Volume 7, Issue No. 1 (Serial No. 13) Rethinking Healthy Life after the SARS Epidemic

Journal of Youth Studies

January 2004

Volume 7 . Issue No. 1

Serial No. 13

Feature : Rethinking Healthy Life after the SARS Epidemic

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
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
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
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?

Pan-Chunese Societies Exchange : Reflections on Epidemic Outbreaks : Issues and Challenges

Resisting SARS on the Mainland: Efforts from Government and Non-Government Sectors - YANG Wei Zhong SUN Qiao ZHANG Yu Run LUO Xiao Hui ZHAO Dong Hui
YANG Wei Zhong
Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention
SUN Qiao
Shanghai Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention
Chengdu Municipal Wuhou District Center for Disease Control and Prevention
LUO Xiao Hui
Sichuan Province Jianyang County Center for Disease Control and Prevention
ZHAO Dong Hui
Heilongjiang Province Center for Disease Control and Prevention

[Abstract] In 2003, the outbreak of SARS in Mainland China called for efforts from the entire population. Street community officers and residents, school leaderships and student volunteers, rural community leaderships and villagers, worksite administrators and workers, together with non-government organizations joined their efforts to fight against this war. However, the crisis also exposed the problems of community health services on the Mainland. These problems include, insufficient social mobilization, loose linkages between disease control and community health service, and the lack of human and financial resources.
Urban City, Infectious Disease and Social Justice - CHEN Dung-sheng WU Chia-ling
CHEN Dung-sheng
WU Chia-ling
Department of Sociology, National Taiwan University

[Abstract] This paper uses the case of the SARS outbreak in Taiwan to demonstrate that when an infectious disease starts to transmit in the metropolitan area, the concentration of medical resources intensifies the spread of the disease, if they fail to deal with the crisis effectively and efficiently. Therefore, this paper argues that the spatial centrality of medical resources in the lack of well-governed organizational negotiation could facilitate an urban crisis. In addition, we analyze the socio-economic backgrounds of those who died from SARS in Taiwan, and find that minorities had a higher death rate, indicating that they were at greater risk from SARS than others. The stereotypes for minority groups, such as the homeless, foreign workers and the urban poor, mainly presented form media reports and officials statements by the Government during the outbreak, further stigmatized them, creating unnecessarily physical and psychological burdens. Finally, this paper points out the importance of mobilizing urban communities as an effective aspect to prevent the spread of SARS. The social support and information exchanges between community residents could become an important part of SARS preventive policy.
Combating SARS on the Social and Community Front in Singapore: Issues, Principles and Approaches - Ngoh-Tiong TAN
Ngoh-Tiong TAN
Associate Professor, Department of Social Work and Psychology, National University of Singapore

[Abstract] This article highlights the lessons from the Singapore’s experience of combating the deadly SARS virus. Besides the strategies of detection, containment and isolation of the disease, the social and community ramifications in crisis management were also discussed. Issues and ethical considerations, including the protection of privacy and avoidance of discrimination were highlighted. Principles and approaches of dealing with the crisis include swift action, unity and cohesion, prevention, education, communication and compassion. Should there be a re-emergence of SARS, or any other epidemics, the learning from dealing with the past crisis would certainly enable us to manage future crises more effectively.
Strategies for Epidemic Prevention in an Atypical Period: Epidemiology & Sun Zi's The Art of War - TONG Ka Io
Director, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Health, Macao SAR
President, Macao Public Health Association

[Abstract] The author enumerates the objectives, strategies and deployment for SARS prevention of Macao during the first semester of 2003, and proceeds to reflect from two different points of view, epidemiology and Sunzi’s art of war. Two simple points are stressed on: in combating epidemic, basic works must be done well; the “five conditions” and “five predictors of victory” referred in Sunzi’s art of war help us understand better the keys of success or failure in combating epidemic, as well as the direction of self improvement in future.
Review on Fighting SARS and Infection Control with Resilience in the Post-SARS Period - LEONG Che Hung
LEONG Che Hung
Chairman, Hospital Authority

[Abstract] Development under globalization has increased by leaps and bounds. Many regions in the world have now become more and more transparent. Many regional or national issues, such as the recent outbreak of SARS, have become internationalized. To combat different infectious diseases which may threaten the world as a whole, a globalized approach, involving globalized cities, is needed. One of the most important elements of the approach is to share information and experiences with the world. Therefore, with the aim of sharing information with other parts of the world, this article discusses Hong Kong's experience in fighting SARS. This includes: the relationship between SARS and affluent regions (dense populations and large-scale infectious disease outbreak), reasons for the SARS outbreak in Hong Kong and the different successful measures to combat SARS, including the eSARS system, approach to personal protection gears, treatment methods and environmental improvement measures.

Professional Exchange

Dealing with Adolescent Depression: A Strengths Based Approach - YIP Kam-Shing
YIP Kam-Shing
Associate Professor, Department of Applied Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

[Abstract] In this paper, the writer illustrates the application of the strengths based perspective by helping an adolescent with depression. Compared to the traditional disease model, the strengths based perspective identifies the client's needs and abilities behind her symptoms. It nurtures the client's positive emotions and recovery motives, while improving her adaptation ability. It also helps to establish an enlightening encounter between the worker and the client.
The Self-Esteem of the Newly Arrived Chinese Children - Yiu Man CHAN Christine Mei Sheung CHAN
Yiu Man CHAN
Department of Educational Psychology, Counselling and Learning Needs, Hong Kong Institute of Education
Christine Mei Sheung CHAN
School of Early Childhood Education, Hong Kong Institute of Education

[Abstract] The 23-item Self-esteem Inventory developed by Coopersmith (1967) was used in measuring the self-esteem of 387 Chinese primary school children. The samples included Hong Kong children and newly arrived Mainland Chinese children. The results show that the newly arrived children tend to perceive themselves as failures and often wish they were someone else. They have a low opinion of themselves and have more family pressures than their Hong Kong peers.
Does the Physical Land Use System affect the Growth of Young People? - LI Ling Hin
LI Ling Hin
Associate Professor, Department of Real Estate and Construction, The University of Hong Kong

[Abstract] Studies around the world have shown that there is a significant correlation between the development of young children and the neighbourhood environment in which they are brought up. In fact, all other environmental variables work inside the framework of the land use settings as all human activities take place on and above land and certainly within some form of physical structure. In this paper, I try to examine how the physical land use system affects young people and how much they enjoy it. In addition, I also tally the views of youngsters on certain land use policy objectives and examine how much they can and willing to articulate their views.
Globalization and Challenges for Citizenship Education in Singapore - Jeffrey YIP
Jeffrey YIP
Graduate Student, Department of Sociology, National University of Singapore

[Abstract] Globalization and modernization have impacted Singapore society in significant ways. The globalization process, enhanced by information technology, has allowed for the rapid diffusion of various competing ideologies. In the process, there exists multiple ideological viewpoints, a veritable marketplace of ideas and values. The flow of new ideas brings benefits but also creates internal pressure for state-society relationships. Traditional notions of national boundaries and identity are less binding on young people. In the light of such processes, the concept of citizenship is important as it captures the changing relationship of individuals to the state. As a socialization process, citizenship education functions to transmit values, mediating the relationship between the global, the local and the individual. This paper aims to address two pressing questions. First, the implications of globalization on citizenship and identity in Singapore. Second, the role of education in addressing such concerns.
Are Males Necessarily More Aggressive Than Females? - Vivien S. HUAN Rebecca P. ANG
Vivien S. HUAN
Lecturer, Psychological Studies, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University
Rebecca P. ANG
Assistant Professor, Psychological Studies, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University

[Abstract] The present study investigated gender differences in aggression using two samples. The first sample consisted of 105 juvenile offenders (72 males and 33 females). The second sample consisted of 329 adolescents (171 males and 158 females) from three secondary schools in Singapore. In line with the hypotheses, male juvenile offenders were found to be more aggressive on total aggression and physical aggression scores compared with female juvenile offenders. As expected, males were found to be more physically aggressive compared with females from the general school sample, but they were not more aggressive on total aggression scores. Findings were discussed in the light of adolescent aggression research.