We are excited to share with you that our members voted to change our constitution – today, on Monday 10th July, we have changed our name from Medsin to Students for Global Health and here is why.
Global Health is our vision of ‘a fair and just world in which equity in health is a reality for all.’ We believe that Health is a Human Right and thus Global Health, to us, is why we exist, it is our vision, it is what we are all working for. Fundamental to us, we believe that Global Health is A LOCAL ISSUE. At the Sheffield National Conference, we heard about the documentary ‘Fairness on the 83’, which highlighted that from one end of the bus line to another, life expectancy decreases in Sheffield by almost 10 years. We believe “inequalities in health are not inevitable or necessary and are the product of unfair social, economic and political arrangements.” (Institute for Health Equity).
We are for change. We are an inclusive movement, working together for positive, sustainable change. Inequality is worsening, as highlighted by the statistic in the report by Oxfam that “8 men own the same as the 3.6 billion that make up the poorest half of humanity”. We are for change as we believe that the system we currently live in is making inequality worse not better. As Naomi Klein writes in ‘No is Not Enough,’ “Up to now the fights against global warming, racism, inequality, violations of indigenous, migrant and women’s rights as well as many other progressive battles, have often been broken up into their own boxes or silos. But we had been asking, as so many movements are today: how do they intersect? What root causes connect them? How can these issues be tackled in tandem at the same time?”. So, we are for change, we recognise that all matters of health equity and social justice are connected and to tackle these issues, we need system change. We aim to tackle these local and global health inequalities through education, advocacy and community action. We need Systems Not Silos.
We are students from all over the U.K. and the world, from all backgrounds and disciplines. Matters of health equity and social justice are not just about medical students, nor are they just about healthcare students, they are for all of us. We are an organisation for all that believe in ‘a fair and just world in which equity in health is a reality for all.’
Nearly 22 years ago, in response to the injustice in the world, students set up Medical Students International Network or MedSin. In 2003, in recognition that matters of healthy equity required more than just medical students, we dropped the meaning of Medical Students International Network and became Medsin. Changing the name of the organisation has been an ongoing process for 2 years but the conversations started a long time before that. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Huw Lewis, the Name Change taskforce and all our members for driving this forward. Thank you also to our partner Child.org and in particular Naomi Atkinson for capturing the spirit and ethos of Students for Global Health in the branding – we hope you love it as much as we do.
We believe our new name, Students for Global Health shares why we exist, how we work together, who we are and what we do.
At at a time in the world, where it is more important than ever to be advocating for social justice, we look forward to continuing working together with you as Students for Global Health.