#Hashtag Hong Kong



    Listen out for #Hashtag Hong Kong, on Sunday mornings. Our new programme updates the old format and content of Letter to Hong Kong.

    The focus will be on issues affecting civil society, as we hear from representatives of NGOs, associations, statutory bodies and non-profit groups.

    And each week there'll also be a musical choice*!

    (Sundays 8.15am - 8.25am)

    *The song is not included in its entity in the podcast due to copyright issue. 



    Professor Lin Zhixiu, President of the Hong Kong Association for Integration of Chinese-Western Medicine

    Hong Kong has just experienced its 5th and most deadly wave of COVID pandemic. We have recorded more than 1.2 million infected cases of Omicron variant of COVID in a short span of 3 months. Because of the shear upsurge of the number of patients, the public hospitals under the management of Hospital Authority was absolutely overwhelmed with severe cases. The majority of the patients with mild condition were forced to stay at home with only limited access to Western medicine. For this very reason, Chinese medicine practitioners in Hong Kong acted very quickly in providing tele-consultations to those patients who needed medical treatment, and delivered Chinese herbal medicine via couriers to their doorsteps. Overall, we have seen very promising results after Chinese medicine treatment, and most of these patients had their clinical symptoms, such as fever, cough and sore throat, relieved by taking Chinese herbal medicine. Because of the therapeutic efficacy of Chinese medicine, these patients didn’t need to go to hospitals for treatment, thereby alleviating the huge pressure on the public healthcare system as a whole.

    After the 5th wave of COVID, we certainly have seen a surge in the popularity of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) in Hong Kong as an effective treatment. The Hong Kong Government has started to realise the increasing importance of TCM in our healthcare system. Chief Executive Carrie Lam has promised to create a conducive environment for Chinese medicine development by reviewing and revising relevant regulatory and policy frameworks. With our first Chinese Medicine Hospital expected to be in operation in 2025, I am confident that Chinese medicine sector in Hong Kong will soon scale new heights and become an international hub for Chinese medicine, which can be emulated by other places in Asia and beyond.

    Some people may doubt the true effectiveness of Chinese medicine in fighting the COVID, and call for more scientific proof. In fact, there are a number of relatively good quality clinical trials out there which have demonstrated the effectiveness and safety of Chinese herbal medicine on the treatment of COVID patients with mild disease. For example, a multicenter randomized controlled clinical trial undertaken by Academician Zhong Nanshan’s team enrolled 284 COVID patients and compared the effects of Lianhua Qingwen Capsules on top of standard care versus conventional standard care alone. They found that patients on the TCM capsules recovered from their symptoms such as fever, fatigue and coughing in a shorter time than patients not given the TCM capsules. The researchers therefore judged that TCM capsules shortened the period to resolution of clinical symptoms of COVID-19. According to the WHO Expert Meeting on Evaluation of TCM in the Treatment of COVID-19 published in early April, there was sufficient evidence of efficacy of TCM on mild and moderate COVID-19 cases, but only preliminary evidence on severe or critical patients. Of course, there always needs to be more high quality clinical trials in this area.

    With this wave of pandemic is gradually subsiding, everyone in Hong Kong is breathing a sigh of relief. However, for many of those who were once infected, the road to total recovery may be lengthy and bumpy. While the majority of the patients quickly recovered from COVID infection, some still have complaints such as fatigue, cough and shortness of breath, poor appetite, insomnia and emotional disturbances. From Chinese medicine perspective, these post-COVID symptoms, sometimes also called Long-COVID, are the results of the injuries to the lung and spleen organs and damage to the Qi and Yin elements of the body due to the pestilential corona virus infection. As for the treatment, Chinese medicine practitioners would usually adopt a treatment principle of strengthening the lung and spleen functions, tonifying the vital Qi and nourishing Yin with an aim of restoring the body to its pre-COVID balanced state and speed up the recovery. In clinical practice, two formulas are often prescribed, including Shashen Maidong Decoction and Xiangsha Liujunzi Decoction. From my personal experience as a TCM practitioner, many Long-COVID patients had their clinical symptoms significantly improved by taking these Chinese herbal medicines, and their quality of life was markedly improved too.

    All in all, Chinese medicine has played an important role in the fight against the 5th wave of COVID pandemic, and is expected to continue to play a key role in reducing the impact of pandemic in future.

    Finally, I would like to dedicate this song  - Greatest Love Of All by the late Whitney Houston to all healthcare professionals and workers in Hong Kong, who have fought the COVID pandemic fearlessly and with love for the people of Hong Kong.  

    22/05/2022 - 足本 Full (HKT 08:15 - 08:30)


    03 - 05


    Professor Lin Zhixiu, the President of the Hong Kong Association for Integration of Chinese-Western Medicine



    Bonnie So, CEO of Hong Kong Red Cross



    Leung King-hong, President of The Hong Kong Stroke Association



    Dr Fan Ning, founder & Chairman of Forget Thee Not


    Rachel Leung, CEO of the Heep Hong Society




    Carol Szeto, CEO, Save the Children Hong Kong

    In the last few months, the 5th wave of COVID overwhelmed our city and turned our lives upside down.  Now memories of tragic images start to fade as our lives have resumed some normalcy.  Yet, as we celebrate, the future of millions of vulnerable children in Hong Kong and around the world is hanging in the balance.  What we are seeing is that children’s health, nutrition, learning, and wellbeing have been devastated.
    To Save the Children, the COVID crisis is a children’s crisis.
    The rapid spread of COVID-19 has forced schools around the world to shut their doors to over 1.6 billion learners at its peak. For the first time in human history, an entire generation has had their education disrupted. We have also witnessed the socioeconomic impact of the pandemic, which has no doubt pushed more families into poverty.  For too many children, a parent losing his or her income means children go hungry, and increased pressures and stress on families mean that children may experience more violence.
    In Hong Kong, one-fifth of our children live below the poverty line.  Parents from grassroot families who live in sub-divided flats have told us that they are struggling to make ends meet.  They are most worried about children’s education as their limited physical space and access to digital technologies are not conducive to online learning.  They also worry about their children’s social and emotional health with home confinement.  The Social Welfare department’s figures show an increase of 45% in the number of child abuse cases from 2020 to 2021, a worrying trend for all.
    For the most deprived children around the world, the impacts of the pandemic threaten to be catastrophic and life-altering.  Save the Children conducted a large-scale survey with over 45,000 parents and children across 46 countries in 2020.  The results were devastating:
    • More than two-thirds of households reported a loss of more than half of their income since the start of the pandemic; Out of these, four in five were struggling to pay for food;
    • More than 8 in 10 children felt that they were learning “a little” or “nothing at all” during school closures;
    • Nearly one-third of the households had a child and/or adult reporting that violence had occurred in the home, including physical or verbal abuse
    The most vulnerable children include those that have been pushed into poverty, refugee children who live in overcrowded camps, adolescent girls who now face an increased risk of gender-based violence, and children with disabilities who already struggle to access inclusive education opportunities.
    Here’s what some children have told us about their experience with COVID-19:
    • A Form 6 student in Hong Kong: “We haven’t learned much at all this year.  First, there was the protest and school was interrupted.  Then after Chinese New Year, schools are closed again with the COVID outbreak.  I’m nervous about the DSE exam.  It’s life and death for me.  If I don’t do well, my future will be ruined.” 
    • 12-year-old girl in Colombia: “My family and I are on the streets because we don’t have money for rent, and my parents don’t have money to feed me and my siblings, especially my younger 3-year-old brother who is still small and needs to eat.” 
    • 17-year old disabled boy in Indonesia: “When my teacher informed me that the school is closed because of COVID-19, I thought it would be holiday time. Then I realised that I misunderstood the message. Deaf children like me have difficulty understanding new words or sentences. I couldn’t read people’s lips when they were explaining about COVID-19 as they wear face masks.”
    • 12 years old girl in Kenya: “Worried about learning, the fear of being infected, fear of being married if school closure continues.” 
    At Save the Children, we believe that every child deserves a future.  Children need our help now more than ever.  My dear fellow Hong Kongers, we all have the power to make a difference, no matter how big or small.  Thank you for your generosity.  Thank you for caring for the most vulnerable children in Hong Kong and around the world.


    15/05/2022 - 足本 Full (HKT 08:15 - 08:30)

    15/05/2022 - Carol Szeto, CEO, Save the Children Hong Kong

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