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The school started developing the Healthy School concept in 1999, after two teachers had enrolled in the Professional Diploma Course in Health Promotion and Health Education provided by the Chinese University of Hong Kong. They had been launching various health promotion programmes, and the priority areas were evidence based according to the 1999 youth risk behavioural surveillance, which highlighted three important areas for attention: unhealthy eating habits, lack of exercise, and emotional problems. The school has implemented a reform of the school tuck shop, known as “revolution on snack”. Parents have been involved in helping to prepare healthy food. The school has asked community leaders, professionals, and academics to share their experiences of life with students.
During the outbreak of SARS, the school was well equipped to implement preventive measures and upgrade hygiene practices. The school has also assisted in the production of an educational video, “School against SARS” to help schools to prepare to resume classes after a period of suspension due to SARS.
These photographs were taken at Tai Po Shun Tak Wong Kin Sheung Memorial School in March 2003, just before SARS became a public health problem in Hong Kong. As described by Professor Albert Lee, schools such as Tai Po Shun Tak Wong Kin Sheung, and others of its kind participating in the Healthy Schools initiative as part of Hong Kong’s Healthy Cities work, were in a strong position to respond to the challenge of prevention.