What is Public Health?
“All organized measures (whether public or private) aimed at preventing disease, promoting health, and prolonging life among the population as a whole.”
World Health Organization
- Public health improves the health of a population, e.g. the population in Quebec, by dealing with the most prevalent problems (e.g. tobacco), risk factors, the environment and social determinants of health (e.g. education, housing, socio-economic status, access to healthcare).
- Public health prevents diseases rather than cures.
- The public health strategy consists of assessing the problem and then raising awareness or changing policy.
Public Health Themes
Some notable public health campaigns are:
- Vaccination and control of infectious diseases
- Motor-vehicle safety
- Safer workplaces
- Safer and healthier foods
- Safe drinking water
- Healthier mothers and babies and access to family planning
- Decline in deaths from coronary heart disease and stroke
What is SCOPH?
The Standing Committee on Public Health, or SCOPH, of IFMSA-Quebec aims at improving the health of Quebec population through public awareness and advocacy. It also promotes the development of medical students regarding Public Health issues.
In Quebec, non-communicable diseases (NCDs), tobacco, organ donation and mental health are important public health issues to be tackled in SCOPH.
SCOPH have been previously active in organ donation, nutrition and mental health through kiosks, conferences, thematic weeks, open letters and policy statement.
Peer Education Projects, which aim at educating the youth about health related topics by medical students, have been very active on mental health, skin health, nutrition and body image.
How to Get Involved?
The best way is to be nominated Local Officer of Public Health. The Local Officer manages the Public Health Committee on his/her campus, conducts public health related projects and partakes in national campaigns, under the supervision of the National Officer of Public Health. The call for applications in usually in September. Stay alert to the news!
You could also become an active IFMSA-Quebec member by participating in activities organised by the Public Health Committee on your campus or by joining this committee and organising activities yourself.
For questions or information, contact:
National Officer of Public Health of Public Health, IFMSA-Québec (NPO)