We want to hear about events and/or pictures from your pharmacy school! To share them with PARO please click here for the form!
Or click “Continue Reading” below.
It has been about one month since I returned from an amazing opportunity to attend the World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva, Switzerland. If that was not excitement enough for the normal person, I was also moving back to Brazil from an internship in Costa Rica, making a pit stop in Atlanta, USA. Now, I can finally breath and tell you about my experience.
Although the event was in May, the preparation technically started in January with the application to be part of the IPSF delegation. Around March the results were out and then the real work began. I split my time between discussing logistics with Ms. Sheena Patel (Chairperson of Public Health), trying to work on policy statements with Mr. Dusan Jasovsky (Policy Coordinator) and of course, all other aspects of life.
For me, working on policy statements and interventions was definitely the hardest part of my duties as Regional Projects Officer and as part of the WHA delegation. It had crossed my mind a few times that I simply did not have the skills for it but after hearing all our statements being read to all those representatives of different countries, it just fuels me to overcome this issue. I feel that sometimes we, as people and as organizations, forget that while we may do great things, putting them on paper is also a big part of showing ourselves.
Now, writing these interventions might have been hard but it did not make for a dull moment. Truth be told, for me, there was hardly a dull moment during the event. It might be my personality but everything just seemed so incredible. We had the chance to see amazing speakers such as Dr Margaret Chan (Director-General of WHO) and Melinda Gates (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) as well as less known but not less amazing participants presenting in the many side-events attended.
Apart from side-events, we also attended the Committee A and Committee B meetings where representatives of member states discussed and voted on relevant topics, for instance, noncommunicable diseases. While sometimes repetitive, the highlight of these meetings for me were to see my country “in action”. Here in Brazil there are strong criticisms to our government and representatives in general but there I got to witness first hand that our representatives are doing a good job and that they are participating in the global scenario. It was also during these meetings that our policy interventions, mentioned before, were read.
We also got to see “in action” many of our IPSF representatives such as Ms. Sheena Patel and Mr. Jakub Weber (Chairperson of External Relations) in their hunt for new partners and new contacts. Just amazing work. While I am yet not very comfortable with searching for these news business connections, I did get to discuss some ideas with many members of the Third Global Forum on Human Resources for Health IFMSA delegation. Who knows that the future holds for us right?
Finally, but not less important, we had great experiences as a delegation. I try to follow the idea that while we should work very hard and make the most of these events we take part in, we should always make time for getting to know one another and having a good time. This makes for friends (and why not, business contacts) for life, it makes memories for life.
If you have any further questions please feel free to leave a comment below or contact me in firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ms. Barbara Villela
If you didn’t win the IPSF Flip Flop Contest but still want a pair? Then its your lucky day!
***IPSF Flip Flops will be sold at the IPSF World Congress this summer in PORTO!***
The best memories are made in IPSF flip flops, dont miss out!!
- Price: $15 Euros (paid in cash at the congress, no pre-order)
- All sizes available!
Want to gain more experience in LEADERSHIP?
Well PARO is looking for new leaders as part of the PARO Regional Working Group and Subcommittees! Check out the PARO website to see the call for positions which include detailed descriptions of ALL positions! Available in English, Spanish and Portuguese!
Any questions? Email email@example.com
1º Jornadas de AEFRA Regional Chaco
The 1º Jornadas de AEFRA Regional Chaco happened one month ago in Chaco, Argentina. At this conference, pharmacy students of AEFRA organized an activity over two days that had 180 people attending. The topic of the conference was narcotic trafficking and drugs. AEFRA also organized two social events to improve the ties between all the participants.
I had the opportunity to personally offer one workshop about “Team Work,” as well as one conference providing information about IPSF and specifically our activities in PARO such as our public health campaigns and the Pan American Regional Symposium. I showed the participants pictures of the past activities of the Federation like the last World Congress in Utrecht and the LIT Program.
It was an unforgettable experience because AEFRA Regional Chaco is still so young and it was great to see how the organizers did such great work. They all have good potential as leaders and they know the way to organize great events. AEFRA is growing, and as AEFRA grows so will IPSF in Argentina.
Post 5 of 5: Health while studying and Healthy Living
- English -
“Each day the exams and tests are getting closer. How to stay healthy while studying? Check for some tips from Mr. Lucas Ercolin, Chairperson of PARO” #HealthyLivingPARO
- Spanish -
Cada día los examenes y las pruebas están más cerca. ¿ Cómo mantenernos saludables mientras estudiamos? Mira algunos tips de Mr. Lucas Ercolin, Chairperson of PARO” #HealthyLivingPARO
- Portuguese -
“A cada dia as provas ficam mais próximas. Como se manter saudável durante os estudos? Cheque algumas dicas do Mr. Lucas Ercolin, Chairperson of PARO” #HealthyLivingPARO
Studying occupies a big part of our time during the graduation and, even on the most stressful moments, some health tips can be used to improve the study and to overcome the worst tests.
1. DON’T PANIC (Or panic once): The best advice from “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” also applies here. Panicking will never help. It will take your time, that you should use to study, during the panic explosion, or it will stress you enough to make the study time harder. However, if it is impossible to avoid panicking, do it only on the beginning.
2. Sleep well: A good relation with your bad is crucial and cheating it because of the tests is not a good idea. Memory and concentration depend on your sleep time and if you cannot pay attention or remember anything, you are going anywhere.
3. Drink water: Coffee, sugar and cream become the main students’ friend during the hard times. However:
a. Caffeine is diuretic, that will take your study time to use the toilet,
b. Its abuse may led you to lose the concentration, more time to understand less
c. Increases the irritability, who have the test are you, not the people around you.
d. Affects you sleep. Enough said.
Drinking water will rehydrate and help your body to eliminate toxins, with no side effects… Unless you have too much, than you will have to go more times to the toilet.
4. Eat Healthy: In Brazil, we have proverb: “Empty Bag Can Not Stand” (“Saco vazio não para em pé”) – It means that without food, you will be weak, and if you need to be strong to defeat the tests, you shall be strong. Eat well and healthy.
5. Take a break, if you need: If you work on the last points, you should see that we have bed break, food break and toilet time. All of them optimized to help you with the study. But is usual to get saturated, and the best option is to take a fast break to have a relation with the external world. Having a sun bath is a good choice, but always with a time to go back to the books.
Chairperson of PARO 2014-2015
BE INSPIRED TO MAKE CHANGE IN PARO
Below is the link for the official Call for PARO Positions for the term of 2014-2015. This document contains important detailed information regarding each position and the time commitment requirements. If you have any further questions please email firstname.lastname@example.org, Thank you!
Dear IPSF friends,
A catastrophe of Biblical proportions is happening to the people in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia. Floods have devastated houses, villages, towns, and cities. There have been over a million people affected. Several towns are almost entirely under water.
The danger of further floods is still present, and will be for another few days. For now, over 100,000 people had to leave their homes, over 25,000 have been evacuated in the past 72 hours, and the situation with missing people and casualties is still unclear, although the numbers are rapidly rising. This is considered to be the worst flood in the history. The situation is so dramatic, that entire families have lost their homes in the floods. The hard part is still ahead – cleaning and restoration of cities and return people to their homes. Three nations that were at war only 20 years ago, now are working together to minimize the consequences of this natural disaster.
Our question is: Can we ALL be united? Can we organize one huge humanitarian action across the world? Pharmacy students in Macedonia and Slovenia already had such actions of collecting all kind of donations – money, clothes, food… Even a little can make a big difference.
Please let me know what do you think. If you are interested of organizing it, all collected donations should be given to the Red Cross and I would be thankful if you could inform me about the outcomes of actions.
You can also help by spreading the word on social networks. You can see below the links for donations from abroad.
http://helpserbia.com/ (PayPal and wire donations)
Red Cross Society of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Wire donations): http://www.rcsbh.org/novosti/207-urgent-appeal-for-help
Croatian Red Cross (Online payment, Wire payment):http://www.hck.hr/en/page/emergency-appeal-for-flood-affected-areas-in-croatia-415
Serbian Red Cross (Wire donations):http://www.redcross.org.rs/arhiva__2441
Please, share the information within your friends and colleagues and help our countries to overcome this situation.
You can follow the information on facebook:https://www.facebook.com/helpforserbia
Contact Person of NAPSer – National Association of Pharmacy Students – Serbia
For More Information Visit:http://www.napser.org/index.php/component/content/article/86-glavni-meni/245-support-the-balkans
Against Vaccinations? How?
“Liberty cannot be preserved without general knowledge among the people.” – John Adams
As a Brazilian and as a Pharmacy Student, nothing shocks me more than knowing that some people are organized to fight against immunizations. I remember watching the Penn & Teller show called “Bullshit” on this subject. Of course, their show uses the “F-Bomb” as a common ground, but it shows something about this movement and it makes me ask myself, how? With this, I need to prepare you, my dear reader: This is an opinion article from me, Lucas Ercolin. My words are not IPSF’s opinion.
I believe that written argumentation is more important than videos in order to understand some arguments, especially if we consider that non-verbal communication has an important influence on our agreement or disagreement process. So, I start looking for the reasons on this anti-vaccination movement. By reading everything from the most absurd arguments to some philosophical views, I can divide the reasons I found during my research into 3 categories: Religion, Liberty and Fear.
I do not want to go further on the Religious argument, firstly because discussing dogma will take us to nowhere and because it may be unjust to point out the religions that have issues with vaccination. In addition, some of the contra-arguments that I could use are similar for Liberty. The most famous quote from the French Philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre is “Man is condemned to be free”. This maximum quote is related to the relation between freedom and responsibility. You are free to choose, but you are responsible for what you do. Even if it is an existentialist philosophy, it goes straight to the “Liberty” question.
Anti-vaccination groups argue that they are free to decide about vaccination or not for themselves, or for their children, no matter the reason behind it. In fact, they are right. In Brazil, where we have a Public Health System that vaccinates all the population without costs to the patient, which seems obvious to prevent illness. However, in U.S.A., where there is no Public Health System, or in other countries where immunization can be paid for, this freedom needs to be considered. Therefore, I will divide this thread on “If I can have it” and “If I cannot have it”, to analyze the responsibility on this topic.
If the person cannot have access to vaccines, because money or difficult access, then penalizing them would be an injustice. If the person can have the immunization and decide to not have it, no matter the reason, they accept the responsibility on any issue based on their decision, from themselves becoming ill, their children becoming ill, making other people ill or even dying.
This subject is discussed on the TV show “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit” (“Selfish”, Season 10, Episode 19): A mother is accused to have killed her child, but the evidence shows that the city is on a measles outbreak, because of a mother that refused to vaccinate her boy. Who is the responsible for the kid’s death? Her free decision against the immunization of her kid caused a death, even if it indirect.
Based on the responsibility of the free decision, any issue that can be proved as result of the non-immunization should be consider as a bad thing, from dying to letting other people be sick because of you. However, the argument to break their own responsibility is based on Fear. They said that they will not be vaccinated because its bad side effects…which ones?
The most famous fear is autism. In 1998, Andrew Wakefield published a fraudulent research paper in “The Lancet”, one of the most important medical journal in the world, claiming that the combined measles, mumps and rubella vaccine causes autism. In 2010, The Lancet announced that they “fully retract this paper [Wakefield’s] from the published record”. In 2011, the British Medical Journal detailed, on a series of articles from Brian Deer, how Wakefield faked some data. They even found the 12 children who participated in the fake study to show how it was done. Other fears are based on what is in the vaccines and how they are made. This point is usually used as argument from non-health professionals, based on misunderstanding or lack of knowledge. The main scapegoat is thimerosal, but formaldehyde is usual in anti-vaccination campaigns. Some vaccines have one (or both) compounds in their composition, however, many studies don’t show any kind of link between the bad effect and those substances, in the way that they are used on the vaccines. I will not get into the discussion about the merits of each compound on the vaccines.
The last fear that I want to consider is on “why should I vaccinate?” Some people consider that, if you do not have a reason to be immunized, it will only add an issue, even if it is minimal. Some diseases are rarely found in kids, as Hepatitis B, Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), etc, being a reason to not vaccinate. Others believe that the human immune system is ready to fight against illness in a safe way, making vaccines unneeded. For the first point, I have no arguments against, but as an observation: I got my immunization for Hepatitis B when I entered in the university, at 18 years old. In Brazil the HPV free vaccination, for girls between 11 and 13 years old, and although it is new, it reached more than 80% of the public target. There is no reason to give medicines and immunization to those who do not need it, but we have all the reasons to give vaccines for those who need. However, things change on the second point. Is widely spread the idea that being sick makes you “stronger” (if you survive). I could argue that this information is false and extend this article for to more than 1000 words, but I will consider that it is true… Moreover, it still is not an argument for be against vaccination, because being sick can led to some of the same issues that the vaccinations can cause which may let you sick. Vaccination will not, plus vaccinations can save your life from the same disease.
Chairperson of PARO 2013-14
Message to PARO region:
Unlike other countries, in the United States (U.S), pharmacists have the right to vaccinate. Since annual influenza vaccination is vital to prevent possible pandemic, such increased role of pharmacists in the U.S. currently have a large impact on the public health.
To understand the impact of pharmacists on immunization, I analyzed the 2009 National H1N1 Flu Survey (NHFS), a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults interviewed during the 2009-2010 flu season from the Center of Disease Control (CDC). Self-reported measures include whether one received a flu vaccination and the location of that vaccination. Explanatory variables included sociodemographic factors, health beliefs, and healthcare factors. I reported descriptive statistics and multinomial logistic regressions, all weighted to reflect the sampling frame of the NHFS as it is represented in the poster. I have found that most adults continue to receive their flu vaccinations from a physician or hospital (42%), but some seek non-traditional locations such as pharmacy (14%), clinic (17%), and workplace (17%). Age, poverty level, employment type, and race were all associated with non-traditional vaccination locations. For example, those who had college education were more likely to go to pharmacy for influenza vacation than going to the traditional physician’s office. My hypothesis for this result was that those who had higher education does not have preconception about pharmacists having the authority to vaccinate. The results demonstrated that there are social patterns to who chooses non-traditional vaccination locations. I also learned that it is important for administrators in these locations to understand their consumer population to further reduce barriers to vaccination and improve the relevance of community sites and workplaces for health promotion.
In the U.S. seasonal influenza vaccination is an important public health measure to promote health and prevent illness and lost productivity. However, many adults in the U.S. experienced significant barriers to vaccination due to a lack of health insurance, usual source of care, or time to schedule an appointment with a physician. However, as of year 2014, there was a healthcare reform in the U.S. where the president Obama signed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) which allowed greater population in the U.S. to have health insurances. Through this recent healthcare reform in the U.S., I would expect more people to be inclined on getting vaccination. Since my study is representation of pre-ACA, I think the result will significantly change in next few years as more people have the health insurance to get immunized in various settings. I am looking forward for CDC to release the 2014 survey on influenza and H1N1 vaccination so that I can analyze and compare my baseline study to see the trend in vaccination.
I hope such movement and increased role of the pharmacists in the U.S. may inflect possibility of increasing pharmacists’ roles in other countries. Pharmacists should not just dispense medicine in the corner. The pharmacists’ roles should be more diverse and should create an impact in the society. You can change and create more opportunities through your passion. After all, the pharmacists in the U.S. had the authority to immunize through the passionate voice of pharmacists.
PARO Secretary 2013-2014