Sichuan Ruined House

About the Project

What is it?

After the inception of CCOUC, the "Ethnic Minority Health Project" (EMHP) has become one of the flagship programmes of the centre. The project has five major objectives:

  1. To empower vulnerable communities in rural and remote settings to prepare and mitigate the adverse impact of natural disasters;
  2. To bring science to the people by adapting technical “know-how” developed in academic settings to concrete practice in the field;
  3. To develop human resources to work in rural and remote communities by offering practice and field-based trainings;
  4. To raise global awareness of issues related to disaster impact and preparedness among remote communities in developing countries; and
  5. To document empirical findings to support future development of related intervention for other rural, community-based health projects.

Why this project?

Globally, China is the most natural-disaster-prone country and its rural population faces the highest natural-disaster risk. These communities are often characterised by being ethnic-minority based, living in extreme poverty (less than US$1.25/person/day) and lacking technical “know-how” and resources for disaster preparedness. These at-risk populations are often left to fend for their own survival post-disaster.

CCOUC believes that multi-disciplinary collaborations and appropriate opportunities are required to build a successful project. In addition to improving health outcomes of population in those villages, the project model also serves as an example for other projects that support public health programmes in rural settings and attempt to capitalise efforts to mitigate adverse disaster impact and to improve health outcomes in China. 

What have we done so far?

Since February 2009, the project team has visited more than a dozen villages across nine provinces in China. As of August 2014, CCOUC has completed needs assessment, interventions, and evaluations in five villages; one along the Jinshajiang river in Sichuan Province, two in Guangxi Province and two in Gansu Province on the high plateau of Yellow river. CCOUC is now actively working in three villages and is planning to visit two potential sites in late 2014.