Nason Tan at HK AIDS Concern
: Nason Tan
: Health Economics Policy and Management (HEPM)
MPH Degree Mode and Graduation Year
: Full Time 2017-2018
: Self-initiated Practicum
: HK AIDS Concern
I did my Practicum at HK AIDS Concern which is an NGO advocating for sexual health wellbeing of the MSM community in particular. I was responsible for building up the capacity of frontline workers, volunteers and activists as well as sharing my past working experiences in this field with the community at large. The freedom of allowing students to come up with their self-initiated Practicum has enabled me to match my expectations, skills and interests with the mentioned organisation. This is crucial as it facilitated towards a two way active engagement; the whole Practicum experience for me, personally, turned out to be a motivational and passionate project instead of one that merely existed to fulfil the academic requirements. I got to participate in the annual HIV/AIDS Conference and local radio talk show to share about the Malaysian challenges and lessons in implementing sexual health wellbeing programmes. I conducted a series of on-site evaluation of the organisation’s front line workers in their daily activities of HIV/STIs testing and counselling sessions. Based on the evaluation, a subsequent 4-part training sessions were given to the organisation’s frontline workers, volunteers and staff. The training topics were STIs, sexual health history taking, motivational interviewing counselling technique, PrEP, ChemSex and male sexual assault survivors. A research paper on feasibility of a PrEP community project in HK and optional models were also proposed to the organisation. This Practicum was a good opportunity for me to see what I could apply from what I have learned so far to something that I have been involved with all these years. The MPH course has definitely strengthened my foundational knowledge in analysis and considering a wider perspective than before to which came in handy and were applied in this Practicum. I would advise future MPH students to be proactive, managing time and expectations from both sides effectively, and strive to make this Practicum experience a meaningful and impactful stint.