This article was exclusively written for the Sting by Ms Zahra Fadhilazk. The writer is from CIMSA-ISMKI Indonesia, one of the NMOs affiliated to IFMSA. She is also affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA). However, the opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.
World Health Organization (WHO) is an organization created by The United Nations on 7th April 1948. It aims to give the world a better and healthier future. To achieve that, WHO has the authority and obligation to coordinate, view, and review the international health system within the United Nations. More specifically, WHO works through listing the matters critical to health, then providing them with the appropriate system and action while looking for the proper partners for the situation.
WHO also facilitates research and dissemination of knowledge to keep the world updated. In terms of the health system itself, WHO is obliged to make the rules by setting the norms and standards, and devising ethical and evidence-based policy options. Also, creating sustainable capacity while at the same time providing technical support is in the authority of WHO. In doing its job, WHO works hand in hand with governments in 150 countries and its partner organizations, one of them is IFMSA.
Since 1951, IFMSA has become an organization of medical students, by medical students, and for medical students. It works (as mentioned earlier) within the United Nations system and World Health Organization. It now accomodates almost 120 countries accross six continents with more than 125 national member organizations, which enables IFMSA to run its organization from a global reach to local implementation.
Having more than a million members, IFMSA facilitates all medical students with opportunities to understand more about critical health issues of the world and speak up their minds, to let them know that students are not only passive subjects to the international health system. Every year, IFMSA gets to contribute in meetings that discuss important health issues, together with other organizations and surely, WHO. These meetings become a bridge that crosses between medical students as young doctors and the improved health system of the world.
The highlight of real contribution and impact given by these two institutions was in 2015, when The United Nations announced the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are seventeen targets the world needs to achieve by 2030 in any sector. One of the goals, specifically Goal 3 that says “Good Health and Well Being” is actually being a goal thankyoungs to IFMSA with its belief that health is essential for the sustainable development of the world.
Also, immediately after the SDGs were officialized, IFMSA began to work on Goal 3 and other goals that affect the youth, which are quality education (Goal 4), gender quality (Goal 5), and peace, justice, and strong institutions (Goal 16). This shows that IFMSA, although consists of young minds that are newly exposed to matters of the world, is capable and eager to stand with other institutions that work for world progress.
Considering what were said before, it is crystal clear that WHO and IFMSA as the representation of young doctors all around the world with their ambitiousness and critical minds were ready, are ready, and will always be ready to be the agents of the world improvement.
About the author
Zahra Fadhilazka Tiara is from CIMSA-ISMKI Indonesia, one of the NMOs affiliated to IFMSA. Currently, she is serving as part of marketing, campaign, and advocacy team term 2016/2017. She is a SCOPE member. She is 19 years old and she just finished her 5th semester of pre-clinical study in Airlangga University, Surabaya, Indonesia.