IFUMSA GOT SCOPH, IFUMSA DELIVERED SCOPH! – Featuring Temitayo Femi Matthew 


Ifumsa wanted SCOPH, Ifumsa got SCOPH, and Ifumsa delivered SCOPH.

The Standing Committee on Public Health, SCOPH NiMSA, hosted the third International Public Health Summit last week. And delegates who attended have described it as nothing short of an epoch event that befits a successful tenure. As an MSA, we are proud to have hosted the SCOPH secretariat this year. Because the sterling tenure of IFUMSA’s Temitayo has not only proven that excellence resides here in IFUMSA.  It has shown that the NiMSA Southwest Region is indeed the Highflying Region

One of the summit’s highlights was the closing speech the SCOPH Director delivered at the dinner. This Speech tells the beautiful journey so far and some events leading up to it. Undoubtedly, older members of the NiMSA Southwest Region will appreciate this story the most. But we are sure you would also want to know why this makes history.

 Here, we feature the speech delivered by Temitayo Matthew-NiMSA’s SCOPH-D AT THE CLOSING CEREMONY OF THE 3RD IPHS.


Dear Delegates,

  1. When a group of medical students gathered at the University of Jos in Plateau State from 11th to 13th July 2019 for the first-ever edition of the NiMSA International Public Health Symposium, my best bet would be that they had no clear idea of what they were laying a foundation for. The theme of this gathering was “The Public Health Dimensions of Medical Practice and Specialization: Future Trends and Opportunities.”
  1. COVID-19 happened, and then came 2021, when about an equal number of people gathered again at Kaduna State University from 1st to 3rd October 2021 for the second edition of the IPHS. The theme for this gathering was “Pandemic Preparedness and the Economy: The COVID-19 Experience.”
  1. Today, we are gathered for the Closing Ceremony of the 3rd edition of the IPHS with the theme “Repositioning Developing Nations for Sustainable Global Health Transformation”. I sincerely hope that everyone of us have had the best of time since our arrival on Wednesday, but I apologize for any shortcomings on the part of the Planning Committee if there has been any. 
  1. Thus far in outlining the trajectory of the IPHS, three things have struck me. First is the sustainability of the vision, which started in 2019 and passed down until 2022. Second is the apparent improvement in the quality of our discussions and speakers – from a few speakers in the previous years to more than 30 of them this year and from the increasing coverage of our discussions from local and national to international perspectives. This is something to be proud of, and one that effectively highlights the growth and development that our beloved Standing Committee and Association has witnessed over the years.
  1. Importantly, today’s success equally highlights the amazing job put in by the SCOPH 2022 National Team which I have been privileged to lead over the last 11 months. The journey has not been any rosy, but I am grateful for the many individuals in the administration who worked very hard to keep the biblical hands of Moses up. There are so many of them, and time will not permit me to recognise them all, but I will make no mistake in recognising those of them who are sitting here in our midst and listening to me. 

[Please give them rounds of applause as they rise and I recognize them]

  • Durojaye Dunmomi (National Secretary-General)
  • Lawal Abdulrahman Adedayo (Chief of Staff and Technical Lead, Mental Health)
  • Sobayo Oluwapelumi (National Treasurer and Techincal Lead, First Aid Project)
  • Kola-Akinola Tanitoluwa (Technical Lead, AMR Awareness)
  • Azeez Fuhad Damilola (Technical Lead, HIV/AIDS)
  • Ajibade Damileye (SW Zonal Officer, Oyo State Officer and LAUMSA Local Officer)
  • Okunola Timilehin (Osun State Officer and IFUMSA Local Officer)
  • Oluwasijibomi Davies (GUMSA Local Officer)
  • Olayinka Oladipo (SW Zonal Secretary)
  • Ogunboyede Peter (Planning and Logistics Officer)

 You can click here for the event report of the four days meeting, which Medivoice also covered.

And for the hilarious retelling of the recent southwest convention, click here too.

  1. I wish to highlight all of the fantastic achievements that SCOPH 2022 has attained. This administration has been one of many firsts, and we have done our bits in taking medical students to the forefront of advocacy across the different levels of the health sector and galvanizing the necessary support for the actualization of their personal growth and potential. We have taken NiMSA to the most remote and underserved communities and taken NiMSAites to collaborate with the most respected and dignified stakeholders and decision-makers in the health sector, including the World Health Organization and the Federal Ministry of Health amongst others. But as much as I want to list these achievements in their specifics, I am greatly constrained by the reminder that our third-quarter report published in the first week of October was well over 50 pages of PDF. So I wonder if we’d ever finish this event if I begin to discuss them all over. This is why I am recommending that we kindly take a look at the report sometime outside of this event
  1. With a deep sense of responsibility and utmost humility, a major contributory factor to our successes in this administration was thinking outside the box to build a multipotential culturally diverse team. We created several new offices to improve the impact of SCOPH on NiMSAites and Nigeria (especially Techincal Leads and Zonal Officers), and I hope that this strufture continues long after me. However, I reckon that the NiMSA Constitution recommends only the appointment of Local Officers for Standing Committees, even though this constitutional provision is long overdue and practically infeasible anymore. This is why I am recommending the model adopted in SCOPH this year for the introduction of Zonal Officers for adoption in the NiMSA Constitution (and this is similar to the Regional Assistants we have in other Standing Committees). Another recommendation I would like to make as an offshoot of this administration is the harmonization of the Regional Executive Councils with Standing Committee teams, in order to reduce the duplication of offices. For instance, we could do better by having only one Zonal Officer/Regional Assistant for SCOPH/Public Health jointly appointed by the RC and SCOPH-D rather than as separate offices.
  1. Furthermore, it is increasingly evident by the day that many Technical Officers in NiMSA do SCOPH work outside of SCOPH. While I understand the intent behind the introduction of Technical Officers into the NiMSA National Executive Council as a former Technical Officer on Infectious and Communicable Diseases myself, I think it is high time we reviewed that to make our work more structured in NiMSA. Premised on this harmonization agenda, I am recommending that Technical Officers are appointed based on joint input from the NiMSA President and the relevant Standing Committee Director. This way, Technical Officers are still NOC members/presidential appointees, but their work is still tailored into Standing Committee work. I believe this model will be beneficial and form a good input in the next constitution review process.
  1. As we head to the next General Assembly in Lagos where we will hand over to the next SCOPH National Team, I find it pertinent to remind us that support for Standing Committees and protection of the rights of Standing Committee Directors should rank very high on our priorities during the discussions. Standing Committee Directors do so much, deserve better than they are currently getting under the current NiMSA Constitution and must be protected to ensure the sustainability of their work. This leads me to passionately appreciate the present leadership of the NiMSA SW Caucus, Mr Oluwatayo Olajide and Hammed Olamide Dauda, and a very strong caucus Alumnus, Dr Animashaun Emmanuel Oluseyi for their proactivity and relentlessness at critical times when the loopholes in our Constitution were to be used against our beloved Standing Committee. I also thank them for the major advisory and support roles they played all year long.
  1. In the appreciation train, I must never forget home. I appreciate former IFUMSA President Akinola Beloved who supported me in the buildup to hosting SCOPH and my becoming SCOPH-D; President Lolu Akinteye who made the nomination and provided palpable support all through his time as President; and current IFUMSA President Adegoke Kolade James for supporting me just like his predecessors. I must also appreciate Dr Muili Opeyemi Aminat, a former Regional Coordinator for NiMSA SW for her unquantifiable support. Peppermint (as she is fondly called) brought me to the table very early, and I have her to thank everytime people tell her me I am quite young for the things I have been able to do. Another important person from home is Olowookere Adeoluwa, whose expository pieces of advice have been a reason for several of the sponsorships a kind partnerships we’ve secured this year. There are more, but time will not permit us.
  1. I must also not fail to appreciate fellow NiMSAites outside of home, especially MSA Presidents, the NiMSA President, Vice President Internal and Vice President External and, importantly, my brother Standing Committee Directors. While many of them are regrettably absent here, I am especially grateful to the Vice President Internal for making it down here from Abuja.
  1. As I bring this address to a close, I find it important to tell a short story, the story of how I became SCOPH-D and of course, how IFUMSA has wanted SCOPH for ages. Older members of NiMSA from the NiMSA SW Region will find this story funny the most, but I am happy to share it today because of the happy ending., but I am happy to share it today because of the happy ending. Some few years ago, IFUMSA wanted to host the SCOPH secretariat, but they, unfortunately, didn’t get it. My people from IFUMSA were understandably pained, and this led to some bad blood between them and other members/MSAs of the Region. So for a long time, it’s a common thing in the SW whenever we want to allude to history to always say “Ife wanted SCOPH”. 
  1. Today, I am happy to say that “Ife has SCOPH,” and perhaps happy to pronounce that “Ife is done with SCOPH”. And of course, I guess we did well with it, right? But what’s funnier? When Ife wanted SCOPH, the member from Ife who was meant to be SCOPH-D was my own blood brother – Dr Matthew Kayode Excellence. Now you know why this story is important to not only my MSA but my family and me by extension.
  1. On a closing note, I genuinely hope that this symposium has been impactful on you? For me, it has. And I am thanking every of our panel moderators, our speakers, our Moderator/Anchor, our Planning Committee and our host MSA – University of Ibadan Medical Students’ Association (UIMSA) for contributing in no small way to a successful symposium.
  1. For us as delegates, you might not have been able to meet several people, but I am optimistic that you have met everybody here. I appreciate you all coming to this symposium from far and near, and I wish you a safe trip to your various destinations tomorrow.
  1. I thank you all for listening.

Click here for the events report of the just concluded International Public Health Summit.

Congratulations to Temitayo and His Team. Long live IFUMSA! Long live NiMSA Southwest! And Long Live NiMSA!

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