Can’t believe I’m only just finding the time to write part two of this post, life comes at you fast at times! So this post will be more light handed because quite frankly I don’t have the time for the in-depth description lol.
PreWHA Day 3:
Day three began with a Universal Health Coverage (UHC) panel and very interestingly we had a Public Health Researcher from the Institute of Tropical
Medicine in Antwerp – who is a Nigerian public health expert with extensive experience working in international development in low and middle income
countries. Much of his recent research centers around universal health coverage in Nigeria, examining different aspects of UHC and how they may be best optimized to improve health outcomes in the country. His session was very insightful especially for me, as this topic is so dear to my heart.
Couple more sessions were held but the one that stuck out the most to me was that of Dr. Robert Yates, a UHC Policy Expert at Chatham House. He gave us a brief talk and then we were divided into groups to make up a UHC intervention for a given country – and guess who’s group got Nigeria as a case study? Me! The exercise had us really understanding the different factos that come into play regarding UHC implementation and I definitely left the workshop feeling much more prepared to discuss the topic at higher levels.
PreWHA Day 4:
As the PreWHA came to an end, we had a few more key features to finish the week strong. Sunday morning arrived with an insightful talk on how achieving Universal Health Coverage requires an important consideration of Primary Health Care. Consideration of three things is imperative in overcoming the challenges: the package, the problem, the person. The package would be Universal Health Care. We continued our talk to have a conversation about providing underserved populations with inclusive and non-discriminatory care.
Before lunch and the final keynote speech, the IFMSA delegation participated in WHO’s “Walk the Talk.” Some delegates cheered on the team, some ran to the venue, and the walking team, well, “walked the talk.” In a sea of people dedicated to improving healthcare around the world, the IFMSA delegates made their way through Netherland’s carrot tent to walking behind Thailand to the finish line. Some even stopped to admire and participate in the activities held by other organizations. As Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus mentioned in his keynote to open the WHA, “We need to walk the talk on UHC.” This walk was not just for one cause but that for better health for all.
With the afternoon keynote speaker waiting, the walkers then ran (yes, ran) to catch the tram back to the PreWHA venue. Upon return, the keynote speech by Helga Fogstad, PMNCH, to wrap up the PreWHA started with a focus on the topic of maternal, neonatal, and child health. It focused on empowering women, children, and adolescents and on public health.
As the afternoon went on, it was time to finish the PreWHA activities and head to the WHA briefing kindly hosted by the Graduate Institute of Geneva. Along with learning about logistics of WHA, streams took some time to prepare for the WHA itself. A huge thanks and appreciation goes to the Organizing Committee, for providing us with the skills and knowledge needed to participate effectively in the WHA on behalf of all the medical students around the world.
With the goal focused policy briefs ready, the PreWHA delegates were ready for Monday morning and the start of the 71st World Health Assembly.
This PreWHA was an empowerment of young health professionals. Our empowerment. Being co-responsible not only for what is ahead, but for now.