Mr C S Wong and Mr Huang Zhang of the CCOUC team participated in the two-day Asia Pacific Academic Consortium for Public Health (APACPH) 2020 Virtual Online Conference via Zoom from Colombo of Sri Lanka between 8 and 9 December 2020. More than 80 participants from around the Asia Pacific region joined the meeting.
The theme of this year’s annual APACPH conference was “Public Health in the New Normal”, addressing the newly emerged global healthcare challenges including COVID-19 pandemic preparedness and the ethics in delivering public health services.
The sub-themes of symposia included regional perspective—lessons learnt and way forward, digital technologies and COVID-19 pandemic, health and demographic surveillance system (HDSS) and NCDs, global health, and universal health. Panel discussion topics included new frontiers in diagnosis and management of COVID-19, and public health research in the new normal.
The conference discussed the need of systemic review of COVID-19 related public health research, the lack of COVID-19 research in the use of mask and other non-drug intervention measures, physical inactivity and behavioural changes, the impact of COVID-19 on Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) and the potential delayed schedule in achieving the goals, the worsening of health inequality, the linkage of data to achieve coordinated quarantine and surveillance, legalisation of telemedicine following COVID-19, and poor management of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) amidst COVID-19. Professor Sir Michael Marmot, Director of the UCL Institute of Health Equity and Chair of the WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health, presented his upcoming report Build Back Fairer: The COVID-19 Marmot Review at the end of the conference.