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HCPF Thematic Priorities 2011

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Priority for funding is given to applications targeting underprivileged groups who are at risk of ill-health, and health promotion programmes carried out in primary care settings. To achieve sustainable effects of health promotion interventions, multidisciplinary approaches and cross-sectoral collaborations to engage the community to create supportive environments and to empower individuals to take ownership of their health, are the keys to success. Higher funding priorities will be accorded to the following thematic areas:

I. Tobacco control

While smoking is well known as the causative ;agent of many fatal diseases and cancers, continuous effort is required to put “what we know” into action to prevent and reduce tobacco exposure by:

  • Reinforcing the youth, women or high-pressure career workers to abstain from tobacco use and connecting them with proven evidence of its damage to health
  • Motivating smokers, in particular adult males, to cease smoking and empowering them to re-learn life without cigarettes during the times of day when they face their toughest smoking triggers and peers

II. Lifestyle, nutrition and physical activity

Adopting a healthy lifestyle, healthy diet and regular physical exercise are important to reduce risk for many chronic diseases.  Community involvement to enhance government initiatives in active living, healthy eating, tackling overweight and promoting a healthy workplace will benefit specific groups by:

  • Encouraging optimal young child feeding practices such as increasing consumption of fruits & vegetables and reducing intake of sugar-sweetened snacks & beverages
  • Promoting the availability of affordable healthy food and beverages to families and decision makers of schools
  • Equipping the younger generation to adopt healthy lifestyle practices, for example, avoiding unhealthy habits, high-risk sexual activities, alcohol and drug misuse, and maintaining balanced diet and healthy body mass index
  • Motivating employers to create a safe and healthy working environment that supports the working population, who are in general at risk of lifestyle-related diseases. Actions include modification of the physical environment, enhancement of organisational policies and provision of personal health skills to the workforce
  • Increasing physical activity participation and limiting sedentary lifestyle in the general population

III. Mental well-being

Mental health problems are one of the major health concerns in urban life.  Strategic actions are required to maintain and enhance mental well-being by:

  • Strengthening community capacity in promoting positive mental health. Youth, families, schools, and communities benefit when working in partnership to support the younger generation and to collaborate with families and schools to address their needs such as the emotional and behavioural aspects
  • Enhancing the development of individual skills to acquire positive mental health, manage stress and cope with difficulties in different stages of life
  • Raising awareness and supporting early detection of mental diseases through effective channels such as the Internet
  • Supporting treatment and facilitating people with mental problems to return to the community
  • Reducing the stigma associated with mental health issues and including people with and recovering from poor mental health and their family carers to build more cohesive communities

IV. Injury prevention

Injury causes significant mortality and morbidity in the community.  Emphasis is placed on injury prevention which covers domestic injury, falls, traffic accidents and unintentional injuries in children by:

  • Encouraging community key stakeholders to take the lead in co-ordinating actions to prevent or reduce injuries
  • Identifying environmental and behavioural aspects of target populations at risk of various injuries
  • Facilitating effective communication of injury data, development and implementation of prevention programmes that involve a more extensive scope of collaboration amongst public and private sectors, academics, professional groups and NGOs

V. Reducing alcohol-related problems

Excessive alcohol consumption, in the form of heavy drinking and/or binge drinking, is a risk factor for many health and societal problems. Special attention is paid to the increasing trend of underage drinking and related harms. Effective measures are through:

  • Increasing awareness and knowledge of immediate and long-term harmful effects such as traffic accidents and damage to liver and nervous system
  • Promoting responsible behaviours of adults to practise sensible drinking
  • Preventing binge drinking, in particular among young adults
  • Equipping the younger generation with the knowledge and coping skills to resist peer pressure to drink
  • Empowering parents to communicate with their children on alcohol-related issues

VI. Promoting family doctor concept

The family doctor concept, which emphasises continuity of care, holistic care and preventive care, is an important component in enhancing primary care initiatives for better health. At present, the family doctor concept is not widely adopted in the general public. The required activities include:

  • Promoting the benefits of having a family doctor as the first point of contact in the healthcare system for continuous, co-ordinated and person-centred care
  • Empowering the public to improve their own health and that of their family members by establishing a partnership with their family doctors and adopting a preventive approach in improving health

Applications which fall outside these priorities will still be considered, although they will have a lower funding preference. The closing date of applications is July 29, 2011.