2023/01/12 【Asia Pacific Health Promotion Capacity Building Workshop Review Article 】07

Author | Ruchel Gagarin Oasan
Personal Information:
  • Year of participation
  • Institution
          International Health Program,
          National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University

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

Health promotion

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), health promotion is the process of enabling people to increase control over, and to improve, their health. It is a behavioral social science that involves biological, environmental, psychological, physical and medical sciences to promote health and prevent disease, disability and premature death through education-driven voluntary behavior change activities as well as social and environmental interventions. Hence, health promotion is the development of individual, group, institutional, community, and systemic strategies to improve health knowledge, attitudes, skills, and behavior.

Health Promotion and Academics
As a public health student, health promotion is one of my interests. I really want to acquire new information, facts, and learnings regarding this topic; to be updated on the new strategies that I can implement and incorporate to my future public health programs and research. Also, whenever there is  an opportunity to attend convention, seminars, or conference that is relevant to health promotion, I always try to grab the chance to gain more knowledge from other public health professionals.

Moreover, I believe that health promotion is not only limited in doing community programs, medical missions, or health education in different settings; it can go beyond that. Hence, I use my academic requirements to promote health and educate people about the importance of health, thus, I always try to incorporate it to my research or studies that I am involved; hoping that it can be a reference for disease prevention. Also, I tried to submit these journals in conferences for presentations to share the results to other health professionals. In this way, I am hoping that it can reach people, not only professionals but readers or variety  of audiences that are interested in improving their health and/or their lifestyle. Even in academics, health promotion is possible.

Public health is not just a Profession
After I graduated from college, whenever there is an invitation to give health lectures specifically about nutrition to the mothers, children, workers, etc., I accept it with no hesitation. Hence, I pursue Master in Public Health Major in Health Promotion and Education in my college alma mater. I was overwhelmed with so many things to study in public health. I thought, it is just about doing community services but I perceived  that it is more than that. Public health is not just an activity or a profession but a life-changing venture. To be an effective one, you should know how to connect to the community, health officials, and government who has the funds and know how to utilize available resources as well as implement healthy public policy. It is not easy as it seems nonetheless very rewarding. As I always tell my students, doing community services is very tiring yet fulfilling.

Health Promotion and Practice
As a registered nutritionist-dietitian and a licensed teacher, I use my professions to promote health in the school, community, and workplaces; educating the students, the community,  and the workers on how to be  healthy not only physically but also in the other aspects of life such as mental and social. Aside from health education, I use my profession to participate in creating supportive environments, reorienting health services, and strengthening community action with the help of private institutions and local government. And with the use of software, applications, and different platforms such as YouTube and social media accounts, I was able to deliver  some relevant the information about nutrition, dietetics, and also public health. Even in the practice of our professions, we can promote health.

What are your suggestions or expectations for the next exchange of the seminar?

Suggestions or Expectations:
My expectations for the next exchange of the seminar are the following:
  • Relevant topics to Public Health using updated and recent programs/research will be tackled.
  • New strategies in health promotion
  • Interactive discussion/seminar
  • Enough time for discussion and question and answer portion
Evaluation of the six competencies
Suggested criteria for evaluating each competency are the following:

A. Program planning, implementation, and evaluation competencies
  • The selected program/strategy and the target population are based on the results of the needs assessment and they are evidence-based.
  • Evaluate the goals and objectives if they are also based on the results of the needs assessment.
  • At the middle and end of implementation, evaluations must be done to see if the goals and objectives are met.

B. Partnership building competencies
  • The program implementers will be able to identify partners within and outside the health sector that will enhance the success of health promotion efforts.
  • Also, the program has developed effective partnerships with key stakeholders, gatekeepers, and also the target group representatives.

C. Communication and report writing competencies
  • The program implementers will be able to communicate and convey the information to the community, professionals, and/or variety of audiences with the use of current technology.

D. Technology competencies
  • The program implementers know how to operate high-technology and multimedia equipment that will be used to promote health and implement intervention programs.

E. Knowledge competencies
  • The program implementers are knowledgeable with the principles of practice in health promotion as well as with the stages of program planning, strategy selection, implementation, evaluation, and sustainability of programs.
  • The program implementer is someone who is effective in interpersonal, group, and public communication; as well as effective in written and oral communication, and media strategies.

F. Special core competencies in Asia-Pacific region-Diversity and Inclusiveness
  • The program implementer will be able to recognize the diversity in language, ethnicity, and social-economic status in the region or place where the program/intervention will be held.
  • Also, will able to demonstrate self-confidence in communication and practice.