Nigerian Students and Doctors Get “Peace Through Health” Training
From November 20th-22nd a very successful workshop was conducted in Kano, Nigeria. The workshop was initiated by Dr. Bene Benard from Nigeria and Dr. Caecilie Buhmann from Denmark with the purpose of training 20 new trainers in topics of violent conflict and health.
The training was to be conducted in such a way that the participants would be able to conduct trainings themselves after the 3-day workshop. The workshop was sponsored by Danish Physicans Against Nuclear Weapons, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Dr. Aminu Mohammed, Dr. Daniel Bassey, the IPPNW International Student Fund, and The Society of Nigerian Doctors for the Welfare of Mankind (SNDWM).
A group of Nigerian students and doctors in training had made all practical arrangements for the workshop. International Student representative Agyeno Ehase not only made a great effort in the preparations, but will also with regional representatives and Dr. Caecilie Buhmann bring the initiative international in the student movement. The students were supported by IPPNW Co-president Dr. Ime John and SNDWM Dr. Aminu Mohammed, who both attended parts of the workshop and without whom the workshop would not have become a reality.
During the three day programme Dr. Ime John Presented on small arms and nuclear weapons and Dr. Chris Kwaja presented on humanitarian assistance, refugees and protection of human rights in complex emergencies. Dr. Caecilie Buhmann conducted 4 2-hour modules on “Globalization & Health”, “Peace through Health”, “Health & Human Rights” and “Advocacy and Dialogue”. Each of the modules was manualized during the training and the last day the participants conducted test trainings of all 4 manuals under the supervision of Dr. Buhmann.
The outcomes of the workshop thereby include the training of 30 medical students and doctors in training from all over Nigeria, the piloting of 4 “training of trainers” modules on topics relevant for peace through health and written manuals on each of the topics. The workshop participants left inspired and full of ideas of how they could pass their knowledge and training skills on to others. At a future session in the end of the training suggestions were made for training medical students, communities prone to conflict, school teachers, secondary school students and professionals. Plans were made for forming new IPPNW groups in various parts of the country and to use the training modules at local, national, regional and international meetings of medical students and IPPNW. Participants were asked to grade the training on a scale from 0 to 10 and it received an average score of 8.7. Quotes from the evaluation forms include:
In a world increasingly plagued by conflict, which undermine health and health service delivery, it only makes sense for doctors to take active part in brokering peace. The Peace through Health initiative shows them how.
—Agyeno Ehase Sunday
There’s no epithet in any human language that can describe or truly capture the exhilaration and fulfillment that I currently bask in following the enrichment I got from the intellectual discourse that this training offered me.
This training not only trained me, but inspired me to do the same. I have never felt more confident about myself. I started with very little and got a lot back. I hope and pray to spread the message.
—Hafsatu Garba Bawa
It was very nice, interactive, knowledgeable, interesting, fabulous. The nice words are endless… The days went very fast as if it should never have ended, but like every good thing that happens in life, time consumes it so fast. I have learned a lot, the methods of teaching were the best I have heard in years. Keep it up I must say. I think with this I will be a better advocate, a better teacher and a human rights activist. No improvements needed. All I would say is a big thank you.
We came with little knowledge, we’ve gained a lot. With knowledge comes power. We shall conquer!
—Sani Abdulmumin Saaif
Human rights, peace advocacy and their related issues are noble causes and even more noble is the teacher that ensures that the world properly understands and apply their knowledge.
The world has suffered many things because of the explosion of untrained people in relevant circles of life. Training is essential for our quest for world peace in IPPNW.
Some workshops are for attending, some workshops are to get a certificate, while some are to be lived with. This workshop is to be lived with because it is part of us.
The training is exceptional, generally informative and sensational.
I love the interaction classes and the use of communication between one another instead of power point. The tutor was patient and was not quick to judge or condemn our views, but accepted all views with a smile. I learned most importantly that there is more to being a doctor than carrying a stethoscope.
The snowball effect is the best way of telling humanity that change can be made.
Before I thought the issue of nuclear weapons is only an issue of the West, but now I understand it affects the whole common humanity.
The training brings youth together with the trainer, which taught us about how important this issue of disarmament is for humanity. We will be the decision-makers and leaders of tomorrow, so the concept is “catch them young” and we were moved.