Over 800 medical students recently gathered in Puebla, Mexico for the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA) general assembly, including a team of seven students from the IFMSA-Grenada association. Focusing on the theme Global Vaccine Action Plan, the assembly addressed the importance of vaccinations in the prevention of epidemics and discussed solutions aimed at increasing vaccination rates in developing countries.
IFMSA general assemblies are a unique opportunity for all its national member organizations to meet in person to discuss and exchange ideas, present new concepts or changes to existing ones, vote on laws that can have a global health effect, and welcome new member organizations.
Standing committee sessions, organized as working groups, focused on both local and global health issues, including public health, sexual and reproductive health, human rights, medical education, and research and medical professional exchanges. In the evenings, the plenaries, IFMSA’s highest decision-making body, were held, allowing members to vote on policy statements, bylaw changes, and elections, thus deciding on the direction the federation should take in the upcoming months.
“Grenada’s presence at the IFMSA international conferences is both greatly anticipated and demanded in earnest, especially among our regional Americas colleagues,” said Belal Noureddine, President, IFMSA-Grenada. “As SGU is the only medical school in Grenada, our IFMSA chapter has the exclusive ability to promote our connections and achievements, which are directly influenced by our education at St. George’s University.”
The International Federation of Medical Students Associations represents over 1.2 million medical students from over 120 countries and more than two thirds of those countries are usually present at one general assembly. The general assembly meeting is held twice a year, with the next meeting scheduled for March 2017 in Montenegro.
By Ray-Donna Peters