Activities, Campaigns and Events
SCOPH is marked throughout the year by its many successful activities, campaigns and events that aim to increase health awareness amongst the Maltese population. We depend upon your continued participation to make these campaigns as successful as possible.
The following is a brief description of all the campaigns, activities and events we hold throughout the year.
Beat the Burn – email@example.com
Beat the Burn is a re-branding of MMSA-SCOPH’s previous Reach on the Beach. Although only a few months old, Beat the Burn has become one of SCOPH’s most successful campaigns, with four outreach sessions held throughout the summer across Malta and Gozo.The campaign focuses mainly on melanoma, the dangers of prolonged sun exposure and smoking cessation. This year, Beat the Burn is being supported by Ex-Smokers Are Unstoppable (an EU Commission campaign) and La Roche-Posay Malta. Informative leaflets, bookmarks and several freebies are distributed to the public to raise awareness about the three distinct topics.
World Heart Day – firstname.lastname@example.org
World Heart Day is an initiative of the World Heart Foundation and forms part of IFMSA’s International Project on Obesity and Diabetes as of the IFMSA August Meeting held in Macedonia in 2009.This year, World Heart Day was celebrated on the 29th of September at the Point Shopping Complex in Sliema and at Bay Street Shopping Complex in St Julian’s. The main focuses of World Heart Day are maintaining a healthy heart, and how to avoid heart disease through smart choices.
The activity involves performing outreaches to passers-by about eating habits, smoking, exercise and handing out informative leaflets. Members of the public can also have their blood pressure, blood glucose and Body Mass Index (BMI) checked at our stand for free. The MMSA was this year featured on the official World Heart Federation website for their work in the campaign this year.
Hand washing Awareness – email@example.com
Hand washing awareness was newly launched as a separate campaign this year, kicking off the year with a highly successful Global Hand washing Day, that was marked by a national Art Competition for children in Junior 4-6.The main aim of the campaign is to raise awareness about proper hand hygiene and the risks of transmissible germs. Hands-on demonstrations in major campaigns and liaisons with Teddy Bear Hospital are part of the Hand washing Awareness campaign’s calendar of events.Notable milestones this year include the inclusion of the Global Hand washing Day Art Competition in the Global Public-Private Partnership for Hand washing website.
World Diabetes Day – firstname.lastname@example.org
World Diabetes Day is an initiative started off by the International Diabetes Federation and is part of IFMSA’s International Project on Obesity and Diabetes as of the IFMSA August Meeting held in Macedonia in 2009.This event has a particular significance in Malta, given the prevalence of diabetes within the Maltese islands. This year, the campaign will be held on the 10th of November in Valletta with several activities and liaising campaigns planned for the day.
The aim is to educate the public and make them more knowledgeable about diabetes and its prevention, effects and management. We also give information about diabetes in children. World Diabetes Day will include outreaches to passers-by about diabetes, and distribution of leaflets. Interested people can have their blood glucose, blood pressure and Body Mass Index checked at our stand.
Stroke Awareness Campaign – email@example.com
Stroke awareness campaign was first launched last year by Maria Bonnici, Ian Baldacchino and Elizabeth Muscat. The campaign was to consist of a multidisciplinary talk on stroke management delivered by different professionals thus offering an insight into the holistic rehabilitation of a stroke patient and outreach sessions.This year, we will follow in last year’s footsteps and expand this campaign as much as possible. The mission statement of this campaign focuses on educating the public on the signs and symptoms of a stroke. Stroke Awareness will be involved in big campaigns such as World Heart Day and HealthFest. Outreaches will also be held at different localities around Malta.
Teddy Bear Hospital – firstname.lastname@example.org
It is a well-known fact that most children are scared of visiting the doctor and medical interventions. This IFMSA Transnational Project aims to address children’s medical fear and establish a friendly relationship with children which they can relate to from an early age. MMSA members visit primary schools, summer schools and orphanages almost every month to help heal children’s teddy bears using plastic doctors’ toys. At the same time, Teddy Bear Doctors also give advice and tips in a very informal manner, which include information about health, injections and being active. At the end of the activity, a certificate is handed out to all the children who took part. MMSA has also created a booklet to be given to parents about general health information. As of last year, the Teddy Bear Hospital campaign is joined by a mini-hand washing session that aims to teach children about proper and correct hand hygiene.
Christmas Campaign – email@example.com
Christmas is generally a happy period of the year, but it might not be so for children who are staying in hospital because they are sick or require specific treatment over the days of Christmas. For this reason, SCOPHians organise a Christmas lottery to raise money to buy gifts for sick children. MMSA members then visit the children’s wards during the holidays to distribute these gifts, sing Christmas carols and introduce them to our very own Father Christmas! This year, the Christmas Campaign will be taking on a new turn, apart from the usual children’s visits, whereby we will be organising choir sessions and visiting the elderly to share in the Christmas spirit.
Blood & Organ Donation Campaigns – firstname.lastname@example.org
The blood & organ donation campaigns previously served to encourage University students to give blood and apply to become organ donors. However, donation is an extremely important aspect on medicine and increased awareness about the need for blood and viable organs should be given to the general public. Thus, as of this year, the campaign will be including a seminar and several blood drives during major SCOPH events. Organ donation application forms will be given out at the respective campaigns.
Eating Disorders Campaign– email@example.com
As part of an IFMSA transnational project, Eating Disorders campaign is quite prominent within SCOPH. This campaign is split into two sections: peer-education and public awareness, whereby interactive talks to secondary school students and outreach are carried out respectively. This campaign is intended to make the public more aware of the often- overlooked problem of eating disorders, give relevant information about the four main types of eating disorders, and let people know where they can find help should they need it. Another focus of this campaign is on the mental health problems associated with eating disorders allowing it to be merged with the mental health as well as forming liaisons with external associations and groups. This year, Eating Disorders will be introducing the Fashion Show that will deal with eating and body image.
Focusing On Obesity and Diabetes (FOOD) – firstname.lastname@example.org
Obesity in children has become a problem in the Maltese islands, and it is something that can be easily mitigated if children get into the habit of eating healthily and exercising. As part of the IFMSA’s International Project on Obesity and Diabetes, the FOOD campaign (a rebranding of MMSA’s previous IPOD campaign) consists of school visits whereby MMSA members give talks about the importance of healthy eating and daily exercise. To make the visits more interactive, the children are then encouraged to put what they have heard during the talk into practice through games and activities designed specifically to teach them about healthy diets and smart food choices. We use presentations and MyPlate schemes, followed by healthy sandwich making and close the session with sports competitions for the children in a bid to promote an active lifestyle.
Basic Life Support Skills Campaign – email@example.com
First Aid is a basic skill, and MMSA believes that everyone should receive adequate training in this regard so that tragedies that occur due to lack of First Aid knowledge will be prevented. This campaign has many subsectors, one of which is the promotion of First Aid courses with first year medical students. This year, BLSS will be having NPET sessions dedicated to children to show them the importance of understanding basic first aid and encourage the update of courses from an early age.
Substance Abuse Awareness – firstname.lastname@example.org
Substance abuse is an umbrella term that includes not only drug abuse, but also abuse of alcohol – two problems that commonly effect teenagers in today’s world. Substance abuse works mainly through peer-education programmes, whereby we empower students with the ability to make informed decisions about drugs and alcohol. As of this year, substance abuse campaign is working closely with anti-tobacco, and is presenting its own substance abuse updates on the SCOPH server.
Antitobacco Campaign – email@example.com
The MMSA anti-tobacco campaign consists of peer-education and outreaches to the general public during major SCOPH campaigns, specifically Beat the Burn. Peer education equips students with the information to make informed decisions about tobacco. Thanks to our new support through Ex-Smokers Are Unstoppable, we have an all-new set of materials to hand out during our outreach sessions to make learning a fun and interactive experience. Apart from this, the campaign will also be hosting a seminar later on during the year.
E-Posters Campaign – firstname.lastname@example.org
The E-posters campaign revolves around the idea of spreading professionally-approved information about specific health topics once a month using social media. This gives students a chance to write articles and get published, as well as engage in MMSA’s stance on the environment (choosing electronic dispersal over printing).
Healthy Lifestyles Campaign – email@example.com
Despite it being a brand new campaign, Healthy Lifestyles is quite simple to understand, with the main focus that of helping one achieve better health by making small lifestyle change, with the aim of creating healthier students. Life isn’t just about studying; you can make a difference to your everyday activities in order to sustain your health. The campaign will be focusing on eating accordingly, depending on current habits and lifestyles, as well as focusing on maintaining oneself from an ergonomic point of view. This will be done through seminars and NPET sessions spread throughout the year.
ClimateCare Campaign – firstname.lastname@example.org
Falling under IFMSA’s Think Global Initiative, ClimateCare focuses on the effects of climate change on health – an aspect often neglected in talks about climate change. Events include workshops and public outreaches. The campaign has been re-launched this year and will be working in close association with student organisations focusing on the environment and with Healthy Planet UK.
HealthFest marks the pinnacle of MMSA SCOPH events, bringing together most of SCOPH’s events into one big celebration of public health awareness. HealthFest also gives MMSA a chance to better bond by bringing together each of its standing committees to celebrate in raising awareness from a holistic point of view. This term’s HealthFest is slated for April 2013 and will be held on and off campus over two days.
The International Level – IFMSA and more!
One should not forget that we are also part of IFMSA-SCOPH, which is the standing committee that includes all the members from around the world. Opportunities with IFMSA are endless, and they are all there just waiting for you to use to the full! There are plenty of conferences, regional meetings, and general assemblies that one can attend as part of SCOPH. This promotes exchange of ideas with people from around the world, learning many new things about topics like leadership development and project management (to name a few), and also serves as a way to make new, like-minded friends that have the same frame of mind as you do.
Apart from this, several international opportunities such as attending WHO and UN conferences allow MMSA members to experience public health on a whole new level.