The Hedley Index is named in honour of Emeritus Professor Anthony Hedley who led our group for over 20 years.
Message from Prof Hedley
Prof Hedley, Anthony Johnson, JP
Emeritus Professor (The University of Hong Kong)
The challenge to create healthy cities in Hong Kong and mainland China
By the end of this century a large majority of the earth’s people will live in large densely populated cities.
Some of these urban centres will include up to 100 million people. It is inevitable that there will be many potential sources of hazards to our health. Today in Hong Kong and China one of the biggest threats to health is the emission of chemicals from burning fossil fuels.
More than 20 years ago district councillors in the New Territories, led by Mr Lee Wing Tat, expressed to our team their deep concern about the impact of these emissions on the health of young children. Since then we have worked to provide government, the legislature and the general public with objective evidence on the health effects of many different types of environmental pollutants to support action on their control and the protection of health. In particular we must halt the damage to generations of young people and all other susceptible groups.
At the present time our multidisciplinary team in the fields of medicine, environmental analysis and biostatistics, health economics and computing has developed a cumulative and integrated approach to the health and economic impacts of air pollution on our community on a daily basis. We have made this public health intelligence available in real time through our information system (hedleyindex,sph.hku.hk).
This system is widely recognized and has been supported by Civic Exchange and generous donations from the S. H. Ho Foundation Limited.
We aim to promote a public health approach to environmental management. Progress has been painfully slow but the benefits of the potential health gains would be enormous and overall the benefit-cost ratio (at least 4:1) of a clean up are recognized internationally to be very favourable.