Fourteen CCOUC members participated in the Annual Conference on Disaster Preparedness and Response 2015, which took place from 30 October to 1 November 2015 in Hong Kong. The conference was organised by the Hong Kong Jockey Disaster Preparedness and Response Institute (HKJC DPRI), a key collaborator of CCOUC.
In addition to serving on the Scientific Committee for the conference, CCOUC Director Professor Emily Chan chaired a session on “The impacts of climate change in health, medical response and policy”. Professor May Yeung, CCOUC Assistant Professor, chaired another session on “Volunteering in emergency response”, drawing on her previous Ebola-response experiences in West Africa. CCOUC Research Fellow Ms. Makiko Kato MacDermot delivered an oral presentation on the topic “Miyagi school resilience through investigating positive health outcomes of the 2011 Japan triple disaster”. CCOUC member and doctoral student Mr. Kelvin Ling delivered a poster presentation on “Planning disaster preparedness and risk reduction projects in rural communities: a social-cognitive lens for enhancing self-efficacy through train-the-trainer approach”. A CCOUC policy brief on “Hong Kong’s Emergency and Disaster Response System” was distributed to conference participants as well. CCOUC also set up a booth during the conference to showcase our work, publicise available opportunities and connect with relevant stakeholders.
The theme of this year’s conference is “From Community to Emergency Room”, covering a range of topics including disaster mental health, community preparedness, disaster management systems, the impact of climate change and the potential role of innovation and technology. It was attended by key academics, health professionals and NGO workers active in the field of disaster medicine and humanitarian response both locally and internationally.
Through this academic event, CCOUC was able to exchange with local and global peers regarding disaster response-related initiatives in the Asia-Pacific Region, and strengthen collaborative ties with key partners including Harvard University, Hong Kong University and the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine.