By: Datin Noorliza Leow Abdullah
(Penang Chapter Vice President)

The Volunteer Sharing Session (VSS) continued recently with Dr. Eujene Liyu as the speaker. Dr Eujene is an AFS returnee who went on three Intensive Programme exchanges to Japan in 2006, Egypt in 2007 and Italy in 2008. 

Dr Eujene did his housemanship in Kuching in April 2016 and was subsequently posted to the interior areas of Sarawak like Ba’kelalan, Lawas and Limbang. Currently, he is based in Samarahan Public Health Department as part of a team that is managing and tracking Covid -19 cases in the State.  He is planning to do his Masters in Epidemiology.

Throughout the two-hour session, Dr. Eujene held the complete attention of an audience of 70, the biggest number of attendees so far since the VSS series began,with his factual and honest presentation on the covid19 situation.  Although it was a medical topic, he explained in simple English with frequent pauses to check with the audience on their understanding of the issue at hand.

Dr. Eujene gave a time line of Covid-19 from when it first appeared in Malaysia (January 2020) till the present day.  He shared the different known variants of the Covid-19 virus, the types of vaccines available and showed a graphic presentation of the meaning of ‘herd immunity ‘, and SOPs to prevent or minimise the spread of the virus.

It was an engaging session, with many questions raised by attendees. The allocated time was insufficient for Dr. Eujene to answer all of them which ranged from  ‘the long Covid’, Covid’s presence in animals, as well as his own personal experiences with the dreaded virus.  It would have been helpful if there had been a moderator to manage the Q&A session to avoid frequent ‘interruptions’ to the flow.  Dr. Eujene was genuinely passionate about the subject matter as he tried his best to address as many of the questions as possible.  

Because the issue is still topical, many requested Dr Eujene for a second session which he agreed to for a later part of the year.  Updates on the covid19 situation plus clarification on Facts vs. Fallacies will be discussed.

It was heartwarming to note that Dr. Eujene acknowledged his AFS exchange experiences as being a big influence on his life and career choice, and thanked his parents for providing him with the opportunity to participate in three AFS Programmes.