2022/12/16 【Asia Pacific Health Promotion Capacity Building Workshop Review Article 】04

Author | Utoomporn wongsin
Personal Information:
  • Year of participation
  • Institution
          Taipei Medical University

Based on your professional experience, please reflect and elaborate on the field of health promotion across academics and practice.

It is undeniable that Health promotion plays a vital role in prevention of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and functional disability among individual at all age groups. I am Aokie-Utoomporn Wongsin, a PhD student from Global health and health security program, Taipei Medical University. I had participated in the workshop and my group (Sri Lanka, Taiwan, and Thailand) won the best presentation group in year 2020. Mindset towards health promotion has changed remarkably as it is a crucial program to prevent individuals from NCDs (e.g. diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and stroke) which become health issues in many countries. Health promotion is widely implemented in both international level and global level. Several kind of health promotion research are published.  As a PhD student in global health and a public health researcher, to understand theory and how to use it properly are required to ensure that it can be integrated them into our health promotion program efficiency. This workshop
equips me with a fundamental understanding of the six core competencies for health promotion practitioners, consisting of 1) program planning, implementation, and evaluation competencies 2) partnership building competencies 3) communication and report writing competencies 4) technology competencies 5) knowledge competencies and 6) Special core competencies in Asia-Pacific Region-Diversity and Inclusiveness. All core competencies are essential to implement health program and policy covering target groups. Personally, I am more interested in five competencies including 1) program planning, implementation, and evaluation 2) partnership building competencies 3) communication and report writing competencies 4) technology competencies and 5) knowledge competencies. The main reason is that those competencies play a crucial role in increasing the value of a research project. By following steps of core competencies are not only to increase value-added the health program but also it provides the research owner to monitor program closely. Considerably, all core competencies will be integrated into in my future research projects, not limit to health promotion. This is due to the fact that element of core competencies can be applied to other dimensions of public health.  
Regarding the efficacy of my professional in health promotion, I am a public health researcher conducting research on healthcare services and healthcare financing in Thailand. I had a chance to study some research related to health promotion before participating in the APACPH workshop as a trainee. One of my favorite research was a health promotion program named wellness center. The propose of study aimed to implement an appropriate health promotion program for people who are at risk of NCDs in Thailand. In addition, we also tried to seek investment ways to expand and operated by private sector or public sector. Findings indicated that both models of wellness center namely, home exercise and fitness center show a positive result in terms of participant’s health outcome and financial feasibility. Investment in two models (home exercise or fitness center) make profit.  After I am participating in this workshop, it was found that there were some points in above project need to be improved. For example, there was not evaluated program after we finished project. Furthermore, there was no indicators for monitoring. As I have mentioned above, five core competencies will adapt to the coming health promotion project in order to close research gap, and to prevent any possible problems during our research period. All competencies will be applied to the project in all steps, starting from research planning and apply for grant, conduct research, public hearing meeting, evaluation, policy implication and evaluation. Fortunately, Thai research team and I will be started the new project (phase 2 of wellness center) related to health program next year which is supported by Thai health promotion foundation, Thailand. The project aims to apply technology in health promotion program and create the pilot database. This project is followed Singapore project “National program to increase physical activity” presented by Professor Yik Ying Teo, Dean of the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health at the National University of Singapore. We have planned to use wearable devices among participants for promoting healthy lifestyle, recording everyday data and create pilot database for further studies. The expected results from this project will show participants health benefit, database, and a financial feasibility model. We want to promote healthy lifestyle in daily life for both healthy and unhealthy people. It will be the first (pilot) national program and physical exercise database in Thailand. I do hope that the project is going smoothly. At the end of the project, we will provide useful information for stakeholders to promote and prevent NCDs among Thai population based on what I have learnt from the APACPH workshop, Taiwan. I am of the opinion that conducting research in health promotion program along with core competencies is the best way to contribute knowledge and experience to others. Not only do I can get the results from health promotion research project but also a leaning transfer between me and others will occur during research phase. This is how I can serve my country. 

What are your suggestions or expectations for the next exchange of the 
In terms of suggestions for the next exchange of the seminar, there are three main elements that I would like to give a feedback including materials, workshop time and funding information. Firstly, I would suggest continuing the workshop with theory from experts, and updated example of projects. In particularly, the up to date of project or study as an example always make trainees understand easily. Secondly, three days of workshop are enough time because a long workshop has some disadvantage. Last but not least, some potential sources of funding from abroad should be promoted by APAPH CCHP to trainees. This is because trainees have completed a project along with some suggestions from mentors after workshop. I believed that it is ready proposal to apply for financial support. Then, it would be grateful if some source of funding is available for them to apply for a research grant. If a project is not accepted by funding, they will gain experience. 
On the other hand, if a project gets research grant, it is the APACPH workshop’s success.