Newsletter No. 133

Symposium Shows Latest in Surgical Research and Practice O ver 300 delegates from the mainland, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and eight other countries attended the Tenth Wilson T.S. Wang International Surgical Symposium held on 21st and 22nd August at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre and on 24th and 25th of the same month in Chengdu. Organized jointly by the Department of Surgery and the West China University of Medical Sciences in Chengdu, the symposium was also part of the programme celebrating the 35th anniversary of the University. Living up to its theme of 'Surgery in the New M i l l e n n i um ', the symposium covered topics on trauma, oncology, transplantation, upper gastrointestinal surgery, hepato- pancreato-biliary surgery, and head and neck surgery. During those four days, internationally renowned experts presented the latest knowledge and practice at keynote lectures, panel discussions, debates, clinical and 'How I Do It' sessions, while up-and- coming researchers presented findings at oral and poster presentation sessions. O f f i c i a t i ng at the open i ng ceremony of the symposium was Mr. Eddie Wang, son of Dr. Wilson Wang who founded the annual event ten years ago. In appreciation of Mr. Wang's contribution to surgical education, the West China University of Medical Sciences made h im an honorary professor. Chinese and Westernexpertsin pursuit of cutting- edge knowledgeat a panel discussion in Chengdu Top Students from the Mainland Begin Their Undergraduate Studies at CU TopstudentsfromPeking University T he University took the lead among local universities in recruiting outstanding students from the mainland to enrol in first- degree programmes. The students, 18 undergraduates from Peking University and 10 from Shanghai's Fudan University, arrived in late September. They are the first batch of mainland students to pursue undergraduate studies at a Hong Kong university. The recruitment of high-calibre non-local students is expected to foster cultural and educational exchange between the mainland and Hong Kong, encourage healthy competition among the students, and enhance the quality of local tertiary education. A task force on non-local undergraduates was formed by the University in late 1997 to plan the admission of outstanding students from the mainland. Representatives from the task force visited Fudan University and Peking University from 24th to 28th August 1998 to conduct interviews with a group of students who had already been enrolled by the two universities but were interested in pursuing their studies at The Chinese University. Candidates underwent a rigorous screening exercise that tested their analytical and communication skills, and their attitude and commitment towards academic studies. Admission offers were made to and readily accepted by 28 high-calibre students. Twelve of these students have opted to major in the integrated BBA programme, while the others have chosen to study computer engineering, computer science, electronic engineering, architecture, economics, or sociology. Upon arrival at CUHK, they were given a warm welcome by the faculties and colleges concerned. A thorough orientation programme was also organized to prepare them for their four-year stay in Hong Kong and their studies at CUHK. They already started attending classes in early October. Tseung Kwan O Targeted for Healthy Living T he University's Department of Community and Family Medicine and the Haven of Hope Christian Service launched the Healthy City Project in Tseung Kwan O last month, the first such project in the territory. Tseung Kwan O is a new town identified by the HKSAR government as a focus of strategic development. Its current population of 160,000 is expected to expand to over 500,000. A Research and Training Centre will be set up in Tseung Kwan O as part of the project. The Department of Community and Family Medicine will conduct community diagnosis to evaluate the community health care needs of the town as well as the project's effectiveness. Other public health research will also be conducted including mobility survey, focus groups study, and health status measurements. Meantime the Haven of Hope Christian Service w i l l continue its provision of quality health care, elderly and rehabilitation services to the local community. The project has received the support of the Health Department of the HKSAR as well as other government departments wh i ch w i l l also participate in it. The concept of healthy cities originates from the Healthy Cities Movement initiated by the World Health Organization in 1987, when over a fifth of the world population lived in cities. The movement has since expanded from 11 cities in Europe to over a thousand worldwide, and has drawn public attention to the dire need to create a healthy, disease-free environment that is conducive to the physical and mental well-being of both individuals and whole communities. On 25th September, the Department of Community and Family Medicine and the Haven of Hope Christian Service organized a press conference to explain details of their collaboration. Prof. John Ashton, Regional Director of Public Health, UK, pioneer of the Healthy Cities Movement in Europe, and former chair of public health policy and strategy at the University of Liverpool, expounded on the Healthy Cities concept and its application in Tseung Kwan O. New Funds Injected into Chinese Medicinal Material Research T he University's Chinese Medicinal Material Research Centre (CMMRC) recently received a donation from NPH International (Holdings) Ltd. to establish a research fund to support research activities currently conducted by the CMMRC as well as those to be carried out in collaboration with the Centre for Alternative Medicine Research (CAMR) of Harvard Medical School and Beijing Medical University (BMU). A tentative agreement on collaboration among the three institutions was reached on 26th August when Prof. Paul But, director of CMMRC, and Prof. Lin Zhibin of BMU went to Harvard Medical School to discuss arrangements for the establishment of multi-centred Chinese medicine trials, the monitoring and evaluation of the safety of Chinese herbal medicine, and the development and research of traditional Chinese medicine. At the founding ceremony of the NPH Research Fund held on 28th September at the Cho Yiu Conference Hall, Mr. Yau Wai-ming, chairman of the NPH Group, said if given the chance NPH would be willing to help develop research findings of the three universities to bring about better healthcare for mankind. The Chinese University set up the CMMRC in 1979 to promote multi- and inter-disciplinary research on traditional Chinese Medicine. An undergraduate programme in Chinese medicine will be launched in September 1999 for the systematic training of Chinese medical doctors.