One of the requirements for admission to the Master of Public Health programme is one year of prior public health experience. The MPH programme is an applied programme as compared to an academic programme. Most of the courses offered in the MPH programme required the students to bring real-world situations into the classroom to enhance the discussion. The real-world public health experience will make the classroom experience of the candidate more valuable.
What is relevant public health experience?
There are many avenues to obtain relevant public health experience. The main aim of public health experience is to expose the candidate to engagement with the public on a community or health-related issue.
Public health experience does not need to just come from working with the Ministry of Health or international health agencies alone. It can be obtained from volunteering in your national and local non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that are involved in the delivery of community and health programmes to the public. The aim of volunteering work is to get your hands dirty and work directly with the community to improve the health of the community.
There are NGOs that focus on a specific health area and those that are more general. Here are some of the examples of relevant NGOs in Malaysia.
Example of NGOs that focused on a specific health area
- National Diabetes Institute
- Malaysian Diabetes Educators Society
- Diabetes Malaysia
- National Stroke Association of Malaysia
- Yayasan Jantung Malaysia
- Persatuan Epilepsi Malaysia
- Persatuan SLE Malaysia
- Mental Illness Awareness and Support Association
- Malaysian Mental Health Association
- Malaysian Association for the Blind
- Society of the Blind in Malaysia
Examples of more general health-related NGOs
Examples of umbrella organisations
- Malaysia AIDS Council
- MAKNA – National Cancer Council Malaysia
- Malaysian Mental Health Council
You can find the list of NGOs in your local areas from the HATI website.
What is not considered relevant Public Health experience?
Having research experience alone is not considered a relevant public health experience. The research should involve the process of engaging with a community through data collection or the implementation of an intervention programme.
Having experience in organising conferences or workshops is not relevant public health experience.
Having experience working in a clinic or hospital alone is not relevant public health experience. It should include the experience of organising health programmes for patients or the public.
This article was written by Victor Hoe
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