Report of National Vision for Surgical Care (NVSC) 2025

5 billion people lack access to safe and affordable anesthesia and surgical care resulting in over 17 million preventable deaths each year and further responsible for one-third (28-32%) of the global burden of disease. To scale up access to safe surgical, anesthetical and obstetric care for all especially in a lower-middle income country like Pakistan, inclusion of health professionals, public health specialists and policymakers is necessary to address the disparities.

For this purpose, the ministry of National Health Services Pakistan and Indus Hospital Network collaborated to hold a joint stakeholder conference in Islamabad on November 16th and 17th, 2018. The conference was attended by the federal ministries, provincial government departments, local and international surgeons, anesthetists and obstetricians. A steering committee of 25 local and international experts guided the process. The steering committee was chaired by Dr. Safi Malik, Director Programs-MONHSRC and Dr. Sania Nishtar, President Heartfile.

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This was the first time a conference of this kind was held in Pakistan. Titled National Vision for Surgical Care (NVSC) 2025, the event was an effort to gather the experts from all concerned sectors to create a roadmap for strengthening surgical facilities in Pakistan. Apart from the local stakeholders, among the speakers were Dr John Maera from the Program in Global Surgery and Social Change (PGSSC) at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Walt Johnson from the WHO’s Global Initiative for Emergency and Essential Surgical Care (GIEESC) and Adrian Gelb, board member at the World Federation of Societies of Anesthesiologists (WFSA).

Pakistan a lower middle income country has an estimated 16.9 million deaths from surgically preventable diseases each year which includes 187 deaths per 100,000 people from surgical conditions compared to 164 per 100,000 attributed to all infectious diseases combined. Despite the popular opinion that surgical facilities are expensive to provide, research has shown that it is cost effective in the long run.

Through this initiative Pakistan has become the first country to embark on the National Surgical, Obstetric and Anesthesia Planning (NSOAP) in Asia. The planning will be led by Ministry of Health and Indus Hospital Network with the expertise provided by the Harvard PGGSSC and WHO that has successfully helped create and enforce the individualized plans in other countries in Africa including Rwanda, Zambia and Tanzania. The plan will provide a comprehensive framework to strengthen the surgical system in the country in terms of infrastructure, technical expertise and service delivery. It will also engage the stakeholders from grassroot level to promote and ensure evaluation for safer surgical practices in the country.

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IFMSA-Pakistan Global Surgery National Working Group was honored to be invited to participate and assist in the logistical capacity. The Working Group which has been involved in advocacy and education regarding Global Surgery  was represented by Zainab Majoka (Fauji Foundation Medical College), Behram Khan (Punjab Medical College) and Maryam Ali Khan (CMH Lahore Medical College). The conference participants recognized and reinforced the role students and young doctors can play in improving surgical access in the country. Presence in the conference hence reaffirms IFMSA-Pakistan’s ideology of bringing positive change in the health sector of the country. IFMSA-Pakistan’s presence also ensures that youth will now have more opportunities to get involved in advocacy and research in Global Surgery in the very near future! 

 

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Call for Article Submission to the MSI 39

  1. Background: Call for article submissions to the MSI 39.

  2. Important Information

    1. Sections: There will be 8 sections (Theme, RCA and 6 Standing Committee Sections)

    2. Theme of GA: “Gender in Health Care”

    3. Word Limit: 1500 words for Theme and 750 words for SC sections

    4. Checklist: your submission needs to conform to the checklist contained in this email

    5. Rules of submission: to send to publications.ifmsapakistan@gmail.com with the proper coding and name of article.

  3. Submission Agreement: read and ensure that your submissions conform to it.

  4. Deadline: 30th December 2018, 23:59 GMT

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Dear members and IFMSA-Pakistan family,

We hope that you are doing fine. With this post we would like to open the call for Article submissions to the Medical Students International Edition 39 (MSI 39). Please find the information below:

  1. Background: MSI is IFMSA’s biannual magazine, which focuses on global health perspective brought by medical students worldwide. It is published both in print and online, in relations to March and August General Assemblies, and each edition has a specific theme. Previous issues are available here.

  2. Content: the call will be open for all sections of the magazine, namely:

    1. March Meeting 2019 Theme: “Gender in Health Care” (max. 1500 words)

    2. Rex Crossley Awards Articles (to be selected by VPA in a separate call)

    3. Six Standing Committee sections (max 750 words)

      1. Standing Committee on Medical Education (SCOME)

      2. Standing Committee on Professional Exchange (SCOPE)

      3. Standing Committee on Public Health (SCOPH)

      4. Standing Committee on Sexual & Reproductive Health incl. HIV/AIDS (SCORA)

      5. Standing Committee on Research Exchange (SCORE)

      6. Standing Committee on Human Rights & Peace (SCORP)

  3. Checklist: When submitting an article, please make sure to review the following checklist:

    1. Format: Your article in Word or Google docs format. Please do not send in articles in PDF format

    2. Image Quality: Images should be of high resolution (at least 300 dpi), in JPEG or PNG formats. Please do not insert images into the article files, but attach them separately to your email

    3. Data: Author’s full name and NMO. [max. 5 authors]

    4. Photo: Author’s head shot in high resolution (at least 300 dpi) and in JPEG or PNG formats

    5. References (if applicable): should respect the Vancouver style

  4. Deadline: 30th December 2018, 23.59 GMT

  5. To Remember:

    1. Destination: send to publications.ifmsapakistan@gmail.com

    2. Subject Line: Add [MSI39] and [section name] depending on the section you would like it to be published under, followed by your full article name. You do not need to write anything else other than those things. Full list of section names:

      1. [Theme]

      2. [SCOME]

      3. [SCOPE]

      4. [SCOPH]

      5. [SCORA]

      6. [SCORE]

      7. [SCORP]

  6. Submissions Agreement:

    1. Submission does not guarantee that the articles and attached material will be accepted or published;

    2. Your submission will be screened to ensure that it meets minimum inclusion criteria. If it does, it may be reviewed by editors revising content to enhance its relevance, consistency, usability or to conform with IFMSA Publications standards;

    3. If your submission has more than one author, names of all co-authors will be featured in the magazine. However, only the headshots of the first two authors will be featured in the magazine due to space and layout limitations. Please take that into consideration and list authors in the order you’d like them to be featured in. A maximum of 5 authors is accepted;

    4. Write your references in Vancouver Style;

    5. IFMSA will not be held liable for any breach of copyright laws and the sender will be held responsible. When you submit any text or pictures, we will assume that you are the author and sole owner of the submitted material. We will also assume that you are giving MSI and IFMSA permission to use them for the purpose of publication and representation toward external partners.

    6. DISCLAIMER:

      By sending your submission, you may willingly providing your personal information (Name, NMO, email, photography) to IFMSA. This information is only there to allow us to carry out the selection process and to publish the article in our outlets, and will not be used for any other purposes. The personal data provided will be stored until 30th October 2020, or anonymised in case of further storage. If you want us to remove your personal data before, you can request that by sending an email to vpprc@ifmsa.org or ifmsapakistan@ifmsa.org. The personal data will be accessible by the IFMSA Team of Officials and IFMSA-Pakistan and will be shared publicly through their magazine. The selected articles will be announced and featured in the related documents and emails. Not providing this information means your submission cannot be considered. If you would like to know more about how we manage your data, please visit ifmsa.org/privacy.

We are looking forward to receiving your contributions, and please do not hesitate to contact us at publications.ifmsapakistan@gmail.com if you have any question.

Call for Articles: MSI-38

Dear members!

We hope that you are doing fine. With this email we would like to open the call for Article submissions to the Medical Students International Edition 38 (MSI 38). Please find the information below:

  1. Background: MSI is our biannual magazine, which focuses on global health perspective brought by medical students worldwide. It is published both in print and online, in relations to March and August General Assemblies, and each edition has a specific theme. Previous issues are available here.

  2. Content: the call will be open for all sections of the magazine, namely:

    1. August Meeting 2018 Theme: “Social accountability and health beyond the hospital” (max. 1500 words)

    2. Six Standing Committee sections (max 750 words)

      1. Standing Committee on Medical Education (SCOME)

      2. Standing Committee on Professional Exchange (SCOPE)

      3. Standing Committee on Public Health (SCOPH)

      4. Standing Committee on Sexual & Reproductive Health incl. HIV/AIDS (SCORA)

      5. Standing Committee on Research Exchange (SCORE)

      6. Standing Committee on human Rights & Peace (SCORP)

  3. Checklist: When submitting an article, please make sure to review the following checklist:

    1. Format: Your article in Word or Google docs format. Please do not send in articles in PDF format

    2. Image Quality: Images should be of high resolution (at least 300 dpi), in JPEG or PNG formats. Please do not insert images into the article files, but attach them separately to your email

    3. Data: Author’s full name and NMO.

    4. Photo: Author’s head shot in high resolution (at least 300 dpi) and in JPEG or PNG formats

    5. References (if applicable)

  4. Deadline: 24 May 2018, 23.59 GMT

  5. To Remember:

    1. Destination: send to Publications.ifmsapakistan@gmail.com

    2. Subject Line: Add [MSI38] and [section name] depending on the section you would like it to be published under, followed by your full article name. You do not need to write anything else other than those things. Full list of section names:

      1. [Theme]

      2. [SCOME]

      3. [SCOPE]

      4. [SCOPH]

      5. [SCORA]

      6. [SCORE]

      7. [SCORP]

  6. Submissions Agreement:

    1. Submission does not guarantee that the articles and attached material will be accepted or published;

    2. Your submission will be screened to ensure that it meets minimum inclusion criteria. If it does, it may be reviewed by editors revising content to enhance its relevance, consistency, usability or to conform with IFMSA Publications standards;

    3. If your submission has more than one author, names of all co-authors will be featured in the magazine. However, only the headshots of the first two authors will be featured in the magazine due to space and layout limitations. Please take that into consideration and list authors in the order you’d like them to be featured in;

    4. IFMSA will not be held liable for any breach of copyright laws and the sender will be held responsible. When you submit any text or pictures, we will assume that you are the author and sole owner of the submitted material. We will also assume that you are giving MSI and IFMSA permission to use them for the purpose of publication and representation toward external partners.

 

That is all the information that we would like to convey through this email. We are looking forward to receiving your contributions, and please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any question.

Malaria an old foe: Wrecking havoc across each continent!

According to the latest WHO estimates, there were 214 million cases of malaria in 2015 and 438,000 deaths. About 3.2 billion people are at risk of malaria, with children and pregnant women particularly vulnerable. This life threatening disease makes one experience high grade fever with chills and rigors, flu – like illness and deterioration of health taking the lives of even the people in the limelight like Lord Byron, Oliver Cromwell and David Livingston.

Rampant in the humid and tropical terrain, the infected female Anopheles mosquito, also known as malaria vectors, infect people by injecting the  Plasmodium parasite that enters the bloodstream of the human host and lodges in the liver where it multiplies almost 10,000 times. After two weeks, it infects the red blood cells where the parasite replicates and invades other red blood cells till they are taken up by the mosquito of same kind to complete the sexual phase. Thus the infectivity continues after the next blood meal.

With almost 1.5 million reported cases every year, malaria has re-emerged as a major cause of morbidity in Pakistan. Pakistan has been categorized in the Group 3 countries of the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region accounting for 95% of the total regional malaria burden. Unfortunately, rural areas with poor sanitation facilities and flood-affected areas are at greatest risk.

The establishment of an effective malarial control program is necessary as its prevalence is hindering socioeconomic development in our region. Strategies based on the global and regional malaria control and elimination initiative have been put into place by the local health authorities of Pakistan and the WHO.

Roll Back Malaria (RBM) initiative has been started by WHO, UNICEF, UNDP and the World Bank aiming to reduce the malaria burden by 75% in high and moderate endemic regions. Multiple prevention measures including promotion of use of insecticide treated bed nets and targeted use of residual insecticide spraying were part of its key elements.

Increased prevention and control measures have led to a 60% reduction in mortality rates globally since year 2000. However WHO aims to bring down the cases to 90% by year 2030.

Indeed the road to elimination is tough, and demands well calibrated responsive policies. But with the use of interventional approaches like mobile malaria clinics; effective surveillance; community participation and health education; mobilized popular support for the 2016 campaigns in Sri Lanka and it became the second country in the WHO South- East Asia Region to eliminate malaria after Maldives and Morocco was declared free of malaria in 2015 amongst Eastern Mediterranean Region while the rest of included countries reported minimum/imported cases with no local transmission.

 

Authors: Afnan Talat, Nayab Munir, Aleena Khan

Reviewed and edited by: Khizra Imran

European Sting invites Submissions!

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Dear NMOs and Medical Students worldwide,

The European Sting is a political newspaper that aims to bring unbiased and trustworthy information to their readers not only about European Affairs, but about almost any political, economical and social topic. Furthermore, the Sting welcomes its readers to take part in this constructive and critical dialogue! As per the IFMSA’s partnership with the Sting, any medical student worldwide is able to voice their ideas, concerns, opinions and dreams in a global online magazine. During this call, we will be accepting articles on the following topic:

Medical Students Take on Europe and its Possible Dismantling

If you are interested in the topic above and you would like to share your ideas with us and the world, please send a full article to publications.ifmsapakistan@gmail.com no later than by the 24th of February 23:59 GMT.

The incoming articles need to adhere to the following specifications:

a)    Clearly defined brief title
b)    Up to 500 words article body text
c)    Profile picture of the writer
d)    100 words brief resume of the writer
e)    email address of the writer
Please send us your article as an attachment to your letter, and not as the actual letter. Also bear in mind that articles must be in a format that allows for them to be edited using a word processor. Hand-written and/or scanned articles will not be accepted.

Mother Care and Pregnancy Diet Plan: QAMC-LC

Pakistan is a developing country, there are a lot of issues going all around this country that require attention. One of those issues is “Mother-Care and Pregnancy Diet plan”. Most of the population of this country is illiterate and that goes for females especially those of child bearing age. In some areas educating women is still considered immoral which leads to the fact that they know nothing about the proper diet they should take during pregnancy for the healthy growth of their baby.

Riaz Baig (LORE QAMC-LC) conducted an awareness seminar in Nagar, Gilgit on “Mother Care and Pregnancy Diet Plan”. Lady health workers and local female students of child bearing age attended the seminar. Special lectures were given by Dr. Azmat Riaz (Gynaecologist) and Dr. Sakina (Gynaecologist) to the participants.

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The activity was undertaken on the fact that women there have zero knowledge about the pregnancy diet plan. If some new born there had some birth defect they considered it a “Curse” from God because of their deeds.

The local population there believes more in Lady health officers rather than the doctor; therefore, special lectures were delivered to them so that they could help more in the matter.

The activity comprised of following events:

  • Pamphlets were distributed to women there which contained description of all the necessary elements required by the body during pregnancy for the healthy growth of child.
  • A Panel was also created for helping LHV’s so they could contact the workers at any time regarding the problem.
  • A Questionnaire was also circulated among the women attending the seminar asking how beneficial the session was and if they promise to spread the knowledge they received among those who weren’t there.

The youth of today is tomorrow of our society that’s why attendance of young college girls was made sure to deliver the essential message the project was aimed to.

The effectiveness of project was assessed through positive response from the participants to questionnaire distributed afterwards.

Activity Reported by: Abdul Mateen

Editor and Assistant Director, PubSD, IFMSA Pakistan

Call for articles: MSI-37

Dear IFMSA Pakistan family,

I am very pleased to announce that the first call for article submissions to the Medical Students International Edition 37 (MSI 37) is now open!

MSI is our biannual magazine, which focuses on global health perspectives brought by medical students worldwide. It is published both in print and online, in relation to the March and August General Assemblies, and each edition has a specific theme. Previous issues are available at: http://goo.gl/LpwMxE.

The call will be open for all sections of the magazine:

  • March Meeting 2018 Theme “Action towards Global Epidemics & Outbreak” (max 1500 words)

  • Six Standing Committee sections (max 750 words)

    • Standing Committee on Medical Education (SCOME)

    • Standing Committee on Professional Exchange (SCOPE)

    • Standing Committee on Public Health (SCOPH)

    • Standing Committee on Sexual & Reproductive Health incl. HIV/AIDS (SCORA)

    • Standing Committee on Research Exchange (SCORE)

    • Standing Committee on human Rights & Peace (SCORP)

When submitting an article, please make sure to review the following checklist:

  • Format: Your article in Word or Google docs format. Please do not send in articles in PDF format.

  • Image Quality: Images should be of high resolution (at least 300 dpi), in JPEG or PNG formats. Please do not insert images into the article files, but attach them separately to your email

  • Data: Author’s full name and NMO.

  • Photo: Author’s head shot in high resolution (at least 300 dpi) and in JPEG or PNG formats

  • References (if applicable)

 

Deadline for submission: December 20th, 2017 @ 23:59 GMT.

All elements must be sent to: Publications.ifmsapakistan@gmail.com (Please don’t forget to add [MSI37] in the subject of the e-mail)

 

Submission agreements:

  • Submission does not guarantee that the articles and attached material will be accepted or published;

  • Your submission will be screened to ensure that it meets minimum inclusion criteria. If it does, it may be reviewed by editors revising content to enhance its relevance, consistency, usability or to conform with IFMSA Publications standards;

  • If your submission has more than one author, names of all co-authors will be featured in the magazine. However, only the headshots of the first two authors will be featured in the magazine due to space and layout limitations. Please take that into consideration and list authors in the order you’d like them to be featured in;

  • IFMSA will not be held liable for any breach of copyright laws and the sender will be held responsible. When you submit any text or pictures, we will assume that you are the author and sole owner of the submitted material. We will also assume that you are giving MSI and IFMSA permission to use them for the purpose of publication and representation toward external partners.

 

We are looking forward to receiving your contributions! Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any question.

Veterans- Learn, to love thyself!

No joke – med life is hard.
And any Muggle would be very tempted to ask “why choose it and put your life in more distress than is humanely handle-able?”

Well, for some of us, this is simply a matter of parental choice that breaks no arguments. But for those (like me) who chose the constant adrenaline rush, there’s an unimaginable thrill in saving a life.
Medicine is no easy profession, it’s the hardest of them all. But there is no holier job to do than to save a life. Each day, to let fresh breath to a man dying of suffocation, to give a heartbeat to someone who flat-lined, to hear a newborn cry in it’s mother’s arms, gives intoxicating happiness; it is our rejoice.

As a matter of fact however, I haven’t yet saved a single life. For two years, I haven’t made a House M.D. diagnosis on a proper live patient or performed some miraculous life-saving emergency Code Black procedure. Honestly, I have just memorized the courses and extents of more nerves and blood vessels than I can count and learnt hundreds of physiological and pathological phenomenon, but I haven’t yet used them anywhere- all to no avail. And I am sure it’s the same for almost all second year medical students.

So sometimes, it starts to get frustrating when it feels useless and pretty stupid to study all these books, memorize thousands of terms, spend countless hours learning the anatomy of abdomen without seeing the chance of putting a scalpel on one any time soon, to know exactly what gait a person with cerebellar ataxia would have but not having one such patient walk into my fantasy clinic.

To me, the biggest anguish of a second year medical student lies in not being given the chance to be the angel that wards off death, considered skillful enough to use the magical healing powers in his hand, and deemed competent enough to at least be allowed to call himself a doctor- the chosen one.

In these times, I ask myself, “All this for passing these never-ending exams?” And there’s this voice that resonates in the cranial cavity in response: “For more to come, for the thrill of it”. And there is no greater satisfaction than in knowing the meaning of these nine words for they hold so much depth that I can’t possible explain however-much I widen their breadth. But to give you a path to make the anguish easier on you, I shall try for your sake.

Imagine reading a fantasy novel, giving in to it, and letting it take you into a parallel universe where you are the characters of that book and you can “feel what they feel”. Very similarly, if you read a medical textbook like it’s the story of you, you will enter an alternate dimension deep within your soul. A new aura of learning surrounds you, engulfs you. Your reading of the book is no longer a daydream, it is knowledge of self.

When reading a medical textbook, you are exploring the human body – God’s most complex creation – and making friends with yourself. You make friends with new anatomies. You make friends with the beauties you see under the microscope. You know that it’s not just some patient you are going to see years later; it’s you, here and now. You can almost glimpse the soul of the person who’s body you are doing some spotting or dissection on. You familiarize yourself with your liver, you get to know what your hepatocytes look like, what they do. You learn how your body moves, how you talk, how you think all this genius stuff. And the best part is that you know that you are not just making new concepts, that its not just clustered words out of a textbook in your head, its beautiful new synaptic connections and neural pathways, its birth to new chemicals. You can see the marvel of this creation and you can see in yourself every fragment of it. And when this happens, you feel this sense of belonging, as a wave of serotonin washes over you.

Medicine is not all about curing dying people. Sometimes, it has to be about looking into a mirror and learning what no piece of glass or criticism could ever teach you. Sometimes it is a way to your salvation. Sometimes it is the beginning of a new you, the learned you who knows itself. Sometimes the prospect of doing what you are best at and excited for must wait for the sake of learning mankind’s ultimate lesson: patience. And sometimes for becoming the excellent you must first learn what is waiting out there for us all to be learnt- humility.

Written by: Khair ul Barayya

Assistant Director and Editor Publications support division director


We as medical students go through a lot, A LOT of stuff. Veterans is an initiative, taken by IFMSA Pakistan Publications support division, to make all the medical students realize that they are not alone and to share experiences that may help someone. If you think your experience can help someone, don’t wait a second, pen it down and send it to us on Publications.ifmsapakistan@gmail.com because every one of us is worthy of being helped and almost of all of us need it at sometime. Share before it’s too late for someone.

Veterans: PROFs will end like every other rainy season

We as medical students go through a lot, A LOT of stuff. Veterans is an initiative, taken by IFMSA Pakistan Publications support division, to make all the medical students realize that they are not alone and to share experiences that may help someone. If you think your experience can help someone, don’t wait a second, pen it down and send it to us on Publications.ifmsapakistan@gmail.com because every one of us is worthy of being helped and almost of all of us need it at sometime. Share before it’s too late for someone.


‘Life is beautiful!’ something which a med student never says but yeah it is. I
totally agree the never-ending stress of this field can make us indifferent to the
beautiful world around us but there’s a solution to every problem like there’s a
medicine for every ailment. I know my solution won’t help you but it might
give you some perspective. Life is a rollercoaster, it is exciting and fearful at
the same time but you would want to do it all again once the rollercoaster
stops.
Let’s talk about profs (just the thought of it gives u jitters doesn’t it!) If
someone would put prof synonymous to extreme stress in a dictionary then I
wouldn’t disagree. We might know where the two hundred and six bones in
our body are and what a neuron comprises of! but to deal with stress is
something we are not good at. My personal experience may shed some light
on this matter. My 1 st prof, I couldn’t sleep at night totally lost, consumed by stress. I coped with never ending fear of failure through the warm and mellow words of
various books and articles which I used to read. The thing I realized after
reading one was that they take you to an alternate world where you become
part of what you are reading and every other thing including stress vanishes,
which brings a change to your thoughts and all that you feel is a relaxed state
of mind. You are introduced to the new world, you get to meet other people,
you get to know them and most importantly you get to feel what they are
feeling which takes all your worries away. Reading is a metaphor for all the
things that make you smile, laugh and even cry sometimes!

I am not saying neglect your studies…Work hard; harder than you ever have but don’t lose hope. Don’t fall into the dark pit of depression. You are precious. Make sure to channelize your stress into something positive that will make you a better, stronger and more efficient person. Take a break, do something you love and chop chop, back to work again. Give yourself a little credit, you have made it this far. I just want to say don’t beat yourself up, it’s only an exam and you’ll have to face many more in the coming year, you might not succeed in all of them but that won’t define you, they never do! Just take a deep breath and for once do something that makes you happy. In the words of Bruce Wayne, “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall”.

Written by: Abdul Mateen

Assistant Director Publications Support Division

 

 

MSI-36 is out and IFMSA Pakistan is Proud!

IFMSA Pakistan is  feeling proud to add another feather to its cap by announcing that not one or two, but four articles are published in the official magazine of IFMSA “Medical Students International” 36th edition.

Congratulations to Humna Tayyab, Manaqibb Zain Ali Khan, Mahnoor Mohydin and Bilal Rehman for representing IFMSA Pakistan.

Here is the list of the articles published

  • Crisis in Human Resources for Health by Hamnah Tayyab
  • Vision of Hope by Manaqibb Zain
  • Toxi-posium poison prevention campaign by Mahnoor Mohydin
  • We do not forget by Muhammad Bilal Rehman

For all the folks out there the 36th edition of MSI-Medical Students International is out. Head over to the following link to read the articles and do give us your feedback.