IFMSA March Meeting 2020 | Kigali, Rwanda
From March 1 to March 7 2020, the 69th General Assembly of IFMSA – International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations took place in Kigali, Rwanda. Eleven active HelMSIC members traveled to Rwanda, representing the Medical Students of Greece at the largest Medical Students’ Meeting, where important discussions and decisions were made for the future of the Federation.
IFMSA is the largest international organization representing Medical Students worldwide and aims to bring them together and work together regardless of race, economic status, religion, sexuality, gender identity and political beliefs. IFMSA is active in six fields of action: Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights including HIV/AIDS, Public Health, Human Rights & Peace, Medical Education, Professional and Research Exchanges.
Two General Assemblies are held each year, one in March and one in August (March & August Meeting, respectively), attended by more than 1000 Medical Students from all over the world.
An IFMSA General Assembly consists of the following 6 components: Plenaries, Sessions, Trainings, Theme Event, Activities Fair and Exchanges Fair.
At an IFMSA meeting, during the plenaries, important decisions on the future of the Federation are discussed. In particular, key issues are being voted on, such as amendments to IFMSA’s Bylaws and Constitution as well as the adoption of policy papers by the Federation. At every March Meeting, elections are also held for the new Executive Board of the Federation.
At the same time, apart from the administrative parts of a General Assembly, delegates have the opportunity to attend sessions on the IFMSA’s six Standing Committees where participants decide on actions for each sector separately, trainings to acquire practical skills and the “Theme Event” which includes science lectures on a current Health issue. This year’s theme was “The Role of Primary Health Care in Achieving Universal Health Coverage”.
A very interesting part of an international meeting is Activities’ Fair, during which each NMO presents some of the most important programs organized annually. HelMSIC’s delegation was actively involved and presented “Summer School – Preparation for Rural Practice”, the “WAD – World AIDs Day” program and the “Mental Health Day” program. Finally, during Exchanges’ Fair NMOs presented professional and research exchanges offered by each country.
An IFMSA General Assembly is a unique experience. Interacting with Medical students from all over the world! Getting to know different cultures, discussing global health issues, cultivating your skills, getting excited, reflecting on your work, becoming aware and exchanging ideas. Within seven days you live a unique experience while creating beautiful memories with people from every corner of the planet but of course with the rest of the Greek delegation!
The next IFMSA General Assembly will be held in Panama in August 2020!