CU Medicine launches The Jockey Club S.A.T.H. Project for Healthy Families to enhance health management capacity of ethnic minorities
Funded by the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) Charities Trust, the Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Care of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK)’s Faculty of Medicine (CU Medicine) launches the Jockey Club S.A.T.H. Project for Healthy Families (JCSATH). The project aims to provide culturally appropriate health information for ethnic minorities in Hong Kong, and to enhance their health management. It also promotes connections among ethnic minorities, health professionals and social service providers to achieve its aim of “Sustainability for All, Together for Health”.
The three-year project is coordinated by CU Medicine’s Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Care, in partnership with Hong Kong Christian Service, Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui Lady MacLehose Centre, Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui Welfare Council Limited and The Neighbourhood Advice-Action Council.
Officiating at the launch ceremony today (28 November), the HKSAR government’s Under Secretary for Health Dr Libby Lee Ha-yun said, “The Government attaches great importance to the healthcare needs of our ethnic minority communities. Various public health websites, such as COVID-19 Vaccination Programme and mental health promotion ‘Shall We Talk’, as well as health-education materials, are all available in ethnic minority languages.” She also noted that the Department of Health has been liaising closely with various stakeholders, including relevant consulates-general, ethnic minority organisations and religious groups, to disseminate important healthcare information.”
CUHK Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Rocky S. Tuan added, “Promoting better health for ethnic minority community is a matter of equality and justice – two important elements of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The conviction that every human being has a fundamental right to the highest attainable standard of health is also enshrined in the WHO Constitution. CUHK has been a key advocate of health equity and social equality, both in Hong Kong and around the world. The JCSATH project is a prime example of our commitment to join efforts with various parties to bring about positive impact on our society, the quality of which can be judged by the equality of opportunities for the least privileged.”
Armed with knowledge and research about the barriers impacting ethnic minorities, JCSATH offers health screening with medical consultations, culturally relevant health promotion programmes tailored to individual health conditions, and personalised follow-up and connection to existing health services for those with chronic conditions or who are at high risk. Since October 2021, the project has already recruited over 720 ethnic minority community members to participate in health screening and provided capacity building training to more than 360 healthcare and social service providers. Events and talks organised under the scheme have attracted more than 2,000 participants to date.
Professor Yeoh Eng-kiong, JCSATH’s Principal Investigator and Director of the Centre for Health Systems and Policy, commented, “To start with, JCSATH ensures that our service users are aware of their health risks. It is extremely alarming that we found out that over 75% of our service users are obese; and the majority of those who have hypertension, diabetes and high cholesterol were not aware of their conditions before our health screening. We then help our ethnic minority friends to understand what health services are available and how they can look after their health. It is equally important that we work on the existing barriers, so that they practise self-care in their day-to-day lives and are able to use existing health services. Starting a journey is not difficult but it is challenging to make our follow-up effective and culturally relevant, so that our ethnic minority friends will stay on their health journey. Then we can expect better health outcomes, and one day even a voice from an ethnic minority community in health resource allocation.”
HKJC’s Head of Charities (Healthy Community) Ms Imelda Chan said, “As an organisation dedicated to the betterment of society, The Hong Kong Jockey Club works to advance the health for all. A key area of our charity donations goes towards promoting a healthy community where our citizens can enjoy good health, better life and well-being. Throughout the decades, we have supported the development of the infrastructure needed, as well as the software required, such as this meaningful project. The Club firmly believes that only through cross-sector collaborations, can we build a healthier, stronger and inclusive community.”
Professor Yeoh added that JCSATH aspires to be a hub for ethnic minority health research and service connectivity in Hong Kong, and welcomes cross-sector collaboration. Details of initiatives and partnership opportunities are available on the JCSATH website, and Facebook and Instagram pages.