The Hong Kong Academy of Medicine is launching a five-year initiative to enhance the awareness and the ability of local professionals and the general public to cope and deal with potential disasters, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported Wednesday.
“The vigilance of the general public towards severe disasters is relatively low. Some even think that such incidents could ever happen in Hong Kong,” the academy’s president Donald Li Kwok-tung was quoted as saying.
An incident such as the 2013 bombing attack at the Boston Marathon can also easily take place during Hong Kong Marathon, Li warned.
The medicine academy therefore has made use of a funding worth HK$270 million (US$34.84 million) from the Hong Kong Jockey Club to build a learning and research center that will specialize in the teaching of how to prevent and deal with disasters.
The program will cover a five-year period through 2019, with a view to training up a total of 30,000 people from the medical community, non-governmental organizations and the general public.
The center is equipped with a 360-degree simulation system brought in from The Netherlands. The system can support up to 20 persons at a time.
The organization has affiliation with Harvard University and is also set to work with non-profit organizations such as Medicine Sans Frontieres and the Red Cross for the establishment of assessment standards and a list of qualified rescuers. That will help in deployment of volunteers to disaster areas in the event of any large-scale accidents locally or overseas.
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