The World Healthcare Students Symposium (WHSS) is the world’s biggest student conference, a biennial global multidisciplinary summit that brings together healthcare students and healthcare professionals under one roof to learn, discuss and draw inspiration from eminent speakers, policy makers and renowned global health leaders. Rwanda Pharmaceutical Students Association(RPSA), a member of IPSF AfRO is set to host the 7th WHSS this year from November 23-27, 2017 in Kigali Rwanda. Our Regional Media and Publications Officer, Kennedy Odokonyero, had a chat with Janvier Kabogo, Chairperson of 7th WHSS. Here’s the excerpt:
How’s the preparation for the WHSS going? Is everything going as planned? How are sponsors and students responding?
Well, Preparations are now on track, everything seems to be going the way it was /is planned.
Because of the idea of WHSS International Campus Ambassadors (ICAs) you can easily see that healthcare students across the World are excited about coming to Kigali in November for WHSS.
FYI WHSS is being organized under high patronage of the Vice Chancellor of the University of Rwanda Prof. Philip Cotton and endorsed by Rwanda Development Board (RDB). This gives the event more relevance and credibility hence attract partners and sponsors to come on board.
So far we have Ecobank- Rwanda as our only banking partner, Global Health Focus (GHF) and Global Engagement Institute (GEI) as our technical partners on the scientific aspect of the conference.
Great. Good work so far by your team. What’s the theme for WHSS 2017 and why did you choose that particular theme?
Thank you, WHSS 2017’s theme is “Towards the SDGs Agenda 2030: The role of a multidisciplinary approach in Healthcare”
Because through this platform we intend to create ground for discussions and understanding about how the need of multidisciplinary collaboration among healthcare students and professionals is paramount in achieving the SDGS.
Furthermore it will be an opportunity to inspire future global health leaders to take actions to change the World.
Why should every health science student be in Kigali comes November for the WHSS? To put it simply, how will the symposium benefit its participants?
I would summarize this in 3 simple points:
- Unlike other conferences that only focuses on field, WHSS provides a unique opportunity to meet and network with over 2000 expected delegates from different health fields Worldwide that will be the biggest conference of its kind. We also expect to bring prominent speakers who will be sharing insights and their stories during plenaries, Panel discussion and Workshops , Quite a huge global gathering!
- Rwanda is one of the fastest [growing] economies in Africa, with clean city and lovely people, you’ve got to come and experience an exquisite hospitality of Rwandan people, Plus many beautiful touristic places, its Volcanoes National Park, Akagera National Park, the home of famous gorillas and many more.
- FUN, WHSS 2017 will not only feature scientific programs and boring lectures , delegates will be given time to explore the culture of Rwanda through social events and explore by themselves Kigali during nights , those who want clubbing, social activities and making fun , you will have ample time for that…
Please don’t miss, #WHSSKigali17, come November!
Imagine a student is reading this interview from South Africa and would like to be a part of WHSS. What should he do? Where can he register from? Where can he get more information?
That is the most interesting question.
Beside our social media (Usually Twitter and Facebook) which are very active, you can visit our website www.whss2017.org for more information and online registration. After registration, you receive an automatic email containing payment information and procedures.
Talking about payment, we have two packages: Flexi Package without accommodation (100$) and Novo Package with accommodation (280$) you choose whatever affordable to you.
If you plan to come to Kigali before the conference kindly visit us and meet a dedicated organizing team at our permanent Secretariat Offices, Ecobank HQ Building, 8th Floor Kigali-Rwanda.
Amazing. For students who might be having financial difficulties, is there any sponsorship or grant you are offering?
Huuum! Well, the team is working tirelessly to raise more funds, hopefully if we get many sponsors on board we shall definitely be able to provide scholarships, but that is something we don’t have full control over, it will depend.
However we encourage students to request for support letters and recommendation and do their own fundraising through crowdfunding and approaching different companies, institutions/Organizations.
Can you explain what crowdsourcing is?
Crowdsourcing is one of online ways of fundraising whereby you elaborate clearly the object of your project that needs fund (be it a project, or an impactful/important trip) and you put it on website or social and get people willingly support you financially using their Visa Cards.
I am amazed by how your team is organising the symposium. The social media publicity and branding is amazing. The team looks so vibrant and motivated. What’s the secret to RPSA’s great skills in organising events?
Thank you so much for your motivation. Since when we joined RPSA in 2014 with my peers; Israel, Jeff ,Mandela amongst others, we have been wanting to learn, try new things, give ourselves challenges and aim high and I think , commitment ,determination and teamwork were at the heart of everything , be it success or setbacks.
Credits go to the amazing organizing team of this WHSS, Joint Working Group and generous support from the host association RPSA, Rwanda.
I highly recommend that after the symposium through IPSF, you organise a training on event organisation for student associations. You have a lot of experience and skills to share with the world.
It would be a pleasure Ken! In fact, recently I was having a discussion with one of my closest colleague about developing a guide, kind of a tool that can give insights and guidance to freshmen on how to be actively involved in student led organizations, how can someone make an impact on a student level and such brilliant idea a on how to organize successful small and big events. And I think we shall co-work with you Ken! Will you be interested?
I am definitely interested.
Way to go.👌🏿
Thank you so much, I am so humbled! Thanks to IPSF for providing such platforms.
Any last words you have for health science students across Africa?
My wish is to see all healthcare students (be it Pharmacy, Medical, Nursing Dental, Veterinary and other allied health Sciences Students) convene to Rwanda for this cause (WHSS 2017). I would therefore like to welcome you all to Rwanda on behalf of the Organizing Committee, Patron of the conference, Joint Working Group and Our partners. Welcome to Rwanda, Welcome to WHSS 2017, November 23-27, 2017
We look forward to seeing you all!
Thank you so much Janvier for making time to talk to us. We wish you all the very best in the preparations for the WHSS. We hope to be with you in November.
Thank you so much IPSF AfRO especially you Ken for the opportunity to feature in your publications. Let keep this journey interesting as it is now, I know with this enthusiasm and commitment, our future and the one of the Pharmacy is with no doubt bright.
By the way, let me take this opportunity to openly appreciate the good Job you guys in AfRO you are doing. You are inspiration to the next generations of pharmacists and global health leaders across the continent and the World at large.
😊😊😊 Awww thanks Janvier.