Disaster Management and Emergency Medicine in the Asia-Pacific Region: Current Practices and Future Directions
Key learnings and recommendations are presented in three sections: disaster management and reconstruction, including what we can learn from past earthquakes; the importance of healthcare and emergency medicine in disasters and community events; and the way forward, in particular how technology and systems thinking can be used for disaster mitigation. By shedding light onto future work in disaster management and emergency medicine in Hong Kong and East Asia, this book aims to contribute to community resilience in the region and beyond. It will be useful for tertiary and postgraduate programmes, teachers and academics, practitioners, healthcare providers, policymakers, and community leaders.
Although the probability of Hong Kong being exposed to earthquakes and tsunamis is minimal, there is an increasing trend of being hit by the effects of climate change due to global warming such as super typhoons, heavy rainstorms, extreme hot (heatwave) and cold weather (cold spell), and so on over the past decade which has caused significant casualties locally (Cheung, 2022). On 5 September 2018, Super Typhoon Mangkhut, the strongest typhoon to affect Hong Kong since Typhoon Ellen in 1983, slammed into the city and caused a vast amount of structural damage to buildings, roads, and public vehicles. The Signal No. 10 typhoon (the highest tropical cyclone warning signal in Hong Kong) was in effect throughout the day, and most importantly led to the largest mass collapse of public transportation in Hong Kong in the past 20 years. It is rare that the public asks the Hong Kong government to have a more efficient and effective response towards unexpected natural disasters, but that is exactly what occurred in Mangkhut’s aftermath. Apart from natural disasters, however, we cannot forget the painful experience of pandemics such as the 2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreaks in Hong Kong, especially their impact to the healthcare system. During the first six months of 2003, 1,755 people were infected and 299 people died in three months, including eight medical staff. Most recently, in early 2020 the COVID-19 pandemic struck Hong Kong and still had not abated when the draft of this book was finished in July 2022. In the fifth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Hong Kong, mainly caused by the Omicron variant, 1,317,743 people were infected as of 22 July 2022, and 9,461 had already died—mainly older people aged 80 or above.
Disaster risk reduction aims “to prevent new and reduce existing disaster risk and managing residual risk by the society in a cost-effective manner, which can result in sustainable development, and thus strengthen the community to be more resilient” (United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, 2015, p. 10). Disaster management and emergency care are not widely taught in schools or professional programmes. Therefore, the purpose of this book is to present the experiences and knowledge of numerous experts in the fields of higher education and healthcare in Hong Kong and neighbouring regions in order to consolidate the work that has been done in the Asian and Hong Kong context. Some of the authors were involved in disaster relief work immediately after the Sichuan earthquake in 2008. There are also review chapters on disaster management, mitigation of disasters via adoption of policy frameworks of disaster risk reduction, and sustainability and systems thinking.
This book consists of three parts. The first five chapters in Part I describe disaster management and reconstruction: what we can learn from earthquakes, with reviews of the impacts of earthquakes on the physical and mental health of survivors, the progress and development of national disaster teams, and professional disaster training and education since the Sichuan earthquake in 2008. The quality of life of lower limb amputees is presented, as is a study on earthquake preparedness among people in China with and without experience of earthquakes and injuries. Rehabilitation in infectious disease epidemics and a service-learning project for victims in Yunnan with amputations illustrate reconstruction after a disaster. The application of emerging technology is demonstrated via its role in the smart transformation of disaster management. Part II is about the importance of healthcare and emergency medical treatment in disaster management, including preparedness and training for major incidents and the roles of primary care in times of major community events, as well as a case report on the management of the COVID-19 pandemic, perhaps the most serious public health disaster since SARS. The significance of the operation and practices of humanitarian and emergency logistics is also presented in a case study. Finally, Part III concludes the book by looking forward to the mitigation of disasters with chapters on the adoption of technology and policy frameworks for disaster risk reduction, sustainability, and systems thinking.
Community resilience is “the ability of the community exposed to disasters, crises and underlying vulnerabilities to anticipate, prepare for, reduce the impact of, cope with and recover from the effects of shocks and stresses without compromising their long-term prospects” (International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, 2016, p. 11). This book is the first of its kind in Hong Kong, shedding light onto future work in disaster management and emergency medicine in Hong Kong and the East Asian context, and thus contributes to strengthening community resilience in these societies. This book is suitable for students of tertiary and postgraduate programmes, teachers and academics, practitioners, healthcare providers, policymakers, and community leaders.
Part I—Disaster Risk Management and Reconstruction: What We Can Learn from Earthquakes
Emergency Medicine and Disaster Management: Concepts and Models
Wei Kwang LUK, Wang-kin CHIU, Alan K. T. LEUNG, Alfred P. H. YIP, Derrick K. W. LAW, Ben Y. F. FONG
A Scoping Review of the Impacts of Earthquakes and Natural Disaster Management on Physical and Mental Difficulties of Earthquake Survivors
Kenneth N. K. FONG
Medical and Public Health Disaster Competencies in Education and Training Curricula in China after the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake
Sijian LI, Lu CHEN, Nana WU, Hao DAI, Shaohua CHEN, Rui XIA, Sunshine CHAN
Review of the Quality of Life of Lower Limb Amputees after the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake
M.S. WONG, Qian WANG
Earthquake Preparedness among People with and without Experience of Earthquakes and Injuries in China
Kenneth N. K. FONG, Peng LIAO, Cong WANG, Hong ZHU, Qiuyun WANG, Danli WU, Cecilia W. P. LI-TSANG
Part II—Health and Emergency Medicine: Considerations for Hong Kong
Roles of Primary Healthcare in Major Community Events
Thomas M. C. DAO, Bean S. N. FU, Brendan C. Y. WU
Training and Preparedness for Major Events, Massive Accidents, and Natural Disasters: A Hong Kong Report
Yukie Y. K. LAM, Cynthia K. C. WAI, Jonathan H. O. WAI, Kin-Kwan LAM
Management of COVID-19 in Hong Kong
Leon Wai LI, Percy W. T. HO, Sandra Wing Yi CHAN, Billy S. H. HO, Simon C. LAM
The Operation and Practices of Humanitarian and Emergency Logistics in Hong Kong
Simon S. M. YUEN, Calvin CHENG
Part III—Looking Forward: Policy and Technology Systems Thinking
Technology in Disaster Management
Disaster Risk Reduction, Sustainability, and Systems Thinking
Wang-kin CHIU, Jocelyn R. TONG, Ben Y. F. FONG, Vincent T. S. LAW