Human health is a key component in building a resilient society.
Proactive measures to reduce risks are crucial to meet the global target of reducing mortality and number of affected people, including the injured, people with long-term injury leading to disability and people suffering from the psychosocial effects of disasters . Providing the next generation of doctors with knowledge and skills to promote resilient behaviours, be prepared to mount effective disaster response and recovery, and to advise governments and other actors on risk reduction policy and practice, will have long-lasting benefits for the implementation of the post-2015 framework for DRR.
The International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA) is a global federation representing students from more than 110 countries, that builds capacity of medical students and advocates for the basic right to health. With these voluntary commitments, we aim to further commit to reducing the risk of disasters, whether natural, biological, technological or societal.
Within IFMSA, extensive teaching material is being developed through peer-to-peer and near-to-peer methods on the importance and challenges of maintaining health in disasters settings; with topics including first-line response, introduction to Disaster Risk Reduction (preparedness, prevention, response and recovery), unique challenges to handle, preventive measures for epidemics and pandemics, as well as a patient-centered approach in disaster settings. Special attention is given to public health-related prevention and preparedness, disaster resilience, safety of people and health facilities in disasters.
A key commitment for medical students as future healthcare professionals is to act in accordance with international and national frameworks and laws, with the aim of providing patient-centered care in all settings and working with governments to ensure these frameworks and laws are being respected. We thereby aim to raise awareness on International Humanitarian Law, Human Rights and medical ethics in disasters.
1) Increase knowledge and build capacity among future medical professionals on how to manage risks and challenges for public health in disaster prevention, preparedness, response and recovery, including medical, public health and humanitarian dimensions of disasters and complex-security environments.
2) Increase knowledge and build capacity among future medical professionals about medical ethics in complex-security environments, International Humanitarian Law, the Declaration of Human Rights including the Right to Health and the medical professional behaviors important for ensuring health equality, access to services and people-centered care before, during and after disasters. .
3) Equip medical students with skills and knowledge in order to communicate their priorities in development of international and national policy, and to advocate for inclusion and strengthening of Disaster Risk Reduction in the medical student curriculum.
4) Take common actions and strengthen collaborations with governments and other stakeholders and actors on interdisciplinary platforms and events to improve disaster risk reduction and reduce risks to people’s health.
5) Provide opportunities for medical students to engage in Disaster Risk Reduction activities, forums and research in support of the above targets.
Target 1, indicator 1
Number of comprehensive capacity building workshops on Disaster Risk Reduction conducted by IFMSA or national associations with a diversity of participants, disaggregated by age, gender, region and social background, with all participant receiving a Framework with proposed for follow up actions.
Target 1, indicator 2
Number of comprehensive capacity-building workshops on best practices and challenges of implementation of Medical Ethics, Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law before, during and after disasters by IFMSA or national associations, with a diversity of participants, disaggregated by age, gender, region and social background; based on Framework for follow up actions provided to all participants.
Target 1, indicator 3
Increased knowledge of medical students about Disaster Risk Reduction and humanitarian actions topics through different capacity building activities done by IFMSA
Target 2, Indicator 1
Number of medical schools that introduce or increase the number of teaching hours on Disaster Risk Reduction and humanitarian actions topics in their curricula followed up through Framework for follow up actions for IFMSA capacity building
Target 2, indicator 2
Collected number of cases of medical curriculums with theoretical introduction on best practices and challenges in informal education of medical students or trainings on medical personnel on health care facility and personnel safety.
Target 2, indicator 3
Collected number of cases of medical curricula with theoretical introduction on best practices and challenges in implementation of Medical Ethics, Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law before, during and after disasters.
Target 3, Indicator 1
Number of comprehensive advocacy training activities with special attention to Disaster Risk Reduction, Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law conducted by IFMSA and national organizations, with a diversity of participants, disaggregated by age, gender, region and social background with the Framework for follow up actions for participants.
Target 4, Indicator 1
Number of IFMSA delegations with a diversity of participants, disaggregated by age, gender, nationality and social background, officially attending meetings addressing policy development of Disaster Risk Reduction and Health Care Safety and Security.
Target 4, Indicator 2
Annual update of IFMSA’s policy position on Disaster Risk Reduction and Health Care Safety and Security.
Target 4, Indicator 3
Number of advocacy campaigns on Disaster Risk Reduction and humanitarian actions leading to change of policies and further investment in prevention and preparedness, and meaningful participation of communities including youth
Target 5, Indicator 1
Number of platforms available for students to pursue research addressing Disaster Risk Reduction, Human Right to Health and Health Care Safety and Security .
Target 5, Indicator 2
Number of forums available for students to take actions addressing Disaster Risk Reduction, Human Right to Health and Health Care Safety and Security.
Annual activity reports by the IFMSA international small working groups;
Annual activity reports by relevant IFMSA Programs;
Post-training/workshop reports from the event organizers;
Research surveys done through IFMSA;
Tracking of successful advocacy milestones.
March 2015 - March 2017
Ms Moa Herrgaård
Liaison Officer of Human Right and Peace, International Federation for Medical Students´ Associations