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Thursday, Feb 02, 2023

Hong Kong Alliance of Patients' Organizations Limited introduces "Project Hope and Health" to support recovered COVID-19 patients with chronic health conditions

Following several waves of COVID-19 outbreaks, a number of recovered COVID-19 patients who have pre-existing chronic health conditions including cancer have been experiencing various issues, including cognitive or psychological discomfort, greatly impacting their normal daily lives.

In view of such challenges and issues, Hong Kong Alliance of Patients’ Organizations Limited (HKAPO) introduces “COVID-19 Patient Caring Programme - Project Hope and Health (Project Hope and Health)”. Supported by Hong Kong Society for Rehabilitation (HKSAR) and Gilead Sciences, the programme focuses on providing support to recovered COVID-19 patients who have pre-existing chronic health conditions. Aimed to “train-the-trainer”, Project Hope and Health offers patient group leaders under the patient support network of HKAPO and HKSR a series of specially curated training programmes and virtual resources centred around health education, recovery exercises and emotional support. Through the training, patient group leaders will be better positioned to provide support to their network of patients who recovered from COVID-19 to ease their discomfort and improve their wellbeing physically and mentally.

Multi-disciplinary support to counter health challenges after COVID-19 infection

Project Hope and Health features:

- A half-day knowledge sharing workshop titled “COVID-19 Recovery Guide for Patient Group Leaders”, which is focused on guidelines and tips around patient recovery and self-care following COVID-19 infection. The workshop content, curated by specialists in Infectious Disease and Respiratory Medicine and a multi-disciplinary team of rehabilitation professionals including a clinical psychologist, registered dietitian and registered physiotherapist, is customised for patients who have pre-existing chronic health conditions;

- A series of multi-disciplinary self-learning video modules covering general knowledge of COVID-19, complications management, mental health recommendations, recovery exercises, as well as nutritional advice following COVID-19 infection;

- The self-learning video modules will be made available from now till mid-2023 on the HKSR online platform.

Empower patient group leaders to support local recovered COVID-19 patients

Mr. Siu-Lam Yuen, President of Hong Kong Alliance of Patients’ Organizations Limited, said, “As the largest patient group network in Hong Kong that represents 47 patient group members, HKAPO serves about 40,000 individual members. We have witnessed that due to pre-existing health conditions, a lot of our member patients not only had a higher risk of COVID-19 infection, but also more severe symptoms that required hospitalisation. As they often experience prolonged complications and do not have much knowledge around recovery from COVID-19, it takes a longer time for them to regain health. With Project Hope and Health, we aim to offer necessary support and guidance to recovered COVID-19 patients who have pre-existing chronic health conditions.”

“The ‘Train-the-Trainer’ element of the programme is particularly important. Patient group leaders can now learn from the panel of experts and transfer professional knowledge to their members for effective COVID-19 recovery management.” President Yuen added.

Mr Yau-Wai Pun, Senior Manager (Rehabilitation) of Hong Kong Society for Rehabilitation, said, “Hong Kong Society for Rehabilitation is thrilled to work with Hong Kong Alliance of Patients’ Organizations Limited. With the multi-disciplinary programmes designed for Project Hope and Health, we can empower patients with health knowledge that is catered for patients with chronic health conditions. The video module series will also be available on our e2care application, an online learning platform providing patients with more convenient access to healthcare knowledge.”

Ms. Agnes Lau, Director of Public Affairs, Gilead Sciences said, “At Gilead, we have been committed to establishing strong partnership with community-based organizations, with the goal of creating a healthier world for all people. We are honoured to support Hong Kong Alliance of Patients’ Organizations Limited on their workshop and self-learning programme. The specially curated content for recovered COVID-19 patients who have pre-existing chronic health conditions will help to improve their physical and mental wellbeing, reducing impact of the prognosis of COVID-19 towards their daily lives.”

Register now to view the “Project Hope and Health” self-learning video modules

From now till 31 May, 2023, member patients or interested individuals can register a user account and view the series of self-learning modules on COVID-19 recovery via e2care application (https://bit.ly/caring_program). The programme is free of charge with unlimited access.

To learn more about “Project Hope and Health”, please visit https://www.hkapo.org.hk/%e6%9c%80%e6%96%b0%e6%b4%bb%e5%8b%95/ (website content is only available in Chinese).

COVID-19 Patient Caring Programme - Project Hope and Health
Online Video Modules on COVID-19 Rehabilitation
Name of Video Module: Latest COVID-19 updates and treatments
Presenter: Dr Wilson Lam, Specialist in Infectious Disease
Key Content: 
- Possible complications of COVID-19, including symptoms, causes, high-risk individuals of those symptoms and preventive measures
- Treatment of COVID-19
- Preventing reinfection of COVID-19

Name of Video Module: Preventing reinfection and handling COVID-19 complications, such as cough and shortness of breath
Presenter: Dr Angus Lo, Specialist in Respiratory Medicine
Key Content: 
- Different complications of COVID-19 and prevention of reinfection
- Changes of symptoms that recovered COVID-19 patients should take note of
- Managing complications of COVID-19 and tracheal problems

Name of Video Module: Caring for your mental health post-COVID
Presenter: Dr Adrian Wong, Clinical Psychologist
Key Content: 
- Correlation between complications of COVID-19, mental health and emotions
- Handling brain fog and emotional issues
- Handling sleep issues caused by COVID-19 infection
- Mood soothing exercise

Name of Video Module: Nutritional tips for a healthier future
Presenter: Ms Carmen Lo, Registered Dietitian
Key Content: 
- Introduction of key nutrients which can help improve immune system
- Relieving complications of COVID-19 with food (including coughs, depression, anxiety and dysgeusia
- Busting food-related myths around COVID-19 prevention and tips around nutrition in-take
- Recipes that can help improve immune system

Name of Video Module: Rebuilding your health
Presenter: Ms Linda Lai, Registered Physiotherapist
Key Content: 
- Introduction of exercises that can help relieve COVID-19 complications, including abdominal breathing, cardiopulmonary function training and muscle strengthening exercises
- Demonstration of deep breathing exercises and aerobic exercises
- Demonstration of muscle strengthening exercises

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