Welcome everyone to SCOPH (otherwise known as the Standing Committee on Public Health).
SCOPH remains one of the most active committees within MMSA, being devoted to sharing knowledge and raising awareness on the various public health issues that shape us nationally and on a global scale. Over the years, MMSA-SCOPH has amasses several campaigns under the direction of their respective coordinators to ensure a widespread coverage of a myriad of issues.
Apart from serving as an extracurricular activity to keep medical students actively involved within MMSA, SCOPH events provide students with the opportunity to actively raise awareness on public health issues with the general public, something we can all engage in our own unique ways. It also gives students the chance to interact with different generations of people (from young children to the elderly) thus experiencing what dialogue is expected in later years as doctors, not to mention that the public are very receptive of our events and people of all ages engage and enjoy our visits. All this, combined with team building, planning skills, leadership skills, and public speaking provides medical students with a holistic learning experience during SCOPH events.
At this point, one might be wondering about what issues we tackle and how we go about our events; many of our events involve outreach, with students actively stopping to talk to people about particular health issues, as was done for our newly-launched Beat the Burn campaign and World Heart Day, which were held between July and the 29th of September and focused on melanoma & tobacco risks, and heart health respectively. Other such campaigns include World Diabetes Day (which will be held on the 10th of November) and our highly-anticipated annual HealthFest which is slated for April 2013 and encompasses several public health issues, bringing together many of MMSA’s campaigns and standing committees. In addition to this, some of our campaigns have a more hands-on approach, in that we offer free blood pressure, blood glucose and BMI monitoring (which serves as both an awareness campaign and a chance for students to practice the respective techniques). This is done for World Heart Day, World Diabetes Day, Stroke Awareness campaigns and HealthFest.
Furthermore we also engage in more specific public health issues, delving into teaching children about hand hygiene and visiting the doctor through Global Hand-washing Day and our Teddy Bear Hospital campaign, teaching children about the dangers of obesity and diabetes in our FOOD campaigns (Focus On Obesity and Diabetes) by using MyPlate schemes and sandwich-making exercises, focusing on the impact of a healthy environment and pollution on our health in the Climate Care campaign, introducing the notion of good exercise and an ergonomic living through our Healthy Lifestyles campaign, and many more!
One should note that our focus on the realm of public health extends beyond Malta’s shores; several times a year, we have the opportunity to attend conferences, summits,
IFMSA general assemblies and European Regional Meetings, and EMSA GAs that all bring together the notion of SCOPH and give students the unique opportunity to exchange ideas and pull the notion of health awareness on a global scale.
Thank you for your time and welcome to SCOPH!
MMSA Public Health Officer ’12-’13