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Dr. CM Wong is research designer and biostatistician with special interest in environmental health, contributing to a wide range of research and teaching themes over the past twenty years, which included occupational health, smoking and cancer epidemiology. He has initiated and steered major and unique studies in environmental health incorporating infectious diseases, leading a team of research staff and students in the assessment and quantification health effects of air pollution and influenza, and health benefits of government and private sector interventions to improve air quality. A new theme in the health effects of weather and climate has recently been developed in the research areas of the Environmental Health Research Group, with initiation of a new project for assessing the long-term effects of thermal stress in Hong Kong urban environment.
Dr CM Wong was the principal investigator in the United States Health Effects Institute (HEI) funded “Public Health and Air Pollution in Asia” (PAPA) project, taking the role of leadership and capacity building for researchers from China, Bangkok, India and Vietnam, and further developing and expanding of the project to Malaysia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Singapore and Taiwan. He was also a leader in a multi-nation project for disease burden of influenza in the tropics and subtropics, being invited by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a temporary advisor in developing and compiling a guideline, published by the WHO, and subsequently in providing guidance for designing and performing such disease burden studies in developing countries. He was the first or major author, on short term effects of air pollution on hospitalization and mortality in Hong Kong and London, and on effects of air quality intervention that have been adopted by the WHO in setting the revised Global Air Quality Guidelines 2005.
The results of an analysis following an implementation of the 1990 sulphur fuel regulation in Hong Kong, provide the first scientific evidence for the benefits to both children and adults of the government intervention (restriction of the sulphur in fuel) to assess air quality improvements. He took a leading role as the first principal investigator for continuing the study funded by the HEI on the effects of specific pollutants before and after implementation of the Hong Kong government’s sulphur fuel regulation. The results of these studies which are now published by the HEI (Report No. 170, August 2012) will have considerable impact on environmental public health policy, with the effect estimates being used in estimating economic and other community costs of air pollution, and in updating the long out-dated Air Quality Objectives, and Air Pollution Index in Hong Kong.