at the University and the one and only Standing Committee to which I gave whole of my heart was the Standing Committee of Human Rights and Peace.

Why? Because I felt that this Committee holds the secret to the way the World could be a better place for all of us. And this secret is humanity – the beautiful way that we behave with all of the people around us. By all, I mean the people from each religion, nation (especially in Bulgaria!), race, gender, sexuality and age. Because of my experience during the past years I know that these words are not just a cliché, but meaningful characteristics, which determinate the life of the people.
Hi there , I'm Maisem Saeib , the NORP of IFMSA-IRAQ for this term of 2019. I'm a junior doctor , freshly graduated from Baghdad Medical College, and I've been an IFMSA member for 4 years. Our National Team is composed of me and 3 assistants (General Assistant , North and South Regional Assistants): Jacob , Raed and Mohammed . Each one of us is from a different city ( LC) and that’s what makes our SCORP a small sample of the diversity of Iraq. My expectations for this term are challenging. We are trying to take our SCORP to a new level both nationally and internationally, by catching up with the rest of the world, at the same time, trying to make a change locally, especially that even a minor change is needed in Iraq. So stay tuned, you’ll hear more from us.

Greetings from all of us of SCORP, BMSS. My name is Soaiba Zannat and I am serving as National Officer of Standing Committee of Human Rights and Peace of BMSS (Bangladesh Medical Student’s Society) for the term 2019-2020. Here in Bangladesh, we SCORPions mostly focus on problem based field work and on implementing our medical knowledge in respective areas, mainly on Refugee Management, Gender Equality and Child Labour. We aim towards a peaceful Bangladesh where all members of the community are entitled to full and equal access to their human rights through empowering and motivating medical students in different parts of Bangladesh to actively promote and protect human rights and peace through advocacy, capacity building, and awareness raising.

My name is Francis Akume, a final year medical student of University of Maiduguri, NORP of NiMSA-Nigeria for 2019. My journey with Human Rights started 4 years ago as I developed more interest in addressing issues of vulnerable people within my community. This led to becoming a LORP for 2 years and then National Officer, with 40 LC passionately working on issues within their communities. This year we outline our projects in accordance with the SCORP global priorities. Our focus projects are: advocacy against child labour, promoting the spirit of volunteerism and raise awareness on challenges of different vulnerable groups especially internally displaced persons. Also we are planning a series of events on training in Medical Peace Works. I can’t conclude without much appreciation to my amazing National team for their passion in SCORP and making change.
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