International Women's Day
March 29th, 2019 marked an important day for Medical Students’ Association of Northern Cyprus, Led by Stj. Dr. Sultan Jarboue. After running a month long online campaign for International Women’s day, the three standing committees, Public Health, Human Rights and Peace and Reproductive Health including HIV and AIDS collaborated to discuss a vast variety of critical issues concerning women in Near East University Hospital with around 70 attendees supporting women’s rights and gender equality. The aim of the event was not only to celebrate the success of women today but to raise awareness and bust myths regarding feminism highlighting that women deserve basic human rights everyday not just to receive recognition for one day out of 365 days.
The national officer of Public Health, Stj. Dr. Fatma Tunççağ first discussed common health issues women face during every phase of their lives, which was followed by a presentation by Stj. Dr. Razan Arfi, a dedicated medical student focusing on mental health issues faced by women.
Following the Public Health segment, Iyad Izmeqna, another enthusiastic medical student along with MSANC’s Project and Activity Director, Stj. Dr. Mahmood Shaik represented Human Rights and Peace, led by the national officer Sarah Suarez and discussed contemplative issues like forced/child marriages and honor killing bringing to light some unexpected statistics regarding the geographical prevalence of these issues.
Last but not the least, the event’s highlight were the two discussion panels hosted by Reproductive Health including HIV and AIDS led by Stj. Dr. Afifa Maryam. The segment was represented by Gizem Bozan a passionate phase 3 medical student and the president of MSANC, Stj. Dr. Sultan Jarboue along-side Stj. Dr. Afifa Maryam. The first panel consisted of some of the most exceptional healthcare professionals from Near East University including, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Barış Kaya a qualified Gynecologist and Obstetrician, Assist. Prof. Dr. Hanife Özkayalar an expert pathologist in Near East hospital Pathology Department, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mahmut Çerkez Ergören the supervisor of DESAM and a distinguished and successful microbiologist, and Assist. Prof. Dr. Eşref Çelik founder of infectious disease clinic in TRNC in 1997, discussing some of their experiences and sharing their point of views on gender inequality issues.
The second panel too, was one of its kind, as it was graced by the presence of the president of central of excellence, president of the Supreme Court, president of the supreme council of judicature and the president of the senior electoral council, her honour Narin Ferdi Şefik, Assoc. Prof. Nur Köprülü, who has a PhD in International Relations specialized on democratization movements and politics of identity in the Arab world and Prof. Dr. Nedime Serakıncı, the Chairperson of the Centre of Excellence and the head of Molecular Biology and Genetics Department. These guests of honor, shed a light on the issue of gender inequality from a different spectrum focusing on issues unique to Northern Cyprus in particular. When questioned, regarding her view on International Women’s Day and feminism, “I do not call myself a feminist, I do not believe in celebrating Women’s Day, we should celebrate women’s day everyday” said Her Honour, Narin Ferdi Sefik.
After the event, all the guests were honoured with a medal of honour by the Dean of Students, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Dudu Özkum Yavuz and Assoc. Dr. Emil Mammadov, the head of pediatrics surgery at Near East University Hospital and MSANC advisor.
With regards to all our honourable guests who joined us on the discussion panel; we were further honoured to have Prof. Dr. Songül Akar Vaizoğlu the Vice-Dean of Medical Faculty and Chief of Physicians Dr. Sevim Erkmen present in our event.
Public Health Day
On the 6th of April, members from MSANC and selected medical students from Near East University went on their second educational and humanitarian trip for this year to one of Northern Cyprus villages “Bostancı village”. The purpose of such a visit was to measure the blood pressure and blood glucose levels of those living in that area who might have some difficulties in reaching primary health care due to their geographical region, especially the elders who find it even more difficult to travel for a long distance.
AIDS Awareness Conference
On 20th December 2018, Medical Student Association of Northern Cyprus arranged an AIDS Awareness conference in Near East University. The event was conducted under the Standing Committee of Reproductive health and Aids in collaboration with the Standing Committee of Public Health. Prior to the conference, students from MSANC and the Standing Committee of Public Health, NEUMSA (Near East Medical Student Association) which is led by the local officer, Stj Dr. Razan Arfi, came together to arrange an awareness campaign on campus, which consisted of talking to university students in order to evaluate their prior knowledge regarding HIV and educating them further regarding the dangers and precautions.
The 3 hour conference, held at the University Hospital starting 2 pm, was marked by the presence of Prof. Dr Gamze MOCAN, the Dean of Medical Faculty at Near East University and Prof. Dr. Songül Akar VAİZOĞLU the Vice Dean as the chief guests. Other doctors who attended the conference include, Assist. Prof. Dr. Sevinç EGE, Prof. Dr. Nedim ÇAKIR and Assist. Prof. Eşref ÇELİK.
There were almost 100 attendees, both medical and non-medical students at the event, enlightened and educated by the very skilled speakers for the event; Assoc. Prof. Dr. Hüseyin Kaya SÜER, who explained the stages of contraction and progression of HIV/AIDS and Dr. Burcu ÖZBAKIR who spoke about the prevention, risk factors and importance of awareness. Dr. Burcu also discussed certain hurdles that Northern Cyprus is currently facing to treat HIV positive patients and how they, together with the government are working on projects to develop a safer environment for these patients. MSANC also arranged the event to serve as a platform for future doctors to showcase their dedication and passion for medicine. Stj. Dr Hayma Alani, a fourth year medical student from Near East University discussed the psychological effects of living with HIV with the audience.
The last session of the conference included an interactive workshop lead by Stj. Dr. Afifa Maryam, the director of SCORA (MSANC) raising questions like, “Why is there still silence around HIV?”, debating ideas on how to break the silence and reach out to a larger audience. The conference was brought to an end with every attendee taking a pledge to help the society and their loved ones.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Emil MAMMADOV, the advisor for MSANC and Near East University student deanship were wholeheartedly thanked for their immense support, for the conference to provide a stage for awareness and education.