IFMSA-Quebec’s Standing Committee on Global Health (SCOGH) aims to bring together all medical students in Quebec who are interested in global health issues and who are ready to engage in activities involving awareness, prevention and information related to this theme.
The mission of SCOGH members is to educate medical students, future health professionals, and the general population about the different aspects and challenges of global health, as well as injustices in health. These challenges encompass anything that can affect the health of populations, i.e. climate change, poverty, infectious diseases, as well as non-infectious diseases. Faced with these challenges, SCOGH members encourage local and global actions. They also contribute to discussions related to global health by participating, for example, in conferences. Ultimately, the global health committee wants to influence related policies, with the aim of creating a more just world where the right to health would be a reality for all.
What Is Global Health?
The World Health Organization, WHO, first defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Tying this to a more international dimension, it is possible to define global health by health-related problems, issues and concerns that transcend borders, which may be influenced by the circumstances and/or events in different countries and are best resolved by cooperative actions. Another definition of global health that is regularly used is the following: an area of study, research and practice that prioritizes improving health and health equity for all people across the world. Finally, Beaglehole and Bonita, two researchers particularly involved in global health, define it as follows: “Global health is collaborative trans-national research and action for promoting health for all.” In short, it should be remembered that the field of global health sees health and related problems as something that transcends country borders and connects us all.
Why Talk About Global Health?
Global health is a varied theme that encompasses a multitude of aspects that can influence the health of populations and individuals at an international level. SCOGH addresses issues such as the social determinants of health, which are defined by the WHO as “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.” The committee is also working to demystify what infectious diseases and non-infectious diseases are (commonly known as Non-Communicable Diseases – NCDs). In addition, conferences on global health policies, professional migration, emergency humanitarian aid, etc., are organized. It should also be mentioned that SCOGH attaches great importance to climate change, which has a very direct influence on populations’ level of health. Thus, the world health committee is present to deal with all these subjects of capital importance in this world that is the 21st century.
Stay up to date on issues and opportunities via SCOGH’s Facebook group!
For any other information or question, please contact:
National Officer for Global Health (NOGH)