Our inaugural Southern Hemisphere Medical Camp was held in Malolo Island from December 15th to 23rd 2017. We had over 100 medical students from 8 nations come together to learn from more than 20 world experts who attended our camp. The camp was focused on five core themes which had been identified as key issues for the future of Pacific health, in 2017 these were: Climate Change & Natural Disasters, Environmental Health, “Jungle Medicine” & Basic Survival in the Wild, Emergency Medicine, and Mental Health. The camp also enabled us to build our international network, by developing our relationships with the Fiji Military Forces, The Floating Foundation, and members of several public health organisations located throughout the Pacific.
Attendees of the camp were also treated to social events and community outreach opportunities throughout the week, which enabled them to work together to make a real difference in the local Fijian community. This also allowed participants to engage with local Fijians, and share their diverse cultural backgrounds and experiences with one another, which students reported to be a key benefit of the camp.
Students walked away from this camp with new knowledge about health issues affecting the experience, hands-on experiences which have provided them with skills in emergency medicine and disaster management, and a new network of international peers from whom they will learn and develop new knowledge, skills, cultural awareness, and international friendship.