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AM2009 Edition

Dear SCOPHians, SCOPH Dream Team and our beloved SCOPH Director, Florian Stigler.

It all began back in late 2008 when two bright-eyed public health enthusiasts were honored to be selected as
Development Assistants for SCOPH Projects 2008-2009. Brought together by fate and a little help from Flo of
course, the world of fish and chips, football and grey, wet weather – the United Kingdom (UK), met a strange and
bizarre new world of the Alps, Lederhosen and sausage – Austria. Together united as one it was our goal to think ‘big’
in our mission to support SCOPH projects around the globe. As one may say ‘the rest is history’…

At the International Federation of Medical Students’ Association (IFMSA) August Meeting 2009 in Ohrid, Macedonia,
we are proud to present the 2nd edition of the SCOPH Project Booklet. The SCOPH Projects represented within this
2nd edition were selected based on votes of worldwide SCOPHians and the concept behind this venture is to publicise
SCOPH projects within and beyond the IFMSA. It is our hope that the business card approach taken by this
publication will allow a reader to gain a mind-blowing first impression of the visions of diligent SCOPHians tackling
worldwide public health issues through community and student-based projects. Furthermore, we hope to stimulate
the minds and encourage all readers to take the ideas and concepts behind each project featured within this
publication to their country of residence with a newly inspired mission to implement as many projects as possible
back home.

Naturally we can’t take all the credit for such a publication and we would like to make a personal pledge of thanks and
gratitude to all those involved in the design, content and implementation of the first and second editions of the
SCOPH Project Booklet. Enjoy!


Christopher Pleyer & Louise Mulcahy

SCOPH Development Assistants for Projects 2008-2009

Executive Summary 2
Priority Campaigns - IFMSA Campaign on Malaria (ICOM) & Anti –Tuberculosis Initiative Project
Tobacco Initiative Project (TIP) & Transnational Obesity Network (TON) 3-6
Child Health – Smile X, Teddy Bear under the Christmas Tree & Teddy Bear Hospital 7-8
Chronic (Non-Communicable) Diseases –You Have Only One Heart & Ladies in Red 9-10
Community-based Projects - Community Support & National Health Week 11-12
Donation Projects – Marrow & Organ Donation 13-14
Global Health – Equip, Crossing Borders & International Students Network on Aging & Health (ISNAH) 15-17
Mental Health & Illicit Drug Use – Mental Health Initiative Project (MHIP), Eating Disorders& Fashion
Show, Aware, Not Stone! 18-21
1st Aid 22
Road Safety 23
SCOPH Exchange 24
World Health Days andProjects
Links 25
A project a day keeps the doctor away… 1
Special Thanks 26
Executive Summary

Dear SCOPHians,

In this moment, in your hands, you are holding the ‘SCOPH Project Booklet’. This is a special
opportunity for you and if as a consequence of this booklet you go on to organise a project on your
own, for all the people you will reach. This booklet has been made to give you an overview of the
variety of projects you can organise within the Standing Committee on Public Health (SCOPH).

The International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA) represents more than one million medical
students all over the world and covers more than 100 national organisations. SCOPH works on different kinds of
activities which all, in some way, affect the health status of our own communities deeply. This provides us with huge
potential and a strong global voice as the future health professionals – but the most powerful tool is still what YOU
are doing - in your own local committee!

A local action gives you the chance to affect your own community directly. You are able to educate people concerning
a disease, its early symptoms and possible treatment(s). You can raise awareness surrounding risk factors, prevention
and promote a healthier lifestyle. Furthermore, you can influence policy makers through your advocacy. These goals
may be achieved through marketing materials and the media.

There is so much you can do and you are able to contribute towards unwavering change within your society. Through
the same process you will improve your skills in working within professional organizations, team-work,
communication, project-management and leadership. Moreover, you will be a health professional with awareness for
real public health problems within your community and will hold the knowledge to enable potential solutions. So…

Get active and organise your local action!

Go through this ‘SCOPH Project Booklet’, become inspired, collect new ideas and make them come true in your own
town and spread your message to others! You can become the consequence for changing the world!

Spread your message effectively!

Create a clear, short, catchy message and integrate it into your projects in a smart manner. Be effective and try to reach
as many people as possible with your posters, leaflets and flyers, and use the media to report about your activities on
TV, radio and newspapers.

Involve others!
Your local committee and other medical students are there to help you. Create a team! This booklet is not just for you
– offer it to EVERYBODY, within your town and National Member Organisation (NMO), and new projects will
raise up! Promote these projects as you can!

Right now I would like to say thank you, especially to Louise Mulcahy (UK) and Christopher Pleyer (Austria) - the
fantastic editors of this second version of the ‘SCOPH Project Booklet’! You have made this massive step for SCOPH
possible, together with all the wonderful authors of each article. Thank you on behalf of SCOPHians and all the
worldwide projects that will become active because of this ‘SCOPH Project Booklet’!

Keep SCOPH rocking,

Florian Stigler
IFMSA Director on Public Health 2008-2009 A project a day keeps the doctor away… 2
Priority Campaigns

IFMSA Campaign on Malaria (ICOM)

About 40% of the world’s population, mostly those living in the poorest countries are at risk of acquiring malaria.
Furthermore, every 30 seconds a child dies from malaria, 500, 000, 000 are infected every year and more than 1, 000, 000 die. The
response of the IFMSA is called – ICOM: IFMSA Campaign on Malaria! This is an umbrella project, which consists
of different activities within your own local committees. This article tries to introduce you to some of them in order
to get ideas for your own activities to tackle Malaria!

What do we want to achieve?

• Education on nets (prevention), symptoms (seek a doctor), medication and to medical students.
• Educate the society in the affected areas concerning the use of nets against
mosquitoes, concerning the symptoms of having malaria to seek a doctor early and in
raising awareness for the availability of effective medication (may be free).
• Raise awareness and the knowledge of medical students worldwide concerning
Malaria. To train us as future physicians to play an active role through advocacy and
through treating and preventing this disease.

In order to achieve these goals we need to get active on the local level – let’s organize activities on the World
Malaria Day, 25th of April!

World Swim against Malaria (www.worldswimagainstmalaria.com): The biggest swim event of the world can also
be a big event for the IFMSA. It raises the worldwide awareness concerning malaria and puts pressure on our
politicians as well as simply being fun. It is also a fundraising event with 100% of the funds being used to buy nets -
one net costs just $5 and just 8 nets save a life statistically!

Health Education Campaign: Our main goal should be to raise the awareness and to educate society concerning
the symptoms, the treatment and possible prevention of this disease. This can be done through educating kids and
teens through educational games e.g. competitions on drawing, short stories or even poems or to create posters and
flyers to spread your malaria messages to the general society.

Bite Back: The Malaria project consists of 3 steps. As students complete each activity, they will receive a wristband
– one will say “B” for believing, another “U” for understanding, and the final one will have a “G” for giving –
spelling out “BUG.”

B: The campus community is encouraged to sign a petition to show its concern over malaria.
U: Increasing awareness is the key. Movies about malaria are shown and health information distributed.
G: A donation campaign “Send Nets to Save Lives” is raised. It only costs $10 to provide an insecticide-treated bed
net that can prevent this deadly disease.

Peer Education Training – TMT (Train Malaria Trainers): An active training session at previous preGAs,
which can also take place in your country! Create a peer education network by training medical students with the
skills needed to act out interventions for the community or to educate other medical students on Malaria.

Projects A project a day keeps the doctor away… 3

Anti – Tuberculosis Initiative Project (Anti-TB IP)
Many names are given to the monster – tuberculosis pathogen, which the
World Health Organisation (WHO) admitted 2 billion of world population has
been exposed to. Thus TB is one of the most virulent diseases worldwide. In
the 20th century, tuberculosis killed an estimated 100 million people. Hopes
that the disease could be completely eliminated have been dashed since the rise
of drug resistant strains and the resurgence of tuberculosis has resulted in the
declaration of a global health emergency by the WHO in 1993.

Annually, 8 million people become infected with tuberculosis, and 2 million

people die from the disease worldwide. The annual incidence rate varies from
356 per 100,000 in Africa to 41 per 100,000 in the Americas. Tuberculosis is
the world's greatest infectious killer of women of reproductive age and the
leading cause of death among people with HIV/AIDS. According to Stop TB Partnership which the IFMSA is
member of, there are 20 countries that represent 80% of all TB cases and represent much of Asia, Africa and South
Pacific countries such as Thailand and the Philippines. Within the last few decades Europe & America have also
shown a resurgence of TB and it has been strongly correlated with HIV/AIDS co-infections.

What can medical students do effectively?

Medical students play a main role towards their society by raising awareness about
Malaria to the general public, high-risk groups and their non-medical student
colleagues inside their universities. This is highly effective and represents the real
power of medical students. The prevention of the disease is the most powerful tool
regarding disease control and eradication of TB. So what can you do?

1. Organise an awareness-campaign.
Tell people more about early symptoms like coughing and about ways to
prevent and to treat TB. Use posters, leaflets and flyers and try to get more
attention by asking the TV or newspapers to report your activities.
2. Advocate against TB.
Demand attention and speak as the voice of medical students. Collect
signatures and write a statement to put pressure on your Ministry of Health and
government to take action against Malaria.
3. Be active on the World TB Day.
It is celebrated on the 24th of March within IFMSA and all over the world. Share your plans and ideas with
SCOPHians all over the world by sending emails to the SCOPH Yahoo-Group.

What is not effective?

Activities like massive X-Ray screenings, treating patients, vaccinating public and any other specific measure as part
of medical student’s activities are not effective as these activities cost a lot of money and involve a lot of effort. It is
also already one of the main plans and duties of health authorities in several countries. However, it is our job as
medical students to advocate the importance of this process and encourage authorities to allocate more financial
resources to these goals.

Projects A project a day keeps the doctor away… 4

Tobacco Initiative Project (TIP)
In the 21st Century 1, 000, 000, 000 people [WHO] will die because of tobacco, 10% of them because of second-
hand smoke. This is the population of China, India, the whole Africa and more than the United States and
European Union (EU) put together! The IFMSA can and should play an important role within the fight against this
disaster. What we can do best is to get the attention of the general public, to educate our society, to strengthen the
image of being a non-smoker and to advocate for adequate health care policies against tobacco use.

We have different kinds of activities in IFMSA to achieve these goals and they
are combined under the umbrella of the Tobacco Initiative Project (TIP). You
can also use some of these projects and activities presented in this article in your
own local committee.

Smoke-free Party.
It’s a party, it is fun and it is serious: second-hand smoke is deadly and one of
the most underestimated risk factors for preventable diseases. In the EU alone,
80, 000 people are dying every year because of second-hand smoke [WHO]. This
activity can raise awareness especially for this risk factor. Furthermore, it can
help raise our voices for the creation of health care policies like smoke-free pubs
and discotheques AND it can strengthen the image of being a non-smoker
effectively. Just look for a discotheque and the owner will be happy if you want
to organise a party for him. Just create posters and flyers and that’s it!

This transnational project is integrating the concept of role-play simulation in its activities. The participants will
reflect on the role profile of a doctor who is a smoker (Smoking-ologist) in an artificial social setting where smoking
is a medical specialty (Smoking-ology), implying that the smoker doctor promotes smoking. Such a concept will
expose the participants to first-person experiences of personalities, motivations and backgrounds of doctors who are

Peer Education & Advocacy

The idea is to train medical students to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge to make interventions at high
schools and universities and furthermore, to train other medical students who are the next generation of doctors.
One step is the EuToCom (European Tobacco Control Meeting) of the IFMSA, sponsored by the EU. Collect
signatures in order to hand them over to your Ministry of Health; signatures from medical students, by the general
public – simply as many as you can, or a symbolic number.

Smoke-free National Assembly

This might be the easiest way to raise awareness concerning second-hand smoke. Be the one who proposes this
bylaw change at your next national meeting!

Join our Group! Visit: smokefreeparty-subscribe@yahoogroups.com or Email: tip@ifmsa.org/scophd@ifmsa.org

Projects A project a day keeps the doctor away… 5

Transnational Obesity Network (TON) – Keep on Balance!
Today we do not need to convince anyone that overweight children and obesity is a global epidemic. What seemed
for over fifteen years to be a problem of rich and lazy societies, has recently turned out to be even more dangerous
for the whole world. Nowadays, thanks to WHO researches we know how it could be possible that these symptoms
of an ill society could develop under so many different circumstances.

Natural History - revolution killed evolution

The process of deep and social transformations due to economical and cultural globalization is no doubt a huge
achievement of modern civilization. People all around the globe can enjoy successes of technology and engineering.
Forget about the dark, almost medieval past – shamanism, poor nutrition and infectious diseases. Unfortunately
traditional medical knowledge, as well as simple common sense is lost much faster than new systems are developed.
Building fast food restaurant chains is a lot easier and appreciated more by poorly educated societies than the
establishment of a diabetes mellitus or neoplasm screening program.

Mission: children are future of the world!

The 2005 WHO report clearly confronts us with a horrific situation! Chronic diseases such as stroke, cancer,
diabetes, cardiovascular and chronic respiratory diseases, were responsible for 35 million deaths worldwide. In
developing countries almost 30% of children are overweight or obese. In the United States of America and most of
the European Union the present situation is even more dreadful, with obesity rates above 40%! Excessive, culturally
accepted smoking, poor diet composed of highly processed food and low economic standard of living take a heavy
toll with 80% of chronic diseases occurring in middle and low income countries. Obese children have doubled the
chance of developing severe vascular problems or diabetes mellitus in adult life. If we correlate this data our future
looks gloomy and terrifying. Unless worldwide action is taken we will witness an apocalypse that we have made for

Action! Together we can make a difference…

Chronic diseases have been tackled by the IFMSA Standing Committee on Public Health for many years. In the year
2004 during the PreGA in Zlatibor - Serbia, a group of motivated students took part in the ‘Global burden on
Chronic Diseases’ workshop. After careful analysis of risk factors and the current global situation it was decided to
start an international initiative. Since this time, constant work has taken place and finally in 2008 we could proudly
announce the creation of the Transnational Obesity Network (TON).

You will never walk alone!

In many NMO’s medical students have been trying to tackle the danger hanging upon children and young adults in
their societies. In some countries they have had spectacular successes, while in other they stumble in darkness.
International cooperation was the chance to equalize these efforts and maximise the results. The aim of this project
is to unite global efforts in the promotion of healthy lifestyles. TON will soon play the role of a platform for sharing
ideas, educating local health leaders and cooperating actions in regions. Everyone interested in the topic will have an
opportunity to find out new ways of getting through to endangered people, especially children. Constant work, peer-
education and an exchange of resources is our only chance to reduce risk factors and educate young people how to
live a healthy life. Life without disabilities, diabetes, vascular diseases, a world in which premature death and social
tragedies are replaced by physical activity and a balanced life style! Do you want to join us? Together we can make a

Projects A project a day keeps the doctor away… 6

Child Health

Smile X

Hello there, IFMSA folks! We are proud to introduce to you “Smile X”, the craziest project of our association!

Smile X is a project that gives medical students the opportunity to be in contact with the most beautiful kind of
medicine: the clown-therapy. Inspired by doctors like Patch Adams and Dr. Marc Christensen, Smile X is a
transnational project that was created in Italy and that now exists in 4 countries. After a hard learning process on
clown techniques, medical students visit paediatric wards in order to try to establish a joyful relationship with the
little patients. In general the clowns are divided into pairs and dressed up with the famous red noses. They develop
games, gags and music presentations with the children, although the hospital’s dynamics are always respected.

Our aims are to create a less stressed atmosphere inside our hospitals, giving children back their playful and
spontaneous universe of childhood that may be lost with the admission. Moreover, we try to offer medical students
tools and techniques to approach our patients in a friendlier way, which will eventually make medical treatment
more comfortable for both patients and ourselves. Smile-X is about organizing clown therapy courses for medical
students (held by doctors and students), creating a network to exchange all our experiences and to promote our idea
of a harmonic doctor-patient relationship. Our goal is not become clown doctors for the rest of our lives. We also
do not think that all of us, once graduated will carry a red nose in their coat. What we really want to learn is how we
can be better doctors and how we can be closer to patients’ problems!

Paint your nose and come to play with us. Become a clown-therapist too! To join us, or to get more information,
please contact project.smile@yahoo.com! Our team will be glad to talk to you and believe me... I'm not joking this
time ☺.

Teddy Bear under Christmas Tree

“Santa is here!” – looking out through the patient rooms’ door the children are shouting with
disbelief and happiness. Santa and his helpers are visiting them, singing carols and distributing gifts.
For this moment the children and their parents are able to forget about their illnesses and fears and
they can simply rejoice in the Christmas atmosphere even in a hospital setting.

This is the reason why every year more and more medical students and local committees of IFMSA-Poland join the
project “Teddy Bear under Christmas Tree” - the initiative, which aims to bring happiness to children who have to
stay in hospital over Christmas. The project attracts medical students and gives them the opportunity to learn how

Projects A project a day keeps the doctor away… 7

to interact with hospitalized children and to gain experience in organizing charity events, which include parties,
lotteries, movie evenings and concerts. All of these help to collect money to buy the gifts for the little ones. The
students involved in the activities experience great satisfaction and assure us of taking part again next year, always
considering their work as a great success for the families, themselves and their local committees. Doctors, media and
parents are impressed by the initiative and look forward to supporting us in the project. “Teddy Bear under
Christmas tree” won the 1st prize in the category "The Best Presentation" in the Projects Presentations sessions
during the 57th General Assembly of the IFMSA in Ochio Rios-Jamaica.

You can also join Santa’s team!

Please contact:

Teddy Bear Hospital

The Teddy Bear Hospital must be one of the most playful projects run by medical students
because it is so popular within SCOPH of the IFMSA and within the European Medical Students
Association – EMSA! Let’s see: “Hospital for Teddy Bears”? Sounds weird? The idea behind is
quite simple in fact! We aim to introduce the clinical examination to children aged between 4-6 in a
playful way in order to reduce their fears and at the same time provide an opportunity for medical
students to learn more about pediatrics and interaction with children.

Let the magic begin, children become parents and teddy bears their ill little ones! Through their own personal toy
and without the stress of being the patient children come in contact with the hospital scenery. Parallel to this,
through the role of parents children feel safe and interested in what is going on in front of them. They learn how to
be responsible and realise that visiting a doctor is not something they should be afraid of.

And the game starts! Does your belly hurt? We should give you a little of this fantastic syrup
“Strawberrex”. Is your Teddy sick because of too much chocolate? Daddy’s kiss was not
enough to make it feel better? Don’t worry our doctors are there to help you! The teddy-
doc’s must face poisons, broken tails and beaks but through using their imagination they
always manage to apply the right treatment!

In the end, children feel so comfortable with us, that they start asking us questions about
auscultating their own hearts, taking pride in the fact that “they are not afraid of doctors”! When
we ask them what they want to become when they grow up we love getting the answer,
“DOCTOR!!!” The procedure shown above is just the main concept, since medical students in
different countries have adjusted this to their needs, circumstances and limitations as well as course ideas!

It is therefore not coincidental that more than 30 National Member Organisation’s (NMO’s) have chosen to run this
project and that thousands of children play with us each year. It’s such a simple and attractive idea and importantly it
has to do with children, our future. - Public Health without prevention is just not an option!

Projects A project a day keeps the doctor away… 8

Chronic (Non-communicable) Diseases

You have only one heart!

When your heart beats, it means you are alive. It is definitely one of the main reasons to
keep this organ healthy. Many factors from our environment are responsible for
cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) - a group of disorders of the heart and blood vessels.

In 2005, CVDs represented 1/3 of global deaths [WHO]. However, the majority of CVDs
are preventable and controllable. In IFMSA-Poland we introduced a project ‘You have
only one heart’ to help reduce the risks of heart diseases through local activities. Our
challenge is to deliver interventions, which promote behavioral changes in individuals and
in the population as a whole. Because in Poland, we find the worst situation in small cities
and villages, where the availability of information is not as good when compared to the big
cities, we decided to target the inhabitants of rural areas in our country.

IFMSA-Poland Members’ Strategy

As there is a need to lower the incidence, morbidity and mortality of CVD, you can make a real difference by
implementing the project in your own country and Local Committee! During the ‘You have only one heart’
activities, we organize routine examinations in rural areas, mostly in small local health centers or schools. The
projects’ activities are free and open to everyone who is interested. The medical students check patients’ BMI, take
blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol levels in the blood and also offer an ECG. Once the participant has
undergone the stated examinations, the patient has the opportunity to have a consultation with a cardiologist. The
doctors involved are invited by us and help with interpreting the results and in explaining difficult problems.

The project ‘You have only one heart’ is highly successful and in 2008 we screened over 500 patients. This initiative,
stimulated by results, motivates project members to develop their medical skills and learn how to talk to patients.

Smart ways to outmaneuver common obstacles

Besides conducting examinations, medical students also
educate the society on how to protect them from CVD.
Symptoms can be avoided trough healthy diet, regular physical
activity and by not smoking. The boost to change our bad
habits is the vision of having a healthy heart, so it can beat
longer for our soul mates, families and friends... And the love
we can give is the most beautiful aim of our existence.

So it is worth to keep the heart healthy, because you only have one… For more
information about the project, please contact: npo@ifmsa.pl

Projects A project a day keeps the doctor away… 9

Ladies in Red
Should women worry about CVD?

Cardiovascular disease - who do you think is at risk? – Does the answer: “Men…” first come to your mind? Maybe,
it shouldn’t anymore...? Since 1984, the number of CVD deaths for females has exceeded those for males according
to the American Heart Association. Although most of the society regards CVD as a male problem, in fact it is the
leading killer of females too. Furthermore, all cardiovascular diseases (both heart diseases and stroke) claim the lives
of more women than all forms of cancer combined.

“Misperceptions and their consequences …”

Women are often thought to be better protected against the development of CVD
because of the cardio-protective effect of estrogen. However, we know that with
increasing age the risk also rises for women and after menopause it is just as high as in
men. This may result in underestimating the problem and leaving women with untreated
risk factors. Moreover, the clinical manifestation of ischaemic heart disease in women is
different than in men (women are more likely to have shortness of breath, nausea,
vomiting, back or jaw pain - WHO). Unfortunately the awareness of these facts is low
within society. This lack of knowledge and the misperceptions that CVD is not a real
problem for women leads to many serious consequences: women tend to ignore
symptoms of CVD, do not report them to doctors and thus are diagnosed later than men.

Get involved in the prevention…

We have decided to take an action and in order to change this situation and in 2006 we
set up a new project: ‘Ladies in Red’. The initiative aims to draw attention to CVD in
women and to raise the awareness that CVD is a serious health problem for them.
During our activities, which are mainly carried out in shopping centers, we educate
women about heart diseases and encourage them to take steps to prevent CVD. To
reach these aims we promote healthy lifestyles. We also hand out leaflets concerning the
risks of CVD. Moreover, during every action, we create the opportunity for women to
undergo prophylactic examinations – i.e. we measure blood pressure, cholesterol and
sugar levels and calculate the BMI.

Through this project we also make medical students more sensitive to the issue of
cardiovascular disease within women and the importance of its prevention. It is a very
important theme for us, as future doctors, to know the gender differences concerning
heart disease, but also to remember that CVD has no gender boundaries!

According to WHO, cardiovascular disease accounts for a third of all women’s deaths worldwide. As medical
students, we can change it together! So let’s make women start loving their hearts and start showing it by practicing
healthy lifestyle!

For more information about the project ‘Ladies in red’ do not hesitate to contact: npo@ifmsa.pl

Projects A project a day keeps the doctor away… 10

Community-based Projects

Community Support
“A community is a group of people that share common elements: language, customs, values, geographical situation, roles,
and so on. One of the main goals in a community is to follow the same objective”

The medical students are the voice, the communicators and the people that are closest
to the community. We are the people who have the time and the enthusiasm to
contribute actively for our communities, can prove that we as future medical doctors
can have a positive impact on our environment and that in the end, all our efforts are
definitely worth it.

We as medical students are often confronted with pain, suffering and sorrow but we also
see joy and gratefulness. We can see how patients have doubts about their health and
sometimes because of the lack of time they sometimes do not get satisfactory answers
from our attending professors.

Our main objectives are:

• Offer patients easy access to information about their diseases.
• Provide information about common and avoidable illnesses and their drug management.
• Help to identify situations that can threat the patients’ health and promote a healthy lifestyle.

The community support project can be set up by creating and coordinating groups that are able to work in the
communities’ primary attention centers. Within group discussion or one-to-one consultancies all people from the
community have the chance to ask questions. During the whole day students will try to clarify all the doubts in the
best way possible, keeping up the quality of primary care attention.

The amount of people you can reach in one setting can be set according to the quantity of medical students
involved, keeping a 1:10 ratio. This way the students will be able to speak to 2 or 3 persons at the same time, trying
to keep the conversation as interesting and dynamic as possible. All students can participate in this project even
those at the beginning of their medical careers. Also physicians and all people interested in basic health knowledge
can get involved in specific activities.

With this project not only the community wins but also all involved students because their medical skills will be
tested; they will see themselves confronted with unexpected situations since every patient has different questions,
even different ways of focusing and describing the same problem.

The community support project allows the establishment of strong relations between
public and private entities and the students, eventually facilitating the coordination of
actions and making the planning of activities easier and quicker. Additionally, students will
be prepared to act faster during crisis and tragedies in communities, giving their best and
most efficient attention.

Projects A project a day keeps the doctor away… 11

National Health Week
Presently the National Health Week is being organised mainly in African National Member Organisation’s (NMO’s).
It is the most effective project we’ve ever seen in IFMSA to reach and educate our communities. The project in
Ghana is already celebrating its 40th birthday and this year they reached around 2, 000, 000 (!) people in rural areas to
teach them about health. The impact of this project is magnificent and even harder to imagine. There is no other
single activity within IFMSA, which is comparable – and it can also become reality in your country…

But how is it possible?

The idea is to coordinate all medical students of a faculty or even all national
medical students to visit the rural areas of the country. They get a week off by
their dean to attend this project and are sent by a hired bus to all parts of the
country. Teams of 2 – 3 students spend a few days or up to a week in one region
of the country. The local doctor organises their accommodation and food and the
possibilities to reach as many people as possible. They approach people at the
church, the market or at faculties, talking to them about one common topic, e.g.
healthy lifestyle or maternal health.

In all, two million people are reached in Ghana every year. This number might seem completely unrealistic to you
but I have seen it with my own eyes when I joined the National Health Week of Ghana two years ago. A few
hundred teams of medical students spread all over the country - my own team which consisted of 3 people reached
at least one or two thousand people during this week. And this happens just in Ghana, a relatively small country
with 3 medical schools - in Nigeria 28 medical schools organise projects like these … think of the potential!

How to start a National Health Week?

If you want to use this project idea to promote public health in your country you have to consider three things:
availability and transport of students and the local community.

Availability: In Ghana medical students are supported by their government and every medical student has one week
off to join this event. For the beginning you can also start with one school which means you will have to contact
your Dean to ask for one week off or at least for one day.

Transport: The medical students can be sent by bus to different areas of your country or your region. You can look
for money from the government, university, a sponsor or share the costs amongst participating students.

Local Community: You have to think about what is the best way to approach the locals. To make this possible you
will need to get in contact with the local doctor or the traditional chief of this area/village. They will need to
organise accommodation and food for the students and arrange meetings at the church, market, schools, and
faculties and wherever else you can approach lots of people.

This is a unique project in IFMSA. It pushes the idea of being ‘effective’ to its limit and the organising countries can
be more than proud of it. Every NMO of IFMSA should think about how to adapt this project idea to its own
countries needs, it’s a fantastic concept which can be organised all over the world – also in your NMO.
Contact scophd@ifmsa.org for further information.

Projects A project a day keeps the doctor away… 12

Donation and Transplantation

Every year, thousands of people worldwide with blood born diseases such
as leukaemia reach a stage in their illness where their only chance of
survival is through a bone marrow or stem cell transplant. Unfortunately,
only about 30% of patients have access to a Human Leucocyte Antigen
identical sibling, and so 70% will need an unrelated donor for a bone
marrow transplant to become a viable option. A database called ‘Bone
Marrow Donors Worldwide’ (BMDW) is an amalgamation of all the
unrelated bone marrow registers throughout the world and comprises of a list of people willing to donate stem cells.
However, despite amalgamating all of the world’s registers, there are just 11 million potential donors on BMDW
(compared with a world population of approximately 6 billion).

Marrow was inspired by Karen Morris, a student who suffered from Chronic Myeloid
Leukaemia. Karen had a bone marrow transplant from an unrelated donor but sadly she
died post-transplant in September 1998. Despite this, Karen’s spirit continued to inspire
others to work towards saving lives. One of those inspired individuals was a previous
close friend, James Kustow, a medical student from Nottingham University. Driven by
Karen’s strength and determination he realized that as a medical student, he had access to
many young people who, he felt, may wish to help save lives. From this simple analogy,
James Kustow founded Marrow in honour of Karen and it gives us great pleasure to
celebrate our 10th anniversary this year and we have now grown to exist in over 30 medical
schools across the UK.

Marrow is a volunteer student organisation whose ultimate aim is to give every student the opportunity to join the
bone marrow register. In the UK Marrow works in association with the UK’s largest national bone marrow register,
The Anthony Nolan Trust (ANT) charity, who is recognised by the WHO as part of the international bone marrow
and stem cell register - BMDW. Today, we contribute over 25% of the potential donors recruited to ANT bone
marrow register and fundraise over £45 000 annually for the trust. We have even gone on to inspire international
Marrow groups in Germany, the Netherlands, France, Spain and Austria. Furthermore, last year Marrow was
awarded with the Rex Crossley ‘Best International Project 2008’.

Marrow helps to take back lives from leukaemia by organising donor recruitment
clinics in universities across the world and by raising the charitable funds needed for
these lifesaving activities. Students run the entire clinic, from welcoming others to
counseling potential donors and taking their blood samples for tissue typing. Each
Marrow within a country is then, like the UK, linked to a national bone marrow or
blood donation organization that carry out the tissue typing and take over the care
of potential donors.

If you are interested in starting Marrow in your country of residence then please
contact marrow@medsin.org. You may also sign up to the UK’s Marrow central at
www.marrowcentral.co.uk to gain further insight to the world of Marrow.

Projects A project a day keeps the doctor away… 13

Organ Donation
Have you ever given any thought about how many people are on waiting lists for an
organ transplant, how many transplants are actually done in a year or sadly how many
of those waiting, died waiting? Hundreds of thousands of people around the world are
waiting for an organ transplant, and thousands die every day waiting...

With the development of new biomedical technologies, organ transplantation has

become a widely accepted procedure, and a technologically accessible practice in
almost all major medical centers. However, people are still unaware of the process of
organ and tissue donation and transplant, of its ethical and religious implications, and
of its importance in saving lives.

Medical students should take the initiative, and launch a campaign to promote organ and tissue donation through
educating medical students and other students in our countries about the topic, and emphasizing the importance of
this act, leading to its acceptance. In other words, we believe that by raising public awareness on the importance of
organ and tissue donation, we can encourage people to list themselves as potential organ donors. The campaign also
comprises of lectures, round table discussions and assuring an interdisciplinary approach to the issue of organ

In 2005 this project was restructured, and applied for the transnational status at the IFMSA’s August Meeting (AM)
in Egypt. The project received final recognition as an IFMSA transnational project in March Meeting (MM) 2006 in
Chile, and at the same General Assembly (GA) was awarded the best ‘IFMSA Educational Project’. In April 2006
the first seminar on Organ Donation and Transplantation for Medical Students, held in Split, Croatia, was organised.
The seminar was attended by a majority of medical students, but also by physicians and patients who had had an
organ transplant. During the seminar, cooperation with Euro Transplant International Foundation, Croatian Donor
Network, Donor Network of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of Croatia and a
number of governmental and non-governmental organizations were established.

Since then, educational activity has included a pre-GA workshop on organ donation and transplantation prior to the
AM2006 in Serbia and all National Member Organisation’s (NMO’s) participating in the project are constantly
organizing different types of local educational and promotional campaigns. In December 2006 petitions were
organized in Serbia whereby members of IFMSA Serbia who worked on the project Organ Donation and
Transplantation, collected signatures from citizens on several very busy places all around town. Melhim Bou Alwan,
the 2007 coordinator of the IFMSA transnational Organ Donation project organised a very big and successful
seminar on Organ Donation and Transplantation in April 2007, Lebanon, and last year Goran Mijaljica, 2005-2006
coordinator of the IFMSA transnational Organ Donation project, gave his take on organ donation at the European
Regional Meeting of the IFMSA in Brijuni. We intend to provide seminars in 2009 and more information will be
available in the next few months.

The application process for participation in the Organ Donation Project is quite simple – please contact the current
project coordinators, penelopa777@yahoo.com and markojovic10@yahoo.com to get the necessary information.

Projects A project a day keeps the doctor away… 14

Global Health

What is Global Health & Why is it important?

Global health is a broad subject that looks at the local, national and international determinants of health and
healthcare delivery. Global Health assesses the wider influences of health such as poverty, debt, globalization,
healthcare financing, human rights, famine, environment, violent conflict and the movement of populations. It
draws from a number of disciplines including politics, economics, sociology, demography, anthropology,
epidemiology and philosophy.

It is thought that students who have studied global health are better equipped to understand root causes in addition
to the clinical manifestations of ill health. Global health education in your medical curriculum or through
involvement in extra-curricular projects such as the one’s featured in this booklet, helps to foster a generation of
health professionals who are committed to health for all, as enshrined at the International Conference on Primary
Health Care, Alma-Ata, in 1978. We see health professionals as having a commitment not only to their patients but
also to the health of international society as a whole. The growing number of health professionals who are
committed to global health equity can form a powerful group of advocates for health for all.

Globalization is changing the structure of societies and the way in which

decisions about health are taken. Many societies are becoming more
multicultural, and an appreciation of global health helps medical students to
understand both the reasons for increased population movement and the
social, economic and cultural factors underlying patients' ill health.
Furthermore, decisions about health and healthcare are also increasingly
influenced through global trade agreements such as TRIPS and GATS, and it
is important for health professionals to understand the influence of such
global policies on their work.

If you are interested in finding out more about global health activities within the IFMSA, please email

“SCOPH’s REMEDY to medical supply disparities”

Do you live in a country where hospitals use the most advanced medical technology or one where hospitals lack
basic equipment? Either way, check out EQUIP: IFMSA’s new transnational effort to engage students in medical
supply collection and redistribution (www.amsa.org/cph/equip.cfm).

EQUIP Goals:
Based on 3 E’s: Environmental benefit, global health Equity, and cost-Effectiveness, EQUIP aims to:

Projects A project a day keeps the doctor away… 15

1) Increase awareness of medical surplus amongst IFMSA members.
2) Increase the number of equipment recovery programs in clinical facilities in
developed countries.
3) Maximize the utilization of donated supplies in developing countries.

EQUIP Motivation:
Each year, thousands of tons of usable medical supplies valued at $200 million are discarded from United States
(US) hospitals alone. This tremendous amount of waste negatively impacts not only the environment through
landfill use, but health care budgets through expensive regulated waste disposal. Conversely, clinical facilities in
developing countries face daily challenges meeting their medical supply needs. The most needed supplies include
gloves, sutures, drapes, gauze, syringes, beds, IV tubing, catheters, sponges and dressings. While US regulations
prohibit the reuse of surgical supplies domestically, many of these materials are readily reusable and receivable for
oversea use.

Working with REMEDY:

AMSA-USA has partnered with REMEDY (Recovered Medical Equipment for the Developing World), a not-for-
profit organization that trains hospitals to develop supply recovery models (www.remedyinc.org). Operating room
staff are trained to save certain exposed-but-unused surgical supplies that will be sorted, sterilized, resorted and
eventually distributed to clinical facilities in resource-poor countries. Med-Eq, a branch of REMEDY, is the “eBay”
of surplus charitable medical supplies where donors and recipients can exchange goods (www.med-eq.org).

EQUIP Progress:
Since EQUIP’s 2008 launch, over two dozen AMSA-USA chapters have expressed interest in starting recovery
programs at their local hospitals and have received teaching packets from REMEDY. Lessons learned from this
pilot project phase will be shared with SCOPH and other National Member Organisations at future IFMSA General
Assemblies’. The more students that take initiative, the more supplies will be recovered, redistributed, and reused!

Get involved!
If you live in a country with surplus supplies:
• Volunteer to help if your hospital has a recovery program.
• Start a recovery program if your local hospital does not have one.
• Transport donated supplies when you go on international exchanges.
• Encourage your hospital to join Med-Eq.
• Spread the word and write to local media about medical surplus.

If you live in a country lacking supplies:

• Identify the most needed supplies at your clinic.
• Connect with international charities that distribute supplies.
• Ask international exchange students to bring needed supplies.
• Conduct utilization studies of the donated supplies.
• Spread the word and write to international media about your supply needs.

Please tell us what you decide to do so that we can help (npo@ifmsa-usa.org). Thank you for making a difference!

Projects A project a day keeps the doctor away… 16

Crossing Borders
Crossing Borders is a network of healthcare students whose mission is to remove
barriers to healthcare for refugees and asylum seekers. By educating future healthcare
professionals, campaigning for policy change and running voluntary projects we hope
to realise our belief that refugees and asylum seekers should receive the highest
standard of healthcare irrespective of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or
immigration status.

Education and Projects: We want to educate medical and healthcare students about refugee and asylum seeker
health needs, thus creating a cohort of future health professionals who will be well prepared to provide high quality
care that meets their needs. What have we done? Educational resources about refugee and asylum seeker health
issues have been compiled into a DVD called Refugee Health Resource Pack and have been distributed to
universities across the country to those who are interested in including this as part of the medical school curriculum.
We submitted a motion to the British Medical Association Medical Students Conference 2009 to make it
compulsory for refugee and asylum seekers’ healthcare issues to be included in the core curriculum in medical

Through local and national projects we seek to improve the health and healthcare of refugee and asylum seekers
through projects with local communities and organisations. Through practical engagement in these projects we also
aim to inspire and educate our volunteers about refugee and asylum seeker health issues. In addition, we support
campaigns such as “Defend Primary Healthcare” against the government’s denial of healthcare to failed asylum
seekers. Cross borders and join us! Contact: crossingborders@medsin.org

International Students’ Network on Ageing and Health (ISNAH)

The idea of the ISNAH project was first raised in 2000 as a result of an international meeting on
Ageing in Porto. ISNAH is like an umbrella that pays attention to the elderly, trying to create
awareness within medical students, doctors and the general population. The project is also called
“Transversal to IFMSA Standing Committees” as it involves all Standing Committees.

Information dissemination: This focuses on promoting awareness among health care professionals on global
population ageing and special needs of the elderly as well as their rights and sexuality by a website, surveys and
formative sessions. Furthermore, our goal is to offer professional and research exchanges to students.

Curriculum Development: Despite the ongoing ageing of the population, basic geriatric training does not exist in
all the medical faculties around the world. Thus we need to demonstrate this deficiency and furthermore, participate
in the development of the need of curricula changes.

Are you thinking about joining ISNAH? All we need is your name as the coordinator of ISNAH in your National
Member Organisation, to be in contact and to work with you. You can also get an insight into what ISNAH is at:
http://www.mediaweb-site.com/isnah/. Hope to see you soon and involved in ISNAH!

Projects A project a day keeps the doctor away… 17

Mental Health & Illicit Drug Abuse

Mental Health Initiative Project (MHIP)

Mental health receives increasingly more attention in the

field of global health. Recently, The Lancet published a
series of articles that urge global health stakeholders
(government, decision maker, policy makers,
professionals etc.) to increase and to expand the
coverage of services for mental health disorders
worldwide. Growing from this global momentum for
mental health, the Mental Health Initiative Project
(MHIP) was born during the Jamaica 2008 August
Meeting. The MHIP is a small working group that
operates within the SCOPH. It endeavors to promote
education among medical students on mental health
issues and to promote student-led Mental Health
projects at a local and international level.

As a rule, the MHIP aims to debunk common myths about mental health and combat the stigmatization of people
suffering from mental illnesses. We also recognize the importance of a multidisciplinary approach; psychiatrists,
psychologists but also community workers, nurses, general practitioners and researchers are equally important when
dealing with mental health issues. While mental health remains a neglected aspect of the global health agenda,
MHIP’s action strives to promote equitable access to mental health resources, especially in middle- and low-income

Many mental health projects are budding in every country. The MHIP aims to rally all NMOs with mental health
activities. In the near future we will provide a platform that will enable medical students to network and share their
ideas. As more and more countries from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds join this initiative, it will become
increasingly important to stress the cultural influence on many mental health aspects.

What’s next for the MHIP? It animated working groups in regional meeting in January, building the momentum for
the next general assembly in March. A survey run for the March Meeting theme event revealed that the interest for
mental health issues ranked highest. The MHIP will stress the psychological consequences of conflicts by holding an
interactive lecture on post-traumatic stress disorders.

In sum, the MHIP objectives are clear: at an international level it creates a students’ network and educates future
physicians on the global importance of mental health issues and at a local level it promotes activities that consolidate
public health perspectives in mental health. This task has never been more relevant, for there is a strong evidenced-
based set of actions recommended and proven cost-effective to alleviate the burden of mental disorders.

You can join the MHIP by visiting our yahoo group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ifmsa-mhip

Projects A project a day keeps the doctor away… 18

Eating Disorders Project
Ludwig Feuerbach once said: "Man is what he eats". We wanted to prove him wrong! That is how our polish project
Eating Disorders began because not a single person who suffers from eating disorders - albeit against the general
publics’ beliefs that the majority of sufferers eat nothing - is “zero”! Almost everyone in today’s world is threatened
by bulimia and anorexia. Through meetings with school pupils in secondary schools and using peer education tools
we try to educate school children on significant but non-scientific information on how to avoid eating disorders and
their associated illnesses.

How to notice the danger before it’s too late…

We discuss the symptoms, behavior anomalies, calculate Body Mass Index’s
(BMI) and discuss the proper and current optimal energetic demands for
those students who we meet with. Every meeting is a challenge - you never
know where the discussion with the 14-year-olds is going to take you! We
often end up analyzing the diets for ski-jumpers or answering questions on if
you can catch diabetes from touching each other’s hands.

Every medical student after taking a short

course provided by our project coordinators can give his interpersonal skills a try!
We provide these courses because the ability to communicate well in these situations
is just as important and as vital as medical knowledge. Eating Disorders won the 2nd
award in category "The Best Presentation" in the Projects Presentations sessions
during the 57th General Assembly of IFMSA in Monterrey - Mexico.

According to statistics almost 4% children at the age of 10-14 suffer from

anorexia and with almost 8% from bulimia. This means that each time we
visit a classroom full of school children we come across one ill student
affected by an eating disorder - so don’t underestimate the problem!
Together we can fight against this terrible situation and bring help!

Want to join our cause or are you interested in learning more about eating
disorders? If so you may contact:

National Project Coordinator “Eating Disorders” IFMSA-Poland

at kaminska.magda@interia.pl


Aleksandra Herbowska, NPO 2009 IFMSA-Poland at


Projects A project a day keeps the doctor away… 19

Fashion Show versus Anorexia &
Bulimia Project
Information on eating disorders are little known in Mexico and Latin America, due to small economical resources,
and also because the research done has mostly targeted women, even though nowadays men care more about their
appearance. The Fashion Show versus Anorexia & Bulimia is a project led by young medical students who aim to
increase awareness regarding the major prevalence and incidence of eating disorders among young men and women
in today’s society. We want to show that there is no need to starve to death and get so thin in order to look

To accomplish this, we try to reach as many young students as

possible and provide information regarding eating disorders as well
as to launch an intense promotion of the Fashion Show through
mass media. We think it is a good idea to contact a clothing brand
as they may like to support the project and this will encourage
young healthy men and women to participate in the catwalk fashion
parade. This must be done as part of the organizing process. If any
profit is made from selling tickets to these events then it can be
donated to a foundation dedicated to eating disorders. However, it
may be ideal to have a no-cost event in order to reach more people.

As medical students we are obligated to embrace this project whose mission it is to

address this huge social problem, however this project should be open to
everybody so everyone can participate. It is really important to spread the
information on the fight against the fashion tendencies and trends that make
people believe that happiness can be reached only by being thin.

The main objective is to encourage people to love themselves just the way they are.
No one should ever be in a position to change for someone else in order to feel
better about themselves. As we say in Mexico….

If you would like any more information on this

project, on how to set it up or just to ask a few
questions, please don’t hesitate to contact:


Projects A project a day keeps the doctor away… 20

Aware, not Stoned!
“Aware, not stoned!” is a public health project in the field of legal and illegal drug
abuse prevention. It is one of our biggest projects on the national level. Its goal is
to educate the general public and especially medical students about the risks of
taking drugs and to teach them how to help drug addicts in cases of overdosing.

The project started six years ago and is one of the projects carried out by the Slovenian Medical Student’s
International Committee (SloMSIC). It cooperates closely with some other public health projects on the local and
national level. Furthermore, non-medical students are invited to take part as well.

Knowledge about drugs among Slovenians is limited and the topic remains highly stigmatized. Because of this there
is a great need to make the public aware, and even greater, to educate medical students on how to react in the case
of drug poisoning. Also, medical students should be a relevant and reliable source of information about the effects
of individual drugs, especially as you can find all sorts of sometimes misleading information on the internet and

Our activities:
November is the “month of prevention”, so many of our activities are scheduled then:
we distribute our brochure (effects of drugs and its abuse) in the city centre, at many
faculties and at major public places. Furthermore, we organize public lectures about
drugs and addiction, and a three day, educational-motivational weekend for our

From November to May we have courses, lectures and debates for members of the
project. Each time we invite an expert and have a conversation with him/her about
various topics in the field of drugs and addiction. In the last few months we invited a
psychiatrist, a tobacco expert and an ex-drug addict.

Every year in April we organize a round table in order to stimulate the debate about contemporary drug-related
problems. This year’s topic was consumption rooms, last year we talked about recognizing addiction and ways to
prevent it. We usually invite three to four experts and often more that hundred people attend the event. This is a
great way to open a public discussion about a subject that is still taboo: drugs, drug addiction and how to diminish
stigmatization of addicts.

Another important activity is our web page, that offers verified information about
the effects of drugs, how to help in case of overdose, some interesting facts about
specific drugs and a quite active forum. Because its nature is not strictly medical, this
project is a great opportunity to meet and bond with students from other faculties.
Law students, social work students, psychology students and many others are always
welcome to join the project and help make the world a better place.

Do you want to join us? For any questions, or comments please contact: katjaprunk@gmail.com - We will be
pleased to help you.

Projects A project a day keeps the doctor away… 21

The teaching of first aid is a major cornerstone of SCOPH projects and due to its importance it has been taught continuously
for decades without regard to local, national or international barriers.

Why 1st Aid? We have been holding courses in teaching first aid for several years now.
They usually target an audience consisting of children aged between 10 and 13 years. At this
age children are no longer interested in playing with teddy bears and sexual education is
probably not a useful topic for them at this time. On the other hand an interesting and
dynamic presentation in teaching this age group some of the theoretical and practical
principles aspects of first aid is something kids of this particular age enjoy. Furthermore the
knowledge and skills they acquire will be able to help them in crucial situations of their life.

How? The coordinator of the first aid course (usually LPO) forms a team of 10-20 people.
The team usually works together actively for one to two semesters. The coordinator is in
charge of organizing the events, which usually includes finding a patron (usually a well
known doctor or professor), making sure the team is well educated in the topic, assembling
the teaching materials (CPR figurine, ppt, first aid equipment) and as the most difficult task,
he is in charge of setting up a schedule of all coming trainings.

Outcome - Ever since the first course in first aid, we have been boosted by the enthusiasm
of the university students, the praise of the staff and the support of our university
administration and officials. The whole organization and its members have gained respect
as students who care not only for their studies in public health but also act as role models
who are not afraid to show their commitment by performing extra work and giving back to

Quick Facts - In the last year we have held first aid courses in 47 elementary schools, 172
classes of students adding up to about 4000 children aged 10-13 years in the Czech

Once upon a time... IFMSA members from the local committee of Brno held a first aid
course in their hometown. They had a three hour course at an elementary school for the
students of the 7th grade. About a week after their visit an accident occurred in which a
student found one of his classmates unconscious. He did not hesitate and applied the
knowledge he had acquired shortly before in the first aid course. He checked for basic life
signs, put his classmate into a stabilized position and called an ambulance. Suddenly the
unconscious friend who was heavily poisoned started to regurgitate. A spokesperson of the
ambulance company confirmed, that if it had not been for the students’ abilities and
actions, the poisoned boy would surely have suffocated and died. Luckily for him, this did
not happen thanks to the young rescuer who knew exactly what to do.

Projects A project a day keeps the doctor away… 22

Road Safety
This campaign aims to raise awareness among medical students about how
important it is to know and respect the existing regulations on road safety.
Unfortunately in the past there were few effective initiatives to create a secure
infrastructure, improve and implement controls to promote order and respect, raise
awareness and to educate or train risk prevention among drivers, pedestrians and
cyclists – generally speaking to reduce or avoid road traffic accidents (RTAs).

This has led to a large number of RTAs, which are one of the leading causes of death globally, particularly in
children and adolescents, besides being the second leading cause of orphan hood. Thus, the World Health
Organization has described the problem of RTAs as an epidemic, which will become one of the top 3 leading causes
of death in the world within a few years.

There are three main reasons that have caused this dramatic increase in RTAs:
1. Very poor road infrastructure, which sometimes causes or worsens traffic crashes.
2. Few controls to regulate the maintenance of both roads and vehicles. For example, drivers who do not
receive standardized instructions are more at risk to miss out on much needed check-ups and repairs to
guarantee the safety of their vehicle.
3. Finally, human behavior, which depends on the training they should receive from driving schools and the
behaviour of the rest of the society on driving standards and their sensitivity to risks.

Therefore, our main objective is to reduce the number of accidents that occur, and thus the number of injuries and
deaths caused by them. We do this by… Raising awareness among medical students and the general population
about the responsibility that entails driving a vehicle and to respect the safety and integrity of the other drivers and
pedestrians! Creating awareness of traffic regulations! Displaying statistics of RTAs!

How to set up a road safety project: You just need to assemble a team and illustrate the importance of road safety
education in your country. Then you can make stickers, posters, flyers, books or videos about road safety. The idea
is to clarify that it is our responsibility to be informed and not allow road accidents to affect even more people than
they already are. Further to this we also conduct surveys of students to verify that the campaign has achieved the
goals we set in the beginning.

This project was born in November 2005 in Mexico as a new way to represent
the”Día de Muertos” and it is given great importance at a national level with
excellent results. However, this is a problem that crosses borders. Recognizing
that main causes of accidents are due to speeding, driving under the influence of
alcohol and ignoring road signs are crucial. Medical students can take action to
address this public health problem.

If you're interested in learning more about this project and want to know more about how to set it up your country,
contact: noph_ifmsa_mexico@yahoo.com.mx to acquire the necessary information ☺

Projects A project a day keeps the doctor away… 23

“Exchange your ideas, exchange your experience, exchange projects - (Ex-)change SCOPH”

Have you ever thought about volunteering in a public health project? Or do you know about a
project which needs volunteers? If yes then SCOPH-Exchange is exactly the right thing for
you! SCOPH-Exchange is a platform for Volunteer-Based Projects of IFMSA. Essentially,
SCOPH-Exchange provides a network for these projects and at the same time gives medical
students from all over the world the opportunity to support these projects as a volunteer and to
gain experience in the different fields of public health.

Many projects around the world are confronted with the problem of not having enough people involved to realize
their idea or keep a venture running. Resources are limited and therefore coordinators are more than grateful for
every helping hand. The IFMSA and its National Member Organisation’s (NMO’s) offer a wide range of projects for
students who would like to temporarily participate as a volunteer, either abroad or in their own country.

Orphanage Initiative Project – Presently there are approximately 100,000 orphans or children abandoned by their
parents in Romania. The staff in orphanages is highly overburdened with the large number of children. The
Orphanage Initiative Project, which is coordinated by IFMSA-Norway and IFMSA-Romania gives medical students
the chance to participate actively in the daily work of an orphanage and give children the attention they really need.

SCOPH-Exchange Projects:
• Romania: Orphanage Initiative
• India: Calcutta Village Project
• Brazil: Cepas
• Rwanda. Public Health Exchange
• Kenya: The Kenya Project
• Guatemala: Vivir en Amor
• Nepal: Suvadra Project

Do you know about a project, which could join SCOPH-Exchange? Joining the SCOPH-Exchange Network is easy.
All you have to do is to contact SCOPH Development Assistants on projects (contact details below) and fill out a
single form. If you are involved in a volunteer-based project you can give medical students from other NMOs the
chance to participate and work as a volunteer in your project. In exchange students from your NMO have the
chance to participate in all the other projects within SCOPH-Exchange.

Visit: www.ifmsa.org/scoph-exchange - Contact: Development Assistants on Projects –

scophda.projects@gmail.com- We will be glad to assist you! -

Projects A project a day keeps the doctor away… 24

SCOPH Months & World Events

October (Mental Health) March (Tuberculosis / WHD)

1st International Day for Older Persons 24th World Tuberculosis Day
http://www.who.int/topics/ageing/ http://www.stoptb.org/

8th World Sight Day

http://www.v2020.org/ April (Malaria / WHD)

10th World Mental Health Day 7th World Health Day

http://www.wfmh.org/ http://www.who.int/world-health-day/

25th World Malaria Day

November (Diabetes)

14th World Diabetes Day May (Tobacco)

31st World No-Tobacco Day
15th World Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary http://www.who.int/tobacco/
Disease Day
June (Blood donation)
20th Universal Children’s Day
http://www.unicef.org/whatwedo/index.html 1st International Children's Day

14th World Blood Donor Day

December (Child Health)
26th International Day against Drug Abuse & Illicit
3rd International Day of Persons with Disabilities Trafficking
http://www.un.org/disabilities/ http://www.who.int/substance_abuse/

July (Alcohol and Drug abuse)

January (Cancer)

30th International Leprosy Day & Neglected August (Heart & Lifestyle)
September (Ageing)

28th World Heart Day

February (SCOPH Management) http://www.worldheartday.org/

4th World Cancer Day 10th World Suicide Prevention Day

http://www.worldcancercampaign.org/ http://www.iasp.info/

Projects A project a day keeps the doctor away… 25

This second edition of the Project Booklet would not have been possible without all the excellent contributions of
the authors of each article. We deeply appreciate all the work you have invested in this project.

Special thanks to all of you!

Mariana Freitas de Aguiar
Jelica Alargic
Constantinos Christodoulidis
Filip Dabrowski
Assem El Sokkary
Anthony Gifuni
Aleksandra Herbowska
Marko Jovic
Jan Kocanda
Yasutaka Konishi
Kim Le
Gabriela Lugo
Malgorzata Lurzynska
Magda Kaminska
Louise Mulcahy
Jesús Mateos del Nozal
Gemma Owens
Christopher Pleyer
Katja Punk
Kushalinii Ragubathy
Olympia Samoglou
David Sancho
Marco Saucedo
Florian Stigler
Marco Zavatta

Design & Layout

Filip Dabrowski
Louise Mulcahy
Christopher Pleyer

Louise Mulcahy
Christopher Pleyer

*All names in alphabetical order

For any questions, please contact: scophda.projects@gmail.com, scophd@ifmsa.org, mulcahy.louise@yahoo.co.uk

Projects or chrispleyer@gmail.com A project a day keeps the doctor away… 1
IFMSA General Secretariat
c/o World Medical Association
BP 63,
012 12 Ferney-Voltaire Cedex
France, Europe
Projects A project a day keeps the doctor away… 2
Fax: + 33 450 405 937