CUHK Institute of Health Equity (CUHK IHE)
Student Seminar on Health Equity

Date: 28 May 2021 (Friday)
Time: 14:00 – 17:10 (HK Time)



1400 – 1405

Opening Address by Prof. Mai-har Sham, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of CUHK

Session 1


  • Prof. Wong Hung, Associate Director of CUHK IHE


  • Dr. Kira Fortune, World Health Organization Western Pacific Region
  • Prof. Hideki Hashimoto, University of Tokyo
  • Prof. Chang-yup Kim, Seoul National University

1405 – 1545

The Relationship between Income, Physical Function, Caregivers’ Interaction and Meaning in Life in Institutional Care Elderly

Ms. Xiaofan Zhou (PhD in Social Welfare, CUHK)

IntergenerationABILITY: Enhancement of Physical Literacy for Students with Special Educational Needs and Older Baby Boomers in Hong Kong

Ms. Yan Huang (PhD in Education, CUHK)

An equality of opportunity conception of equity

Mr. Wai Lok Cheung (PhD in Philosophy, CUHK)



Session 2


  • Prof. Roger Chung, Associate Director of CUHK IHE


  • Prof. Martin Bobak, University College London
  • Prof. Tung-Liang Chiang, National Taiwan University
  • Prof. Richard Watt, University College London

1545 – 1705

Title: Employment Conditions and Health among Female Foreign Domestic Workers in Hong Kong

Mr. Timothy Sumerlin (MPhil – PhD in Public Health, CUHK)

Title: One Country, Two Populations? Associations of Neighborhood Social Capital with  Health among Rural and urban Chinese Residents

Mr. Yang Han (PhD in Public Health, CUHK)


1705 – 1710

Closing Remarks by Prof. EK Yeoh, Co-director of CUHK IHE


Registration (for audience)
Registration deadline: 23 May 2021





Prof. Wong Hung

Associate Director of CUHK Institute of Health Equity
  Dr. Wong Hung is an Associate Professor of the Department of Social Work and the Associate Director of CUHK Institute of Health Equity and Director of Yunus Social Business Centre@CUHK at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. His research interests include poverty, social security and labour issues. He has also conducted research on marginal workers, unemployed youth , homeless people and poor residents in old urban area. He has actively advocated for Community Economic Development and the setting up of a universal pension scheme in Hong Kong. He is also the Vice-Chair of the Oxfam Hong Kong.

Prof. Roger Chung

Associate Director of CUHK Institute of Health Equity
  Dr. Chung joined the School of Public Health and Primary Care (SPHPC) of the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) in 2011. Using the lens of biomedical ethics and justice, his research aims to empirically inquire into the social determinants of health inequalities (including poverty and health, migrants’ health, rare diseases patients’ health), as well as aging‐related issues on multimorbidity and long‐term/end‐of‐life care, and to utilize such evidence to inform health services and policy, domestically and beyond.

Dr. Chung is the founding Associate Director of the CUHK Institute of Health Equity established in January 2020 under the co‐directorship of Sir Prof Michael Marmot, Prof Eng‐Kiong Yeoh, and Prof Jean Woo. He is also a founding member of the Centre for Health Systems and Policy Research, a founding member of the Research Centre for Migration and Mobility, an executive member of the Centre for Health Systems and Policy Research, Centre for Quality of Life, and an Assistant Professor (by courtesy) at the CHUK Institute of Ageing. On an international level, Dr. Chung is the Vice Chair of the Public Health Global Challenge Steering Group of the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN), spearheading the direction of research and collaboration in public health for 23 international research universities in the world. In September 2018, Dr. Chung was elected the Inaugural National Academy of Medicine (NAM) International Health Policy Fellow by the prestigious NAM in the US, studying social determinants of healthy longevity.

Furthermore, he is the Vice President of Hong Kong Life and Death Studies Association, a social enterprise integrating professional knowledge and ideas from a wide range of young professionals in innovating life and death education, advance care planning, longterm care and after‐death arrangements in Hong Kong; and he is a co‐host of the only “Life and Death Education” Radio Program in Hong Kong. Apart from his academic life, he is also an award‐winning and celebrated recording artist/producer.

Dr. Chung obtained the Bachelor degree in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University and Master of Health Science from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in the US in 2005. He further received his Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree from the School of Public Health of the University of Hong Kong in 2011, with his study on the impact of socioeconomic development on population health, from which he also won the Presidential Award for Best Oral Presentation from the Hong Kong College of Community Medicine.


Prof. Martin Bobak

Professor of Epidemiology, Institute of Epidemiology and Public Health,
University College London
  Martin Bobak is medical epidemiologist, Professor of Epidemiology and the head of the Central and Eastern European Health Research Group in the Institute of Epidemiology and Public Health at University College London (UCL). He graduated from Charles University in Prague and subsequently obtained is MSc and PhD at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Prof. Bobak’s research focuses on understanding the determinants of health in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, with a broad interest in the effects on health of societal, socioeconomic, psychosocial, behavioural and environmental factors. Prof Bobak leads a large multi-centre cohort study on health during societal transition, participates in numerous international collaborations and co-directs MSc in Population Health at UCL.

Prof. Tung-liang Chiang

Professor of Health Policy, College of Public Health,
National Taiwan University
  Tung-liang Chiang is Professor and former Dean of the College of Public Health, National Taiwan University. In 1984, he received his ScD in health policy and management from the Johns Hopkins University. Professor Chiang is one of three pioneer architects of Taiwan’s National Health Insurance, which was inaugurated on March 1, 1995. In 2014-2016, he served as the Executive Director of the Higher Education Evaluation and Accreditation Council of Taiwan.

Professor Chiang’s research interest has focused on health care reforms and social determinants of health. Since 2003 he has been the principal investigator for the Taiwan Birth Cohort Study, following up a nationally representative sample of more than 20,000 babies born in 2005. Professor Chiang has published extensively, including three recent edited books: Health Care System Reform and Policy Research in Taiwan (World Scientific Singapore, 2020), The Third Wave of National Health Insurance Reform in Taiwan (Taipei: Commonwealth Publishing, 2021), and Higher Education in Taiwan: Global, Political and Social Challenges and Future Trends (Springer Nature Singapore, 2021).

Dr. Kira Fortune

Coordinator of Social Determinants of Health, Division of Healthy Environments and Populations,
World Health Organization Regional Office for the Western Pacific
  Dr. Kira Fortune is the Coordinator of the Unit on Social Determinants of Health and Violence and Injury Prevention at the regional WHO office of the Western Pacific, in Manila. She leads the work on gender mainstreaming, health equity, community engagement, migration, alcohol and violence with a key focus on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Kira has spent the last 20 years specializing in public health, gender, health promotion and social determinants of health in various international organizations across the globe. Prior to taking up the position in Manila, she spent ten year at the Pan American Health Organization/Regional Office of the World Health Organization in Washington D.C., focusing on the social determinants of health, health promotion, health-in-all policies and the sustainable development goals both within the Americas, but also beyond.

Kira has extensive experience working across the international stage from global NGOs, academia as well as with inter-governmental organizations. Prior to joining the World Health Organization, Kira coordinated The International Health Research Network in Denmark and spent four years working in the Department of Global Advocacy at The International Planned Parenthood Federation in London. Kira also worked for three years with UNICEF in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, where she was responsible for the program on Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV.

Kira holds a Doctorate in Sociology with a specific focus on Gender Mainstreaming from City University, London; a Master’s Degree in Anthropology, Gender and Development and a Bachelor of Science in Anthropology from the University of London. Additionally, she has a Master’s Degree in International Health from University of Copenhagen.

Prof. Hideki Hashimoto

Professor in Health and Social Behavior, The University of Tokyo School of Public Health
  Currently his research interests rest on social determinants of health, and health impact assessment of public policy including universal health coverage, education, and family welfare program. He is a core project leader for the Japanese Study of Retirement and Ageing, a Japanese sister to Health Retirement Study and her global family, and a PI for a new panel study of young households in the greater metropolitan Tokyo, the Japanese Study of Stratification, Health, Income, and Neighborhood (JSHINE). He joined Lancet’s Japan Series in 2011 featuring Japan’s achievement of universal health coverage for 50 years. He contributed as a chapter author for the recent Japan Health System Review, and served as a reviewer for OECD’s Reviews of Public Health Japan. He received MD from the University of Tokyo, and DPH from Harvard School of Public Health.

Prof. Chang-yup Kim

Professor of Health Policy, School of Public Health,
Seoul National University
  His current researches include health and social policy, equity and justice in health, health reform, and critical health studies. He is the founding president of the Korean Society for Equity in Health, and the former president of the Academy for Critical Health Policy, Korea Society for Global Health, and Korea Society of Health Policy and Administration. Also, he has involved in research activities in collaboration with civil society, currently holding the position of the president and director of the People’s Health Institute, an independent not-for-profit research organization.

He was the founding director of the National Health Insurance Research Institute during 2000 and 2001 (currently Health Insurance Policy Research Institute of the National Health Insurance Service). During 2006-2008, he served as the president of Health Insurance Review and Assessment Services (HIRA).

Prof. Richard Watt

Professor and Honorary Consultant in Dental Public Health, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health,
University College London
  Richard is a Professor and Honorary Consultant in Dental Public Health, in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at University College London (UCL). He is the Director of the WHO, Collaborating Centre on Oral Health Inequalities and Public Health and is also Director of Research for Central North West London NHS Foundation Trust. He graduated from University of Edinburgh Dental School in 1984 and then completed a MSc and PhD in Dental Public Health at UCL.

His main research interests focus on social and commercial determinants of health inequalities and the development and evaluation of community-based health improvement interventions. He is currently the co-chair of the Lancet Commission on Oral Health and is a National Institute of Health Research Senior Investigator.


Mr. Cheung Wai Lok

PhD in Philosophy, CUHK

An equality of opportunity conception of equity

Equality is distinguished with of outcome and of chance. An equality of outcome shall be when wealth distribution is equal among all citizens. Equality of chance is when every citizen had a chance at acquiring certain thing, and, with power as a good, it is when everyone has the same capability of developing some capacity. Empowerment through formal education, for example, equips the otherwise illiterate with the capacity to read, and equality of opportunity is achieved if everyone receives such formal education, with each student’s own effort in achieving their reading capacity, and, in the end, in being empowered further with the office – public, private, or of listed company – with the corresponding power on one’s right and duty. Equity as equality of opportunity is thus constituted by equal chances, through several institutions of further chances on effort, with access to power. Health equity, in particular, shall thus be an equality of opportunity of empowerment with regard to health. From a pathology point-of-view, illness is when one needed treatment, but from an empowerment point-of-view, it is when one wanted improvement. One wants perfect health, with the corresponding dignity, and thus the power to act on self-respect, and, for example, a cold thus inhibits one’s behavioural response in some situation one would have wanted one to emit. It is thus on a want of having a good life that some medical treatment is needed. The inequality of biological luck with, for example, inborn physiological disability such as congenial blindness, shall raise further questions on equity: do students with mental disability having more time for examination the only amelioration towards better equity?

Mr. Yang Han

PhD in Public Health, CUHK

One Country, Two Populations? Associations of Neighborhood Social Capital with  Health among Rural and urban Chinese Residents

Background: In the classic “community lost” vs. “community saved” debate, the community ties and solidarities may either attenuate or persist. Given the two opposing arguments, how individuals’ neighborhood social capital is associated with health is, therefore, an unsettled issue. Considering the difference in the degree of urbanization between rural and urban areas, we compared the difference in their associations of neighborhood social capital with health in China, where a huge rural-urban difference existed.

Methods: Data were from the 2012 Chinese General Social Survey. Health outcome was a factor score constructed by three self-rated health items. We conducted multivariable linear regression models and interaction tests for rural and urban samples separately to examine the association of neighborhood social capital (i.e., neighborhood network size, frequency of socializing with neighbors, voting in neighborhood committee election, participation in neighborhood voluntary activities, and perceived neighborhood social cohesion) with health.

Results: Greater perceived neighborhood social cohesion was associated with better health in both rural and urban areas. In rural areas, a neighborhood network of 10 or more persons was associated with better health than no neighborhood network. Our interaction analysis showed that with the increase of neighborhood network size, the health gap between the income-poor and the non-income-poor in rural areas decreased generally. However, in urban areas, neighborhood network size had neither a significant association with health nor an interaction effect with income-poverty on health.

Conclusions: A cohesive neighborhood is beneficial for both rural and urban residents’ health. Health interventions to improve neighborhood social cohesion should be designed to cope with the challenge of urbanization. Moreover, policymakers should avoid damaging neighborhood social capital when implementing other public policies; this is especially true for rural areas where neighborhood network seems to matter more for health.

Ms. Yan Huang

PhD in Education, CUHK

IntergenerationABILITY: Enhancement of Physical Literacy for Students with Special Educational Needs and Older Baby Boomers in Hong Kong

There has been an increasing number of students with special educational needs studying in the public sector in Hong Kong. Meanwhile, the cohort of older baby boomers (born between 1946-1955) is growing rapidly as aging continues. However they are often the neglected populations compared to other groups especially in public policies making.

Youngsters and elderly are at two ends of the physical literacy journey. Students with special educational needs, like their able-bodied peers, need to experience physical activity, as developing physical literacy will enhance confidence, self-esteem. Developing physical literacy for elderly is consistent with the goal of healthy aging and will improve well-being of this population.

There is evidence showing that physical inactivity is associated with a higher risk for severe COVID-19 outcomes (Sallis et al., 2021). The emphasize of physical literacy development is extraordinarily crucial. Hence this study proposed an intergenerational physical literacy developing program for both students with special educational needs and older baby boomers in Hong Kong. Student participants were from a government-funded secondary school serving special-needs students and elderly participants were recruited from elderly day care centers in Hong Kong. The IntergenerationABILITY program will enhance physical literacy for participants from three domains of the concept “physical literacy”: physical domain will be enhanced through functional fitness training in pairs, cognitive functions will be enhanced by handwriting (older adults) and drawing (students), during the activity sessions, programs such as “Bus Social Classroom” will be offered to enhance their communication skills and intergenerational relationships in between. The effectiveness of the program will be evaluated from objective and self-reported assessment tools and focus group interviews will be adopted after the implementation.

This study not only hopes to promote physical literacy among primary beneficiaries of this study but also contribute to social integration and health equity.

Mr. Timothy Sumerlin

MPhil – PhD in Public Health, CUHK

Employment Conditions and Health among Female Foreign Domestic Workers in Hong Kong

There are an estimated 160 million migrant workers globally. Foreign domestic workers (FDWs) make up 11.6 million, or 7%, of the total migrant worker population. Previous studies as well as news media have pointed to these FDWs experiencing poor physical and mental health due to poor living and working conditions that can be easily exploited by their employers. However, the majority of these studies have utilized qualitative data collection methods and cannot be generalized to the population as a whole. Hong Kong, a modern city of 7.5 million, is home to 399,320 FDWs primarily from the Philippines (54.9%) and Indonesia (42.8%). Because of this, Hong Kong is an ideal setting for doing a quantitative study to look at FDWs living and working conditions and their health outcomes.

A multi-stage, cluster random sampling method will be utilized to conduct 1067 face-to-face interviews of FDWs. Respondents will be asked about their demographics, living and working conditions, lifestyle factors, and health conditions. EQ5D will be used to assess health related quality of life. We will look at associations between employment conditions, lifestyle factors, and demographic factors on the FDW’s health. We will also look at whether social support and family networks moderate the associations. Furthermore, due to the ongoing complications of the coronavirus in Hong Kong, we will discuss how we’re adjusting our current study plan to accommodate for the restrictions created from repeated outbreaks locally. Preliminary data findings will also be examined.

Ms. Xiaofan Zhou

PhD in Social Welfare, CUHK

The Relationship between Income, Physical Function, Caregivers’ Interaction and Meaning in Life in Institutional Care Elderly

Based on the meaning making model, the potentially stressful situation of includes low-income level and poor physical function will influence elderly’s meaning in life. This study contains two research. The first one investigated the relationship between income, physical function and meaning in life and the mediating effect of physical function among urban elderly persons in institutional care. The second one discussed the relationship between physical function and meaning in life, the mediating effect of caregivers’ interaction and the moderating effect of income level. The results show that income and physical function have positive relationships with meaning in life; physical function partially mediated the relationship between staff income and meaning in life; caregivers’ interaction partially mediated the relationship between the physical function and meaning in life. This study provided evidence that the elderly’s income level not only affect their physical health but also shown positive relationship with spiritual health, which lays a practical foundation for the professional development of residential care services.