Teaching survival skills in disaster-prone areas

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Harvard School of Public Health Professor Jennifer Leaning joined a team from Chinese University’s center for disaster and medical humanitarian response to deliver rescue and relief bags to Chinese families living in rural areas vulnerable to natural disasters. The inexpensive bags include simple equipment such as a whistle, blanket, and salt and sugar that can be mixed into drinking water to prevent dehydration when suffering from diarrhea.

“We tell the villagers that it’s not just a matter of fate. You can do something to save yourself and families,” said Leaning, François-Xavier Bagnoud Professor of the Practice of Health and Human Rights and director of the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights, to the South China Morning Post in an interview published April 4, 2014.

Leaning also is working with her Chinese colleagues to develop a humanitarian disaster-response training program in Hong Kong for medical professionals.