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About HKCFP > President’s Message

January 2024

Happy new year to you and your family! We welcome the new year with open hearts and enthusiasm as we entered into January of 2024 and waved goodbye to 2023. It is also the time to make new plans and set new goals for the new twelve months.

Our College’s next annual Hong Kong Primary Care Conference (HKPCC) is tentatively set for 5 – 7 July 2024 and we are going to have a face-to-face conference this time. The theme of the HKPCC is “Family Medicine in the Community – Strengthening Connections”. Please mark your diary and stay tuned for more details via the conference website. (please click)

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) sent out alerts that the local seasonal influenza activity continued to increase, indicating that Hong Kong has entered the 2023/24 winter influenza season. (please click) Earlier in the month, the CHP revealed the latest surveillance data showing that the weekly percentage of detections tested positive for seasonal influenza viruses escalated quickly in late December and reached 11.77% in first week of January, exceeding the baseline threshold of 9.21%, with influenza A(H3) as the predominating circulating strains. The overall admission rate with principal diagnosis of influenza in public hospitals also reached 0.68 per 10,000 population in the same week, which was above the baseline threshold of 0.25. The highest admission rates were observed with children aged 0-5 years and elders aged 65 years or above. Therefore, it is important that we as family doctors should continue to encourage our patients to take up seasonal influenza vaccinations according to prevailing guidelines, especially those who are young, elderly and with chronic conditions for their protection. In addition, empirical treatment can be considered with neuraminidase inhibitor (e.g. oseltamivir) for patients suspected to have influenza infection early based on clinical assessment, especially patients at higher risk of complications, such as young children, elders, people with chronic diseases, pregnant women, etc. Studies have shown that neuraminidase inhibitors can reduce severe outcomes of influenza. (please click)

The Department of Health announced that the Thematic Report on Viral Hepatitis of Population Health Survey (PHS) 2020-22 and Surveillance of Viral Hepatitis in Hong Kong – 2022 Report have been released. (please click) From the survey results, about 5.6% of the Hong Kong population, which is about 410 000 people, have hepatitis B. The positivity rate of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) peaked at 8.4% among participants aged 35 to 54, and was much lower in the younger than 35 age groups. Among those tested positive for HBsAg, nearly 40% were not aware of their chronic hepatitis B (CHB) status, while about 70% did not have any medical follow-up for their liver diseases. In addition, an estimated 17 000 people have hepatitis C, suggesting a consistently low prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in the general population in Hong Kong for the past few decades. As stated in the Hong Kong Viral Hepatitis Action Plan 2020 – 2024, early identification and management of people with chronic hepatitis are crucial to achieving the World Health Organization’s goal of eliminating viral hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030. (please click) As the first contact for patients in the community, we should continue to strive on promoting awareness of viral hepatitis among our patients, especially for those at higher infection risk, for early testing and disease management.

The Lunar New Year is coming up, I wish you and your family a very happy, healthy and prosperous year of the dragon ahead!

Dr. David V K CHAO

President

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