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Learning Outside the University: A Unique Learning Experience at CPRC Malaysia

23 Jul 2020

Participating in field trips is a great way to enjoy a unique learning experience outside the university. Field trips are not only good fun, they allow students to absorb, interact and immerse themselves in a practical way and is key to encouraging curiosity about a given subject. It provides students with the opportunity to visualise, experience and discuss information on a subject. It is also valuable for students as an exercise in broadening their understanding of the world and their place in it. Educational trips encourage the development of social, personal and study skills. It has been observed that students appear to come out of their shell on field trips, becoming creative and displaying leadership qualities. With this in mind, the International Medical University (IMU) MBA in Healthcare Management Programme Director, To’ Puan Prof Dr Safurah Bt Ja’afar organised a field trip to the Crisis Preparedness and Response Centre (CPRC) in Putrajaya, Malaysia. Seven lecturers and nine MBA in Healthcare Management students went for this trip on 15 July 2020. Commenting on this trip, To’ Puan Prof Dr Safurah said, “One of the best tools to provide every student with real-world experiences is a field trip with every experience that a student participates in contributing to their understanding of the world. It is an opportunity for students to make the connections between what they have learnt in the university and in the real-world. Each experience solidifies learning and supports important academic concepts. This is the reason for bringing our students to the CPRC. It is to provide them with the knowledge of the functions of CPRC and its importance in the effective management of disasters, outbreaks, crises and emergencies (DOCE) related to health.” Crisis Preparedness and Response Centre (CPRC) was established under the 9th Malaysia Plan (2005 – 2010) as part of the overall strategies in preparedness of effective management of disasters, outbreaks, crises and emergencies (DOCE) related to health. CPRC is placed under the Surveillance Section of the Disease Control Division, Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH). In the event of a DOCE of significance and upon advice from the Director of Disease Control, Deputy Director General of Health (Public Health) or Director-General of Health, an Operation Room will be opened in the CPRC to monitor the identified DOCE in Active Surveillance Mode. A daily report specific to the DOCE will be sent to all the relevant stakeholders within the MOH.

What the Students Say About the Trip
Ling Ho Wah The visit to the Malaysian government CDC is very exciting. Learning about their critical analysis, data gathering, execution and human management on the varieties of crisis they are handling is simply outstanding. Managing a company is already a very challenging thing to work on, not to mention a team with different levels of hierarchy working together to embrace their values and skills to sustain a harmonious public health in the country is another level of challenge. Well, the special guest who step in to share their profile and their views is great for us who is looking forward to spread our wings in the healthcare industry. Thanks for the invitation and arrangement to participate in this visit. Is a great honour to be part of it, coming across to know both economic specialist and healthcare professionals working hand in hand in tackling Covid-19 is a beauty of professional synergy. Hopefully one day IMU will enable its alumni especially, to be a healthcare economic specialist to play a bigger part to work with the local healthcare authorities to improve our country’s public health and global healthcare.
Delicia Chua I would like to extend my gratitude to CPRC for welcoming us despite their busy schedule. As an early user of the MySejahtera app, it was interesting to learn from Dr Mahesh himself on how this app was developed and the future plans for it. Dr Maria touched on the importance of risk communication, to engage with the community, and allay their anxieties and fears. This is also applicable within an organisation where we had to consistently engage with the doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, staff, patients, and their families. Thank you again.
Nabilah binti Osman It was an awesome visit to Crisis Preparedness and Response Centre (CPRC) As soon as I enter the office I saw a big monitor screen like I always see in the movie! All current data on Covid-19 is updated on the screen. CPRC is a division under MOH for management of disasters, outbreaks, crises and emergencies (DOCE) related to health. They are currently in active mode where they are on standby 24/7 especially on Covid-19 and dengue fever. As Covid-19 is a world pandemic issue, we were updated with a lot of issues regarding this disease and how Malaysia handle the crisis. It was great sharing especially on the MySejahtera app, the background of CPRC, the statistics of world Covid-19 and how CPRC develop SOPs to ensure the control of this pandemic. We also had the privilege of getting the latest statistics on that day before it was announced to public! It was a fruitful trip and my highest respect to our frontliners who work hard to fight against this battle!
Adam Hathsey All in all, the visit was a great success and the trip certainly was an eye-opener into the CPRC operations.
Teo Woey Yen First of all, I would like to thank CPRC for having us at their centre during this Covid-19 outbreak. This field trip is full of insight and informative. Through this trip, I began to acknowledge the important role played by the CPRC in particular, and public health in general. I immensely enjoyed the trip and it is a worthwhile experience in seeing a crisis preparedness and response centre.
Ooi Su Yin Definitely an eye-opening and fruitful trip for a non-healthcare professional like me. It was really great to learn how Malaysia handles the Covid-19 pandemic and other disasters, outbreaks, crises and emergencies. It was amazing that the CPRC was able to accommodate our visit during a time when they are currently in active surveillance mode especially for Covid-19 and dengue fever. Thank you to CPRC staff are fronliners that are working behind the scenes to keep the country safe.
Nandinii A/P Kumarasamy The visit to CPRC was enlightening and interesting. The highlight of the visit, for me, was learning about how the MySejahtera app functions and the roles it could potentially play in the future of Malaysian healthcare. I honestly think this app has the potential to bridge the gap between the urban and the inaccessible rural, furthering the country’s endeavour towards universal health care. I also enjoyed the session with Dr Wan and the statistics she brought with her. The numbers behind the success of Malaysia’s handling of the pandemic truly highlighted where we stood, in terms of world ranking. I think IMU should make more trips to CPRC for the upcoming batches.
Karthiga A/P Veloo It was one of a kind experience to visit CPRC while a pandemic is ongoing. All the speakers went an extra mile to provide us with information about the excellent ways Malaysia managed COVID-19. An overview about digital health by Dr Mahesh and MySejahtera App was informative, alongside Dr Maria who introduced the roles of CPRC to us. Dr Wan’s session was a remarkable one as she unveiled the impressive actions taken to combat Covid. The final session with Dr Zul was a great take home message for all of us budding health managers. I cannot thank CPRC and IMU enough for this exposure. My suggestion is to have a detailed talk on digital health, as the one Dr Mahesh did which will be a good exposure for us.
Abdul Razak bin Abdul Khalid It is a very worthwhile visit. Now we know how is the CPRC operate as dedicated department who plays important roles during a national crisis.


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