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Standing Committee on Public Health

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Welcome to SCOPH!

The Standing Committee on Public Health (SCOPH) brings together medical students from all over the world to learn, build skills, cooperate, explore and share ideas when it comes to addressing all issues related to public health, including global health issues, health policies, health promotion and education, activities.


The Standing Committee on Public Health (SCOPH) brings together medical students from all over the world to learn, build skills, cooperate, explore and share ideas to address all issues related to Public Health, including Global Health issues, health policies, health promotion, and education activities.

Medical students of the IFMSA formed the Standing Committee on Students’ Health (SCOSH) in 1952, driven by a strong will to take an active part in preventing and making policies concerning health problems. During the following years, the wide variety of activities led to the change of SCOSH to Standing Committee on Health (SCOH) in 1963. In 1983 the name of the Committee changed once more to Standing Committee on Public Health (SCOPH).

During these six decades, SCOPHeroes have implemented, maintained and improved a wide variety of community-based projects on a local, national and international level. Through these activities, we are pursuing our vision of a healthy society and we are developing our own potential of being complete and skillful health professionals.

Medical Students attain the optimal skills and knowledge to contribute to their full potential towards the making of healthier communities in their capacity as medical students and as future healthcare providers.

The Standing Committee on Public Health promotes the development of medical students worldwide regarding Public Health issues through an international sharing knowledge network, projects management, community-based learning, capacity building, advocacy, exchanges placements and access to external learning opportunities.


  1. Disease prevention within our society.
  2. Health promotion and education within our society.
  3. Raising awareness about global public health issues within medical students and our society.
  4. Advocating for health policies as the voice of worldwide medical students.
  5. Developing skills and knowledge of medical students as the future health professionals.
  6. Working as an international team and collaborating with external public health organizations to use the potential of over one million worldwide medical students.
  7. Collaborate with other fields as medical education, human rights, and reproductive health.

SCOPH Regulations:

Please Click Below to view the Regulations and Respective Annexes:

SCOPH Regulations:

Annex 1: SCOPH Strategy 2018-2021

Annex 2: AWP

Annex 3: Public Health Exchanges (SCOPH Exchanges) Regulations

Annex 4: Public Health Leadership Training (PHLT) Regulations

Main Topics

Health Promotion: recognized as the key element for community health change. SCOPHians perform different activities to raise awareness, educate and train general population on several health issues to prevent from Communicable to noncommunicable Diseases, to adopt healthy lifestyles addressing risk factors but also caring about the environment.

Regional Priorities: Public Health is a broad field and to focus specifically on some public health issues reflective of the countries priorities SCOPH has regional priorities of every region voted on upon by the National Public Health Officers: This does not imply that we are not working on other Public Health issues however due to the crucial nature and limited resources we have developed such priorities. The priorities are as follows:

  • Africa: NCDs
  • Americas: Mental Health; Universal Health Coverage
  • Asia Pacific: Ageing
  • EMR: Antimicrobial resistance
  • Europe: Mental Health and Antimicrobial resistance

Social & Environmental Determinants of Health (SDH): are the 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. These forces and systems include economic policies and systems, development agendas, social norms, social policies and political systems.

Universal Health Coverage: SCOPHians are advocating in their countries to have a positive impact on equal, accessible and affordable high-quality universal health care. Coming from the principle of achieving health for all (3rd Sustainable Development Goal), it is the duty of medical students to support this movement for a better healthcare quality as well as physical and mental health status.

Health in All Policies (HiAP): is a movement that advocates for a collaborative approach to improving health of all people by taking in consideration health when making decisions in sectors other than health such as tobacco, food, migration, urbanization, climate change etc. The goal of HiAP is to ensure that decisions makers are well informed about impact their policies can have on health and to incorporate importance of health in their decision-making process.

Global Health, International Health and Public Health: With the expansion of international aid in health crisis, the sense of globalization and trade, the term of global health and international health have emerged and have taken a certain value compared to public health. Take a look at the table below, from Kaplan JP et al, the Lancet 2009.


Examples of recent achievements

Public Health Exchanges (SCOPH Exchanges): Public Health is not always given the importance of the curriculum, including clinical placements of medical students. Public Health Exchanges (SCOPH Exchanges), are exchanges in Public Health settings NGOs, Medical Institutes, primary health care and other such placements. To promote intercultural learning in Public Health and be a source of experience to empower medical students with skills necessary for them as future healthcare providers.

Public Health Exchanges (SCOPH Exchanges) Regulations and documents here.

Mental Health: Mental Health is one of the most concerning Public Health Issues of our times, is a priority in IFMSA, SCOPH. Not only Mental Health in general but the mental health of medical students, healthcare professionals and in general within the workplace. Thus, SCOPH has workshops and sessions on Mental Health with not only a focus on a cure but also on prevention and mental well-being.

STOP TB Initiative: Celebrated on March 24th each year, under the STOP TB Partnership, in collaboration with the International Veterinary Students Association (IVSA) and the International Pharmaceutical Students Federation (IPSF), where the main message was to join forces to fight TB (tuberculosis).

One Health: With the IVSA, students are tackling human and animal health, and are finding doors to collaboration by organizing workshops at the national/international, and by tackling overlapping topics such as food safety, zoonotic diseases, and antimicrobial resistance.

Program on NCDs and Healthy Lifestyles: This program was adopted at the March Meeting 2015. It englobes the different activities and interventions being conducted by NMOs, from campaigns to peer education sessions, making sure that to keep a great impact on the target groups and to keep track on the dynamic and evaluation of the NMOs in this field.

Climate Change and Health: IFMSA demands more considerations for health in the climate talks, and its advocacy work has been successfully recognized by the WHO and the UNFCCC. IFMSA is also dedicated to building capacity at the international level, by organizing several workshops and worldwide campaigns.

Important Documents

We invite you to have a look at our SCOPH most relevant documents that are from internal and external resources, such as Publications, preparations, and follow-up from IFMSA meetings, internal regulations, and much more! Click here

Public Health Issues Policy documents : 

To view all IFMSA Policy Documents, click here.

Related Programs

  1. Healthy Lifestyles and Non-communicable diseases
  2. Non-communicable disease
  3. Mental Health
  4. Environment & Health
  5. Children’s’ Health & Rights
  6. Healthy systems
  7. Organ, Marrow & Tissue Donation

Main External Partners

  • World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA)
  • Alcohol Policy Youth Network (APYN)
  • Global Climate and Health Alliance (GCHA)
  • European Public Health Alliance
  • The Union
  • Global Health Center at the Graduate Institute Geneva

SCOPH Team 2020-2021

  • National Public Health Officer: Hawa Suad Vandi (slemsa.npo@gmail.com)
  • Local Public Health Officer: Joseph Garrick
  • General Assistant: Benjamin Koroma
  • Capacity Building Assistant: N'fally Kanneh
  • Fundraising Assistant: Velma C. Williams

Join Us Online

If you are a medical student that want to get involved and learn more Subscribe to ifmsa-scoph mailing list by sending a blank email to ifmsa-scoph-subscribe@yahoogroups.com.

You can also join our WhatsApp Group: SCOPH-SLEMSA.