Welcome to SCOPH!
The Standing Committee on Public Health (SCOPH) brings together medical students from all over the world to learn, build skills, cooperate, explore and share ideas when it comes to addressing all issues related to public health, including global health issues, health policies, health promotion and education, activities.
Medical students of the IFMSA formed the Standing Committee on Students Health (SCOSH) in 1952, driven by a strong will to take an active part in preventing and making policies concerning health problems. During the following years, the wide variety of activities led to the change of SCOSH to Standing Committee on Health (SCOH) in 1963. In 1983, the name of the Committee changed once more to Standing Committee on Public Health (SCOPH). In the past decades, SCOPHeroes have been implementing, maintaining and improving a wide variety of community based projects on a local, national and international level. Through these activities we are approaching our vision of a healthy society and we are developing our own potential of being a complete and skillful health professional.
The Standing Committee on Public Health aims to become a reference as training and learning pillars for medical students, in order to create future public health qualified leaders who are equipped with the knowledge, skills and values to work on a local and an international level.
The Standing Committee on Public Health promotes the development of medical students worldwide regarding public health issues through an international sharing knowledge network, projects management, community based learning, capacity building, advocacy and access to external learning opportunities.
- Disease prevention within our society.
- Health promotion and education within our society.
- Raising awareness about global public health issues within medical students and our society.
- Advocating for health policies as the voice of worldwide medical students.
- Developing skills and knowledge of medical students as the future health professionals.
- Working as an international team and collaborating with external public health organisations to use the potential of over one million worldwide medical students.
- Collaborate with other fields as medical education, human rights and reproductive health.
Health Promotion: recognized as the key element for community health change. SCOPHians perform different activities to raise awareness, educate and train general population on several health issues to prevent from Communicable to noncommunicable Diseases, to adopt healthy lifestyles addressing risk factors but also caring about the environment.
Social & Environmental Determinants of Health (SDH): are the conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live, and age, and the wider set of forces and systems shaping the conditions of daily life. These forces and systems include economic policies and systems, development agendas, social norms, social policies and political systems.
Universal Health Coverage: SCOPHians are advocating in their countries to have a positive impact on equal, accessible and affordable high-quality universal health care. Coming from the principle of achieving health for all (3rd Sustainable Development Goal), it is the duty of medical students to support this movement for a better healthcare quality as well as physical and mental health status.
Health in All Policies (HiAP): is a movement that advocates for a collaborative approach to improving health of all people by taking in consideration health when making decisions in sectors other than health such as tobacco, food, migration, urbanization, climate change etc. The goal of HiAP is to ensure that decisions makers are well informed about impact their policies can have on health and to incorporate importance of health in their decision making process.
Global Health, International Health and Public Health: With the expansion of international aid in health crisis, the sense of globalization and trade, the term of global health and international health have emerged and have taken a certain value compared to public health. Take a look at the table below, from Kaplan JP et al, the Lancet 2009.
Examples of recent achievements
STOP TB Initiative: Celebrated on March 24th each year, under the STOP TB Partnership, in collaboration with the International Veterinary Students Association (IVSA) and the International Pharmaceutical Students Federation (IPSF), where the main message was to join forces to fight TB (tuberculosis).
One Health: With the IVSA, students are tackling human and animal health, and are finding doors to collaboration by organizing workshops at the national/international, and by tackling overlapping topics such as food safety, zoonotic diseases and antimicrobial resistance.
Program on NCDs and Healthy Lifestyles: This program was adopted in the March Meeting 2015. It englobes the different activities and interventions being conducted by NMOs, from campaigns to peer education sessions, making sure that to keep a great impact on the target groups and to keep track on the dynamic and evaluation of the NMOs in this field.
Climate Change and Health: IFMSA demands more considerations for health in the climate talks, and its advocacy work has been successfully recognized by the WHO and the UNFCCC. IFMSA is also dedicated to building capacity at the international level, by organizing several workshops and worldwide campaigns.
Alcohol and Health: IFMSA is member of the Alcohol Policy Youth Network (APYN). We are committed to have a say on the harmful use of alcohol and being active by organizing workshops and campaigns on the topic.