Professor Emily Chan, Director of CCOUC and Head of Division of Global Health and Humanitarian Medicine, JC School of Public Health and Primary Care, and Mr Cheuk Pong Chiu, CCOUC nurse, were invited by World Health Organization Centre for Health Development (WHO Kobe Centre) to participate in the 14th Asia Pacific Conference on Disaster Medicine (APCDM) held in Kobe, Japan from 16 to 18 October 2018. APCDM is held biennially and the theme of APCDM 2018 is “Building Bridges for Disaster Preparedness and Response”. It serves as a platform for medical and administrative personnel from different countries to share their knowledge, experiences and innovations related to disaster medicine.
During the conference, Professor Chan shared her experiences and insights on Health-Emergency and Disaster Risk Management (H-EDRM) and delivered a keynote speech entitled “What is Known and Unknown, and Required for H-EDRM Research” in the WHO Kobe Centre-organised special symposium “WKC Forum: Global Action for Scientific Evidence Improvement in Health Emergency and Disaster Risk Management—Expected Contribution from Asia and Pacific Region” on 16 October 2018. H-EDRM is multi-sectoral and refers to the systematic analysis and management of health risks from the prevention to preparedness, response and recovery. During the presentation, Professor Chan talked about the implementation of Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, identified human health vulnerability determinants, emphasised the importance of bottom-up approach in disaster resilience and addressed the research gaps in Health-EDRM. As the two Co-Chairs of WHO Thematic Platform for Health Emergency & Disaster Risk Management Research Network, Professor Chan and Professor Virginia Murray, CCOUC Adjunct Professor, also chaired the two panel discussions entitled “Post-Disaster Health Support System and Data Management System in Japan” and “Post-disaster Psychosocial Management and Research Activity”, respectively.
On 17 October 2018, Professor Chan participated in the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and WHO expert roundtable meeting on strategic and structured development of scientific evidence through collaboration among Asian and global researchers. The aim of this meeting is to discuss the latest structure of global research network and to identify the key research focuses to fill the gaps in scientific evidence on H-EDRM through collaboration among Asian Pacific regional and global researchers and related stakeholders. Thirty-four global experts participated in the meeting, separated into five groups for discussion of the five key research themes for collaboration in H-EDRM. Professor Chan was the lead discussant for the theme entitled “Disaster Response and Disaster Risk Literacy”. As a result of the discussion, several research topics in the theme were identified, including the use of technologies and their effectiveness, translation of research evidence to policy and practice, community engagement and risk discussion between disciplines.
Throughout the symposium and expert meeting, the health aspects of the Sendai Framework and the collaborations at all levels had been highlighted.