Every day, the members of PHR Chapters are unified by a demonstrated commitment to using their medical and public health skills to promote and protect human rights.
This week, another element brings us together as well: PHR student Chapters across the US will participate in a National Action. Every year since 2003, PHR Chapters have simultaneously undertaken weeks of targeted education and advocacy. The National Action is an opportunity to learn about an issue in depth, utilizing resources that PHR presents in a Toolkit. Once your Chapter has become familiar with the topic, you can then educate others and encourage them to act on their new knowledge.
In the past, PHR Chapters have reported that the National Action is a great experience.
- It’s an exciting opportunity to act on your convictions.
- Your Chapter will become more focused, cohesive, and visible on campus.
- Educating others about an important human rights issue is an excellent way to develop deeper knowledge and commitment.
- The advocacy that you initiate influences legislation, funding, policy, corporate behavior, and public opinion.
This December, your Chapter has the chance to address limits on access to essential medicines in resource-poor settings. This issue was very important to my friend and colleague Sujal Parikh, a member of the PHR NSP Student Advisory Board who passed away in October. You can learn more about Sujal at http://phrstudents.org/sujal/ . This Toolkit is dedicated to him.
This National Action Toolkit builds on this foundation to offer information about the Medicines Patent Pool, resources, and ideas. We hope these resources – along with your creativity, energy, and education and advocacy skills – will help ensure that your National Action has genuine impact.
All the best,
National Student Program Coordinator