The Public Health Pillar envisions a Europe in which all policies and practices reinforce the promotion of health, preventive healthcare and community wellbeing. The Public Health Pillar aims to raise awareness and advocate for a healthy and environmentally friendly lifestyle within and across Europe.

The Public Health Pillar strives to achieve its vision by empowering medical students to be proactive in educating their peers and community in public health challenges and by giving medical students a voice in public health negotiations to safeguard the health and well-being of European citizens.

  • Empower medical students to understand the role of public health as a connection between medical and social sciences.
  • Initiate awareness campaigns on public health issues to inform EMSA members and European citizens.
  • Play an active role in European advocacy regarding the working areas of the Public Health Pillar.
  • Promote a healthy and active lifestyle and encourage people to take responsibility for their own health.
  • Collaborate with relevant partners to achieve the pillar goals with an interdisciplinary approach.
  • Prioritize focus areas including healthy lifestyle and noncommunicable diseases, vaccination and immunisation, climate action and sustainability, and global health issues such as HIV/AIDS.
  • Continuously evaluate and refine the construction and implementation of this pillar, its vision, mission, and objectives.

Public Health Team 2019/20


The Netherlands

Public Health Director


Saifali AHMED

The Netherlands

Assistant for Climate Change and Health



Assistant for Vaccine Hesitancy



According to WHO, Europe is the most affected region by non-communicable diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes and obesity. These diseases account for an estimated 86% of the deaths and 77% of the disease burden in Europe. They also threaten progress towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

As the Public Health Pillar actively promotes a healthy and active lifestyle, throughout the term, our team will work on projects, collaborations and sessions to raise awareness on prevention of NCDs, focusing on the topics of alcohol, tobacco and cancer, and their impacts in European public health.


  • WHO/Europe
  • European Commission
  • The Standing Committee of European Doctors (CPME)
  • Alcohol Policy Youth Network
  • The Association of European Cancer Leagues

Policy Papers:


Vaccines are one of the most effective public health tools available and immunization through vaccination is the best defence against communicable diseases. These diseases still pose significant threats in Europe. That’s why it is really important to understand the current challenges, such as vaccine hesitancy which is a rising trend in Europe.

The Public Health Team will be working on a Europe-wide survey to analyze the preparedness level of the European medical students towards vaccine hesitancy and its need in medical curricula. Later, the results will be used to advocate for a better medical education for vaccine hesitancy in Europe.


  • WHO/Europe
  • European Commission – European Joint Action on Vaccination
  • The Standing Committee of European Doctors (CPME)
  • The European Public Health Association (EUPHA)

Climate change has the potential to affect the health of people directly and indirectly. It is by now largely recognised as manmade and remains on the top of the political agenda. The 13th of the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations is to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

As EMSA Public Health Pillar, we would like to focus on raising awareness on the topic with a group of motivated people from different European countries, a.k.a. European Support Division: Climate Action & Sustainability. Throughout the term, we will be writing a policy paper, delivering sessions and many more.


  • WHO/Europe
  • European Commission
  • European Public Health Alliance (EPHA)

Policy Papers: 

Public Health Pillar Sessions

  • Climate Action & Sustainability II
  • A Threat to Global Health: Vaccine Hesitancy
  • A European Priority: NCDs – Youth Action on Alcohol
  • Introduction to Global Health: Navigating globalisation and its impacts on health
  • Climate Action & Sustainability
  • A European Priority: NCDs – Youth Action on Tobacco

How to get involved

Through the term, Public Health Pillar will release calls giving the opportunity to get involved in our activities.

Inspired by EMSA’s Public Health Pillar? Interested in what possibilities EMSA has to offer? Send an email to phealth@emsa-europe.eu and get to know how you can contribute!

Click here to join the EMSA Public Health Facebook Group.