UBC Men’s Health Research Program welcomes PhD candidate Calvin Fernandez who will be contributing to the Men Building Intimate Partner Relationships study.
A former health education executive and educator from Malaysia, Calvin Fernandez (he/him) is very invested in addressing issues related to men’s health, especially those who live in the Global South and men in key population groups such as gay men and other men who have sex with men, sex workers, people who use drugs and incarcerated persons.
Through his experience, Calvin has witnessed how religion, sociocultural and traditional gender norms influence men’s health behaviours in a conservative society like Malaysia, and its impact on their overall health outcomes. He realized that “a lot of men are actually scared of being sick, but most of them are even more terrified by the fact that they are scared of being sick”. That said, he believes that to improve men’s health outcomes, “we need to change the narrative of what it means to be a man by using healthier models of masculinity, and to ensure that it includes the experiences of all men, especially those who are underprivileged and belong in minority groups”.
“Men need to understand that the best way to protect their families and their communities is by embracing their vulnerabilities, reaching out and asking for help, and taking care of themselves – not abandoning their health or putting themselves at risk of violence and danger”.
At UBC Men’s Health Research Program, he will be working as a part of the Men Building Intimate Partner Relationships (MBIPR) study.
Calvin holds a bachelor’s degree in Medical Bioscience from Monash University and a Masters of Medical Education from the University of Malaya.