Where was I on the 16th of May? The one and only WHO Headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland!
Why was I there? I’ll gladly tell you!
Young Health Professionals from across different walks of life; the IFMSA, the International Pharmaceutical Student’s Federation (IPSF), the International Council of Nurses (ICN), Masters of Public Health Students from the University of Southern California, came together to give an in-depth consultation on the importance of engaging young health professionals on self-initiated interventions (SII) for sexual and reproductive health & Rights (SRHR).
Group photo from the WHO Young Health Professionals Consultation Meeting
The young health professionals WHO Consultation was set up by the human reproduction programme (HRP), and many stakeholders in SII & SRHR honoured the invitation to speak with and listen to the ideas shared at the meeting. These include Ian Askew (Director WHO department of Human Reproductive Health and Research), Diah Saminarsih (Senior Advisor on Gender and Youth to WHO Director General), Manjulaa Narasimhan (Scientist, WHO Department of Reproductive Health and Research), Michalina Drejza (Consultant, WHO Department of Reproductive Health and Research), Basem Mohamed (WHO Department of Health Workforce), Luisa Cabal (UNAIDS), Petra Ten-Hoppe Bender (UNFPA), Carmen Logie (Adjunct Professor, Women’s College Research Institute, University of Toronto), Sofia Gruskin (Director, Program on Global Health and Human Rights, Institute for Global Health, University of Southern California) and Sir James Kiarie (Human Reproduction Team Coordinator).
Yours truly doing what I love 💕The IFMSA was ably represented by a set of 8 people, 2 of them (the SCORA Director and the Programme Coordinator on Emergencies, Disaster Risk and Humanitarian Actions) were given the opportunity to chair a session while yours truly, the current SCORP Regional Assistant for Africa, delivered a session that identified best practices, gaps and challenges for supporting self-initiated interventions, where the IFMSA’s many efforts to promote SRHR such as the IPET manual among its members were highlighted.
Self-initiated interventions in SRHR have the power to powerfully thrust the world towards achieving the seemingly lofty aim of Universal Health Coverage (UHC); as the more people take informed control of their sexual and reproductive health positively, the likelier it is for them to restrict child bearing to a number they can afford, which increases their economic potential and that of their community, thus healthcare can be provided for each member of the family at a price they can afford without causing untoward financial hardship – which is the core of UHC.
SII and SRHR was thoroughly discussed through the consultation by an expertly, multidisciplinary approach, in which young health professionals gave input to potent questions from their various personal and professional points of views, making the WHO Consultation maximally fruitful. With the leading of Michalina Drejza and Manjulaa Narasimhan, the consultation smoothly touched on key topics in SII & SRHR ranging from introductions and highlighting the importance of SII for SRHR, the need for engagement with young health professionals to support self-initiated interventions for SRHR, to a session on how to Transform health workers into active change agents to reach UHC, the person-centred care for SRHR – Community of Practice, Global values and preferences survey – lessons learnt and the way forward with SII for SRHR.
Sadara MPH Student at University of Southern California (USC), Saniya IFMSA Program Support Assistant, Shru IFMSA SCORA Director, ETP, Paula Reges IFMSA SCOPE Development Assistant and Anju Franklin MPH Student at USC.
I believe that SII for SRHR is a powerful tool that should be worked into Medical Students’ Curricula as it is certainly key in reducing unwanted sexual and reproductive health outcomes and will be a key proponent in achieving Universal Health Care.
More pictures? Your wish is my command hehe: