Serving to the community

The Ethnic Minority Health Project 2013
The Ethnic Minority Health Project is an excellent platform for ambitious students to transform knowledge gained in classroom settings into practical solutions for complex health problems in the real world. The mission of the Ethnic Minority Health Project is to mitigate the adverse human impact caused by natural disasters, as well as to reduce behavioural and environmental health risks through evidence-based health education campaigns in remote, disaster-prone, and poverty-stricken communities in rural China.
The project is a collaborative effort between students, faculties, local and international professionals, as well as community representatives from a wide range of disciplines. Between 2012 and 2013, the team conducted systematic health needs assessments, evidence-based health interventions, and programme evaluations using the art and science of public health principles to protect and improve the health of over 1,700 people living in disaster-prone areas in China. Site visits planned for 2013 and 2014 include health need assessments in Yunnan, health interventions in Sichuan as well as project evaluation trips to Gaoyou village in Guangxi.
 



CUHK Medical Society 2012 Service Trip to Vietnam
Organised by the CUHK Medical Society, the "We Serve We Care Vietnam Service Trip" has become an annual overseas service project for CUHK medical students. In 2012, a group of 21 first- and second-year medical students from the university visited Hanoi in Vietnam for 15 days from the 5th to the 19th of June. The service trip had three main goals: to explore the on-going issue of Agent Orange, a chemical weapon used by the US army during the Vietnam War that has caused inter-generational defects in the Vietnamese, including physical and mental disabilities; to gain a basic understanding of the medical system in Vietnam; and to serve the country's underprivileged. 
Students visited hospitals, factories established for Agent Orange sufferers to work in and three service centres, the Thuy An Rehabilitation Centre, the Ba Vi Centre and the Tay Dang Orphanage, which serve the less fortunate in Vietnam. These centres engage children and the elderly in gardening, renovation and other activities.
The main objectives of the "We Serve We Care Vietnam Service Trip 2012" were to equip participants with leadership skills, broaden their horizons and, most importantly, remind them of the importance of being caring and loving towards people in need.




 
Medical Students Volunteer for Social Service Trip to Uganda 2011
Fifteen students from CUHK's S.H. Ho College embarked on a 14-day social service trip to Uganda in July 2011. Led by CUHK Vice-Chancellor Professor Joseph J.Y. Sung, the student team offered medical services to orphaned children and vulnerable women, sponsored and assisted in the building of a student dormitory, and paid visits to children's villages, babies' homes and women's centres. Such activities taught the students about the needs of the people they served, thus allowing them to render appropriate care and assistance.
The trip was co-organised by S.H. Ho College and Watoto Child Care Ministries (Watoto hereafter) to help orphaned children and vulnerable women in Uganda. The East African nation is one of the world's poorest countries, and ongoing domestic conflict and civil war have left it with a large number of orphaned children, underage mothers, AIDS patients and people with physical disabilities. Watoto is a holistic care programme that provides trauma counselling and rehabilitation, reconstructive surgery, HIV/AIDS treatment, and formal and technical education for children and abandoned women in Uganda with the aim of nurturing the country's future leaders. CUHK and Watoto have agreed on a long-term partnership to provide medical services and management and training services to productive citizens in Uganda. Under the terms of the partnership, the Medical Faculty will send students and professors to the country every year to offer medical care and education. In addition, members of the Faculty of Business Administration will also offer management training to enhance the operational standards of local enterprises and to assist local women in starting their own businesses.
Under the leadership of Professor Sung, five medical students learnt how to perform physical check-ups, make diagnoses, and provide guidance to locals on proper treatment and care. Sharon Tsang, a first-year medical student, had the chance to provide her first-ever consultation to a child in Uganda. She said: "Conducting my first-ever physical check-up and diagnosis under the guidance of Professor Sung was truly a valuable experience. I learnt from Professor Sung the importance of communication, patience and care towards patients, things which cannot be learnt in books. Health is a gift. This trip strengthened my determination to become a doctor and to offer that gift to those in need."
 





Healing Hands, Loving Spirit": Sichuan Relief Work 2009
The Sichuan Earthquake took more than 69,000 lives in 2008¬, leaving behind countless shattered families and hopes. A year after the disaster, reconstruction projects had successfully restored many homes, but most survivors were still suffering the lasting effects of physical and emotional disability, and remained in need of society's help and awareness. In response, the Hong Kong Model United Nations Club, with assistance from the StandTALL Project, organised a medical service trip for aspiring young doctors and nurses in the summer of 2009, during which they contributed to earthquake relief projects in the area.
Supported by authorities in the medical field, including Dr the Hon York Chow Yat Ngok, SBS, JP, Secretary for Food and Health, the programme involved 40 medical and nursing students from different universities in Hong Kong, who participated in voluntary medical work at the Sichuan Provincial Hospital and in outreach medical services in some of the disaster-struck areas of Sichuan from 16 to 29 June 2009.
The culmination of the trip was a four-day service project at the Sichuan-Hong Kong Rehabilitation Centre, which catered for victims of the earthquake. The participating students were divided into groups, and carried out medical and non-medical projects targeting both inpatients and outpatients receiving care at the Centre. They learnt the theories and practical skills of physiotherapy, occupational therapy, prosthetics and orthotics by observing the work of the professional volunteers and staff working at the Centre. By completing questionnaires evaluating patients' general condition and physical and mental well-being, the students gained a better understanding of individual patients' needs and were touched by patients' heart-breaking stories. Booths teaching simple handicrafts and conversational English were also set up, and a farewell party with games and performances was arranged on the last day, bringing laughter and warmth to everyone's hearts.