Health governance: how to include youth in decision making?

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Mr. Ray Salameh, 23 years old, obtained a Bachelor in Biology as well as an attestation for completing the first year of masters in Molecular Biology at the Lebanese University-Faculty of Sciences. He is affiliated with the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. 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.


Health governance can be defined as the measures a government takes in order to lead its population into achieving a better health status. These measures can be laws, recommendations or just publicly shared expert opinions.

The involvement of youth in decision making policies should be of utmost importance. And for that, we should build programs in order to accommodate their abilities as well make it accessible for as many interested people as possible. To be able to achieve that outcome these programs should be evaluated and updated yearly to comply with the nations and international needs.

One of the many facilitations one can provide is inviting experts from different backgrounds to schools to give lectures, seminars and workshops about the implementation and monitoring of health-related policies.

Engaging youth in the governance world is crucial for creating strong and sustainable societies for the future. In 20 to 30 years from now, the people who are going to be in charge will be the very same minds we have enriched and influenced with our behavior and education. We don’t want incompetent and biased individuals making decisions about the most sacred thing in the world: our Health.

We want these people to be the best at making sure the right procedures and practices are being followed and executed for the greater good. One possibility of making sure that happens would be to create a committee, supervised by specialists, of young enthusiastic adults to pick one health policy subject and discuss it every week. That will help create an educational environment in which attendees will learn in depth about a certain health topic, what are the challenges faced, and how they can create solutions that are affordable and applicable.

Lastly, one thing not to overlook would be the degree of influence on a child’s mind. How many of us were influenced and touched by other’s work and words when we were young? I bet many, if not all.

People that are going to accept a task as major as this one, should be curated and carefully interviewed about their opinions beforehand. Because once an idea is seeded in a young mind, when that person grows the idea will bloom and it’ll show in their work. We want that work to be a reflection of fraternity and acceptance and not that of hatred and rejection.

If implemented carefully and correctly, the act of including youth in health governance would become a stepping stone in manifesting a healthier, safer and better world to look forward to.

About the author

Ray Salameh, 23 years old, obtained a Bachelor in Biology as well as an attestation for completing the first year of masters in Molecular Biology at the Lebanese University-Faculty of Sciences. Currently a Second year medical student at the University of Balamand, and member of LeMSIC (Lebanese Medical Students Committee).

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