The New Public Health and The Prevention of Infectious Diseases - LEE Shiu Hung
LEE Shiu Hung
Emeritus Professor of Community Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
[Abstract] After the SARS epidemic, many people realized the importance of public health and the prevention of infectious diseases. Public health in the past focused only on prevention of infectious diseases. The new public health needs to involve the whole population in tackling all the factors which affect health. The aim is to promote the health of the people, prevent diseases, improve the quality of life and increase life expectancy. The objective of this paper is to review the success and failure of public health and the prevention of infectious diseases after the SARS epidemic. It is hoped through this review, experience and lessons can be learned to better prepare ourselves against the challenges in the future.
The Building of Healthy Settings: Concepts and Strategies for A Risk Prevention Management Approach to Disease Outbreaks and Other Health Emergencies - Susan MERCADO
Acting Regional Adviser for Health Promotion, World Health Organization (WHO) Western Pacific Regional Office
[Abstract] Human behaviour greatly affects infectious disease emergence, transmission and control. Healthy Settings provide great potential to mitigate, prepare and respond to infectious disease outbreaks such as SARS. A risk prevention management approach, as adopted to specific settings, is a relevant model that can be added on to current Healthy Settings such as Healthy Cities and Health Promoting Schools. The Hygiene Charter of Hong Kong is an example of a population-based strategy to mitigate high risk and long term situations for disease outbreaks. Based on the SARS experience, four action points for Healthy Settings at the regional level include strengthening settings-based capacities for risk assessment, risk surveillance, risk communication and risk management.
Environmental Hygiene Policies and Healthy Living in Hong Kong - LEUNG Wing Lup, Gregory
LEUNG Wing Lup, Gregory
Director of Food and Environmental Hygiene
[Abstract] Maintaining a high level of cleanliness in our living environment is the best way to prevent communicable diseases, including Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) is not only directly involved in the fight against SARS, but also in helping to establish a sustainable policy to improve environmental hygiene. In the wake of a SARS outbreak last year, the Government set up a special task force, "Team Clean", to develop and formulate new means to improve the cleanliness of our living environment. The FEHD adopts a proactive approach in implementing these initiatives, including the cleansing and washing of streets, backlanes and old tenement buildings, as well as taking rigorous enforcement action against public cleanliness offences, with the fixed penalty raised to HK$1,500. The FEHD will continue to do its best to make Hong Kong a clean and hygienic place for all.
The Building Code and Healthy Buildings ── History and the Way Forward - WONG Wah Sang
WONG Wah Sang
Associate Professor, Department of Architecture, The University of Hong Kong
Vice President, Hong Kong Institute of Architects
[Abstract] The standard of hygiene and health for the living environment can be seen through the historical development of Hong Kong, when the Building Code played an important role to control development. Then in 2003, when the outbreak of SARS occurred in the community, the hygiene conditions once again became the responsibility of the citizens. This article makes the proposal to change the Building Code for the enhancement of a much better and healthier living environment.
Rethinking The Deserved Role of Chinese Medicine in Hong Kong Public Health Care System after the SARS Epidemic - BIAN Zhao-xiang
School of Chinese Medicine, Hong Kong Baptist University
[Abstract] The SARS epidemic has passed. It is time to review and adjust the structure of the public health care system in Hong Kong in order to meet the needs of the public. The review should be done in an open manner, based on medical evidence and actual clinical effects. Chinese medicine, which is a totally different medical system to Western medicine, has special characteristics and effects in the prevention and treatment of diseases. Chinese medicine should be incorporated into the public health care system with Chinese medical clinics and hospital services in Hong Kong. Meanwhile, medical services and clinical research should be carried out with the integration of Western and Chinese medicine to ensure the healthy life of the public.
Was it a Natural or a Human-induced Disaster? Environmental Protection and the Implementation of Public Health - Mei NG
Director, Friends of the Earth (Hong Kong)
[Abstract] The outbreak of the SARS epidemic aroused global concern and worries. Different parties in society were involved in the discussion of the causes, the transmission and the prevention of SARS. The mainstream views often defined SARS as a kind of public health safety crisis, while neglecting the hidden crisis of "ecological environmental safety". Was it a natural, or a human-induced disaster? How was SARS related to nature? What kinds of environmental and ecological problems need to be rethought and responded to, in additional to the improvement of the public health measures? This article suggests different kinds of change in town planning, environmental management, risk assessment in policies, public awareness education, and ecological safety.
From the Regulation of Health Products to the Protection of Healthy Living - Pamela W.S. CHAN
Pamela W.S. CHAN
Chief Executive, Consumer Council
[Abstract] There is a fundamental truth to the saying "health is an invaluable asset"─nothing is as precious as personal health. The SARS epidemic made people aware of this fact, recognizing also the reality that our health conditions are not always within our control. Consumption of health food/supplements has become a fad for the health-conscious and those who crave a fit body. However, some health products carry exaggerated claims regarding their efficacy, for example, their miraculous effects on certain diseases. Consumers are advised to consult their doctors or dietitians before purchasing or taking such products. People must learn to ascertain whether a product is safe and suitable for their health, rather than succumbing to the exaggerating claims of the products. The key to good health is healthy life style; that is, a balanced diet, adequate exercises among other things. Appropriate regulatory controls on health products by the Government will also provide the necessary safeguards for consumers.
The Present Status and Future Development of Physical Education and Sport for Hong Kong Youth - Frank H. FU Theresa S. LEE
Frank H. FU
Dean and Chair Professor, Faculty of Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Baptist University
Theresa S. LEE
Senior Instructor, Institute of Human Performance, The University of Hong Kong
[Abstract] The promotion and development of a sport culture in Hong Kong received the Government's attention some 30 years ago, but its importance and focus on youth was only realized recently. The objectives of health fitness and sport programmes for youth are highlighted, together with discussions on the relationships between physical activity and fitness, and the interactions between values, attitudes, behavior and lifestyle. Current research findings in these areas are presented which suggest future challenges in the task of developing a sport culture, while also addressing the health problems of obesity, sedentary lifestyle and rising coronary heart disease risk among youth.
Did the SARS Epidemic bring about a Green Era to Hong Kong? - Simon CHAU
Chair, Produce Green Foundation
[Abstract] Disasters are actually blessings. Nature takes bacteria and viruses as tools to implement the principles of Eugenics. Optimistic and vitalized living organisms can remain on earth and reproduce themselves. After the SARS epidemic, did Hong Kong people become aware of this basic wisdom if they have to live happily on earth? Or will they remain oblivious to this and constantly find themselves at odd with nature?