Saturday, 30 September 2017

Forum: Foreigners crucial to our long-term survival

Technology and creative solutions alone are inadequate to solve our labour crunch (Raise quality of workers, not headcount, by Mr Paul Chan Poh Hoi; Sept 25).

We also need a calibrated influx of foreign workers and immigrants.

This is not just needed to fill up labour gaps; it is also badly needed for our long-term survival.

We can look at Japan, for example. Like Singapore, Japan's total fertility rate (TFR) has declined below the replacement level.

Over the decades, it has been trying all kinds of tactics to improve its TFR and attract more people to join the labour force by extending the retirement age, redesigning jobs and using all sorts of labour quality enhancements to raise productivity.

Yet, it has been unable to reverse its labour crunch.

The country has a social and political resistance to accepting foreigners. This poses a serious threat to its long-term survival.

One study shows that Japan needs an influx of around 200,000 foreigners per year just to prevent its population from declining further.

Can Singapore do better?

Our population ageing will only worsen.

It is projected that our citizen worker-retiree ratio will drop from 6.3 in 2011 to 2.1 in 2030.

This means working citizens will have to bear three times the tax burden in 2030 compared with 2011 or else the Government will have to cut its fiscal expenditure.

Personal disposable income and standard of living will decline.

Accepting more foreigners may be crucial to our long-term survival.

Albert Ng Ya Ken

Ref: http://str.sg/49xv

Why Singapore weather is so hot nowadays


Ref:
1) http://www.todayonline.com/singapore/singapore-growing-warmer-twice-global-average
2) http://str.sg/49P4

News: Coming in October - updated

1) Downtown Line 3

Various religious leaders blessing DTL 3 before the official opening. Image Mr Khaw Boon Wan's facebook.
Downtown Line 3 opens on 21 October 2017. Open house on 15-16 Oct at new DTL 3 stations. Free travel from 21-22 Oct on all DTL stations.


2) Changi Airport Terminal 4 opens 31 Oct 2017



3) Physical parking coupons to be replaced


Parking.sg to replace parking coupons from 1st Oct, 2017
Checkout the video here.


4) New Tuas bus terminal to open on Oct 7

Image: LTA
The existing Tuas bus terminal will stop operating on Oct 7.


5) Nets will launch its own e-payment app, called NetsPay, in October

Image: Business Times

6) New Nokia 3310 3G to be available in Singapore from October



7)  Today will be digital only



8) Smoking ban extended to universities, private-hire cars from 1st October, 2017



9) Malaysia's last F1 after 19 years of racing



10) StarWorld becomes FoxLife


Health tip: How not to have too much sugar in your body and have good BMI

1) Remember the healthy plate by NHB



2) Eat less carb

We should eat less processed carbs like white rice, noodles and anything that is made from flour.

Do not eat the whole big bowl of rice. Eat the smaller bowl instead. Your stomach will then have space for some sweet desserts.

Do not eat the whole bowl of mee. Use the smaller bowl instead.

3) Eat more good fats. The good fats will replace the bad fats and get burnt faster.

Image for illustration only

4) Eat more food with protein. It will replace carbs in your body to be used as energy, as well as repair your damaged cells.

Image for illustration only
To save time, one can eat more food that has both good fats and full of protein. Example: Nuts (peanuts, almonds, walnuts, etc), beans (soy), seeds (sunflower, chia seeds, etc), fish (salmon, cod, etc), dairy (egg, cheese, etc).


5) With less carbs in your body, you do not have to bother about counting calories. Morever, the insulin will not cause blood sugar spikes anymore.


6) Use natural sweeteners instead of processed sugar


Use natural sweeteners like raw honey (better than clear ones as it is processed less and hence has more nutrients), stevia leaves, maple syrup or sugar, coconut sugar, molasses (sugarcane).

Friday, 29 September 2017

Blue stains on vegetables are remnants of undissolved fungicide: NTUC FairPrice

Blue spots were founds on the vegetables bought from NTUC Fairprice. (Facebook/ Jeff Yeo)

The blue stains found by customers on some vegetables purchased from NTUC FairPrice are "residual remnants of undissolved fungicide", a spokesperson for the supermarket chain said.

AVA said that the stains could be due to the use of a copper-based fungicide, approved to be used in agriculture and easily removed by washing.

FairPrice said on Thursday it has made its concerns known to the supplier of the vegetables and has "taken the necessary actions to ensure this does not recur".

Customers who bought fresh produce from FairPrice and find the quality to be unsatisfactory can return the product to the same store with their receipt before the stated expiry date for a full refund or exchange, it said.

Ref: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/blue-stains-on-vegetables-are-remnants-of-undissolved-fungicide-9258134

People and Singapore news in pictures - updated

1) Mdm Halimah the first female President in the world to have Twitter emoji



2) Novena Church reopening


After being closed for nearly three years for an extensive overhaul that costs $54m, the Church of St Alphonsus, more popularly known as Novena Church, one of Singapore's most iconic and popular Catholic churches, will finally reopen in two weeks. The first mass will be held on Sept 29 at 6.30pm.


3) School uniforms getting bigger as obesity levels rise


Shanghai School Uniforms managing director Doris Yeo showing a pair of primary school shorts at 42 inches and one at 24 inches, which is what a regular primary schoolboy wears.


4) Trials to help elderly, disabled commuters at Outram MRT extended till end 2017



5) Tampines Interchange station

Image: StreetDirectory
Tampines will be the third interchange station on the network, after Newton and Bukit Panjang, which requires commuters to tap out and tap in again to make a transfer.


6) Islandwide electric car-sharing scheme kicks off in December with 80 cars, 30 charging stations



7) Ready for international skills competition


21 students from Polytechnics, ITE to showcase their technical skills after a year's training for the WorldSkills Competition at Abu Dhabi.


8) Donate S$500 and Parliament Speaker Tan Chuan-Jin will give you one of his books



9) Floating solar energy panels on reservoirs


The national water agency is expanding its trials to test the feasibility of deploying floating solar energy panels on reservoirs, following the successful roll-out of the world’s largest floating solar test-bed at Tengeh Reservoir last year.

Video: Potato harvesting


Advertisement: Free radicals


Thursday, 28 September 2017

More young Singaporeans signing up for dialect classes

In 2015, some 12 per cent of Singaporeans said they spoke mainly Chinese dialects at home. That’s down from 14.3 per cent in 2010, and 18.2 per cent in 2005, according to the General Household Survey.

But more and more, younger Singaporeans are going back to school to learn their grandparents’ tongues – in large part, to bridge that linguistic gap between the generations.

Catering to them are groups like Viriya Community Services, which started free Learn My Dialect classes in 2007 to build awareness and promote intergenerational bonding.

Classes were once conducted every three months – these days, it is more like three times a week, at the request of clients who include schools, community centres, groups and hospitals keen on training their nurses.

"We see a growing interest from those in the medical field and those doing community outreach programmes, because they deal mainly with the elderly who understand only dialect," said Michelle Cheng, 33, Viriya’s senior programme executive.

Read more @ http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/cnainsider/more-young-singaporeans-signing-up-for-dialect-classes-9249766

You may want to view Grandfather's Language - a video about a grandfather teaching his grandsons hokkien.


Free fitness workouts @ Singapore Sports Hub (national stadium)


Ref: http://www.sportshub.com.sg/community/Pages/ExperienceSports/fit-sessions.aspx

Faith groups, members of the public raise over S$200,000 for refugees fleeing to Bangladesh

Members of the public have raised at least S$208,000 for refugees who have had to flee their homes in Myanmar's Rakhine state to Bangladesh for their safety.

In a media release, the Rahmatan Lil Alamin (Blessings to All) Foundation (RLAF) said it began raising funds on Sep 9 in collaboration with 70 mosques across Singapore. It added that contributions from 32 mosques are still being tallied.

In addition, four other organisations - the Singapore Buddhist Federation, Spiritual Assembly of Baha'is Singapore, Madrasah Aljunied Al-Islamiah and the Muslim Converts Association of Singapore - have collectively raised about S$59,000 and handed it to RLAF as well.

The total amount collected will be handed over to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) where it will be spent on relief items as well as the refugees' psycho-social and health needs, RLAF added.

Read more @ http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/faith-groups-members-of-the-public-raise-over-s-200-000-for-9252146

Video: How it is made - Blue Stilton cheese


Tuesday, 26 September 2017

More kids seeking help for mental health issues


Depression, relationship issues, bullying, family problems like divorce, quarrelling – kids as young as five years old are seeking help for these problems.

Suicide prevention centre SOS received about 1,900 calls from those aged five to 19 last year – an increase of 70% compared to 2012 while another helpline Tinkle Friend, which caters to primary school students, saw a 50% increase in the number of calls and messages from 2012 to 2016.

In 2015, teen suicides rose to a 15-year high, with 27 suicides in the 10 to 19 age group, according to SOS figures.

To help address the situation, the Ministry of Education (MOE) has announced it will roll out a slew of programmes – including a peer support scheme – as part of its NurtureSG recommendations.

Under the programme, a couple of students will keep a lookout for any signs of distress among their peers, and offer emotional support. For more serious cases, such as unexplained injuries – they will have to flag it to their teachers.

Ref: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/more-kids-seeking-help-for-mental-health-issues-9241214

At Salesforce Singapore, workers get 7 days of volunteer leave every year

San Francisco-based Salesforce offers seven days of paid volunteer leave every year for its staff worldwide.

While the cloud giant has its own non-profit organisation called Salesforce.org, employees are not restricted to charities sponsored or supported by the company, nor do they need to submit evidence of their volunteer work.

In Singapore, such flexible volunteer leave schemes seem to remain an anomaly. According to the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC), just 16% of the 1,370 employees surveyed last December said their companies offered such leave.

Most local and smaller businesses prefer to organise company-wide volunteering activities for a chosen cause or charity on the weekends, said a Manpower Group spokesman.

Read more @ http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/at-salesforce-singapore-workers-get-7-days-of-volunteer-leave-9235898

There is a Games HQ inside this school

Games HQ in Northlight School

Every day after school, some 30 students from Northlight School do not go home. But instead, they head to a "Games HQ" where they hang out with friends and play video and arcade games till 5pm, the closing time.

The space is the Singapore Children's Society's latest Project Cabin, an after-school centre where secondary school students can rest and take part in enrichment programmes.

The charitable organisation has 15 other such school-based centres. The centre, which students have named Games HQ, has been open since 2015.

A social worker and a counsellor from the Singapore Children's Society are stationed there to befriend students and listen to those who need guidance.

Ref: http://www.tnp.sg/news/singapore/theres-games-hq-inside-school

Secret to why birds DON'T lose their hearing with age could help treat deafness in the elderly


Birds do not suffer hearing loss as they get older, a discovery which could lead to new treatments for deafness, scientists say.

A study of barn owls found they have 'ageless ears', a genetic advantage that allows their hearing cells to regenerate.

Typically our hearing goes as the sensory cells in our ears die off with age, but the new research suggests that barn owls can regenerate these cells.

Scientists believe the special ability benefits all birds - the only other previous research of its kind, carried out on starlings, came up with the same result.

Ref: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4899556/Birds-ageless-ears-help-scientists-treat-deafness.html

Monday, 25 September 2017

Exceptional people: NTU freshman wants to graduate 10,000 migrant workers from his school

Into his freshman year at Nanyang Technological University, Mr Sazzad Hossain is busy juggling the demands of his engineering course – and running his own school that has so far taught English to some 5,000 migrant Bangladeshi workers.

Even more ambitiously, the 23-year-old is aiming to double that number to 10,000 in a year’s time. That has meant running between lectures at school; teaching classes at SDI Academy’s various locations; and visiting worker dormitories to hand out flyers, even on a public holiday.

He started by giving informal lessons around a park bench with 4 - 5 workers, and the group started to grow.

Today those small beginnings have grown into a massive social enterprise, with classes held at five locations, including at Yale-NUS College. They are run by eight part-time teachers, two full-time staff and 200 volunteers.



Read more @ http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/cnainsider/ntu-freshman-wants-to-graduate-10-000-migrant-workers-from-his-9245636

Exceptional people: A friend to the homeless

It all began in the form of a desperate plea Abraham heard from tsunami survivors while on a trip to Japan in 2012 to help with disaster relief efforts.

“They had been made homeless by the tsunami, and they felt forgotten,” he said. “And the one thing they kept saying was, please don’t forget us.

“That really touched my heart, and when I came back to Singapore, I started noticing elderly people around. So I thought it was only right that I help the people in Singapore as well.”

Abraham and a homeless friend

Today, their informal volunteer group, known as the Homeless Hearts of Singapore, has about 10 regulars who gather every fortnight to seek out and visit their homeless friends.

A meal here. An embrace there. Visits to the Night Festival or movie theatres to catch a show. Together with his informal group of volunteers, Abraham does his best to make it happen, in a bid to make sure that these people – living on the margins of society and whiling their days away in shopping malls, fast-food restaurants or deserted HDB void decks – are not forgotten.

Read more @ http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/extraordinary-people-a-friend-to-the-homeless-9233966

Endorphins: Body's natural painkillers


Endorphins are morphine-like chemicals produced by the body that help diminish pain while triggering positive feelings.

They are sometimes referred to as the brain's "feel-good" chemicals, and are the body's natural painkillers.

They are released from the pituitary gland of the brain during periods of strenuous exercise, emotional stress, pain, and orgasm.

Endorphins help relieve pain and induce feelings of pleasure or euphoria. They play an important role in the brain's reward system, which includes activities such as eating, drinking, sex, and maternal behavior.

Our body's other "happy hormones" include serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin.

No food products contain whole endorphins for easy consumption, several endorphin-stimulating foods boast high levels of the vitamins and minerals that play a large part in boosting your brain's production like vitamin B12, vitamin C, zinc, potassium, and iron.

Here are some food you can eat that will encourage your brain's endorphin release:
  • Chocolate
  • Strawberries
  • Animal proteins
  • Oranges
  • Spicy foods
  • Grapes
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Ginseng
Ref: 
1) https://www.everydayhealth.com/endorphins/guide/
2) https://sg.style.yahoo.com/eat-yourself-happy-8-endorphin-122000316.html

Get your butt off that chair and live


Too much time spent in a chair could shorten our lives, even if we exercise, according to a study that uses objective measures to find the links between lengthy sitting time and death among middle-aged and older adults.

The men and women who sat for the most hours every day, according to their accelerometer data, had the highest risk for early death, especially if this sitting often continued for longer than 30 minutes at a stretch. The risk was unaffected by age, race, gender or body mass.

But, interestingly, the risk of early death did drop if sitting time was frequently interrupted. People whose time spent sitting usually lasted for less than 30 minutes at a stretch were less likely to have died than those whose sitting was more prolonged, even if the total hours of sitting time were the same.

This study was, however, associational. It cannot prove too much sitting undermines health, only that the two were linked.

Ref: http://str.sg/4jCA

Brisk walking

Brisk walking means walking fast enough to make you feel slightly breathless, but yet comfortable enough to let you hold a conversation with a companion at the same time. It is a low-impact sport suitable for everyone, regardless of your fitness level.

Speeds vary among individuals, but brisk walking usually requires you to move at least 5 km/h, ie you should walk 1 km within 12 minutes. You should experience a slight elevation of your heart rate, heavier breathing and you should start sweating a little after a while.


Health benefits

It has been suggested that there is a relationship between the speed of walking and mortality, and that the best results are obtained with a speed of more than 4 km/hr.


Walking fast vs big stride

Over-striding is a poor technique to increase speed and it has a potential to lead to injury in the long term unless you do it the correct way. The best way to brisk walking is still walking fast with short strides.


Video by HPB: The Correct Way to Brisk Walking for Better Health

Ref:
1) https://www.healthxchange.sg/fitness-exercise/weight-management/brisk-walking-better-health-wellbeing
2) https://www.verywell.com/how-fast-is-brisk-walking-3436887
3) https://www.verywell.com/how-to-walk-taking-a-walking-stride-3432478
4) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walking

Saturday, 23 September 2017

ASEAN Para Games: Jason Chee wins gold in individual event


Table tennis para-athlete Jason Chee has won gold in the men's singles Class 2 round robin event at the 2017 ASEAN Para Games in Kuala Lumpur, in addition to a bronze medal he won earlier this week in the men's team class T1-3 round robin contest.

Navy man Chee, who lost his left arm and both legs in a ship accident in 2012, beat all his opponents to top his group of five.

His medal-winning achievements come despite having recently lost his right eyeball to cancer.

Read more @ http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/asean-para-games-jason-chee-wins-gold-in-individual-event-9240774

Social media: Yistana (picture)


Credit to Ho Kok Pin for coining the word Yistana in honour of our President living in Yishun.

Friday, 22 September 2017

Plastic debris is now discovered in SEA SALT as litter reaches oceans and contaminates our food

Tiny pieces of the material have been found in sea salt on sale in the UK, Europe, the US and China.

It confirms that plastic litter reaching oceans is being broken down and getting in to our food.

Previous studies have found that fish such as cod, as well as shellfish and crustaceans including scampi caught off the British coast, contain plastic particles.

Studies by experts at the University of Exeter have found that the entire food chain of sea creatures – from zooplankton through to crustaceans or copepods, mussels, crabs, lobster and fish – have effectively become contaminated by microplastics.

Shocking video shows just how much rubbish ends up in the sea



Ref: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4867294/Plastic-debris-discovered-SEA-SALT.html

More funds for students with severe disabilities

Students with severe hearing, physical and visual disabilities will now get more help as they pursue their studies at Polytechnics and the Institute of Technical Education (ITE).


They can now each receive up to $70,000 over the course of their studies, to buy assistive technology devices and support services, such as note-taking and signing interpretation.

It will be disbursed as part of a new high-needs category under the existing Ministry of Education Special Educational Needs (SEN) Fund, launched in 2014.

Forum: Token fee can fix tray-return problem

I recently had dinner at Timbre+ in Ayer Rajah Crescent and was impressed with the cleanliness of the establishment.

It is styled like a hawker centre with a number of individual stalls.

You simply order your food and collect your meal on a tray, all self-service.

An additional charge of $1 is imposed, on top of the cost of the food (Charge nominal fee for trays at hawker centres, by Mr Damian Ng Swee Beng; Sept 19).

When a person finishes eating, he simply returns the tray on a conveyor belt at a tray collection area and the dollar is returned through the machine.

There are two cleaners whose duty is to wipe up any spills on the tables. No additional staff is needed.

It is true that years of appeals and education have done little to entice diners to return their trays after their meals.

Where persuasion and other methods have not produced the desired outcome, the one implemented by Timber+ is worth considering.

Bennie Cheok

Ref: http://str.sg/4jXU

Note:
Newly open Yishun Park Hawker Centre is also run by Timbre. It has Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tray return system and cashless payments.


Exceptional people: Clarissa Song is the youngest winner of the NEA's EcoFriend Award

Image: ST

At most canteens, vendors use plastic disposables for takeaway orders.

Not at Anderson Secondary School.

This is the result of campaigning led by 14-year-old Clarissa Song, the youngest-ever winner of the EcoFriend Awards given by the National Environment Agency (NEA).

With the help of her fellow Green Club members, she approached the canteen vendors in March to get them to stop using plastic disposables in her Refuse Plastic Project.

Plastic disposables are no longer used in the canteen. Those who want to pack their food orders have to bring their own lunchboxes. Including the teachers.

Ref: http://www.tnp.sg/news/singapore/even-teachers-are-anderson-secondary-students-green-movement

Exceptional people: Three remittance staff commended for foiling impersonation scams


Mr Sameer Malik, Ms Novianti and Ms Li Fang were commended for foiling two impersonation scams.

In the first case, Mr Sameer Malik and Ms Novianti stopped a 75-year-old victim from remitting S$40,000 to a granddaughter in China. A woman accompanied the victim to withdraw the money was arrested by police. She claimed to be the daughter of the victim.

In the second case, a 61-year-old woman was stopped from remitting S$15,000 to a Chinese bank account, thanks to Ms Li Fang who works at Zhongguo Remittance which is also located at People’s Park Complex.

Read more @ http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/three-remittance-staff-commended-for-foiling-impersonation-scams-9233344

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Quote: All disease begins in the gut


Hippocrates made this statement over 2,000 years ago and it is still true today. Unfortunately, not many people, including doctors, follow this advice. But fortunately, more people are now coming to understand how right he was, as far as chronic diseases are concerned.

Read more @ 
1) http://themindunleashed.com/2015/03/hippocrates-all-disease-begins-in-the-gut.html
2) https://chriskresser.com/9-steps-to-perfect-health-5-heal-your-gut/

Video: How the food you eat affects your gut

I treated my GUT to cure my eczema

Journalist Vanessa Chalmers needed stronger steroid cream for her eczema, but her doctor would not give to her, telling her it is important to ween herself off the strong stuff.

She did. By changing her diet after reading a book The Good Skin Solution: Natural Healing for eczema, psoriasis, rosacea and acne.

What is her secret?

She swapped milk for kefir and bread for brown rice and the diet transformed her skin in just 7 days.


'The problems in your gut are mapped onto your skin. Creams alone will never work because you have to heal your gut first,' she said.

Read more @ http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-4899194/Seven-steps-rid-eczema.html

Singapore tops Asia in preparing students for the future - in charts

Singapore's education system is the best in Asia in preparing students for the future, according to an Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU)index.

Globally, Singapore ranks overall 5th.




Read more @ http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/singapore-tops-asia-in-preparing-students-for-the-future-eiu-9232606

Doctor reveals the correct way to put on antiperspirant

You should not be applying antiperspirant in the morning at all.

Apply at night before going to bed to allow to dry fully. Leave on overnight and wash off any residue in the morning with soap and water.

Antiperspirants generally contain aluminium chloride.

Aluminium particles are taken up by cells in the sweat glands, causing them to swell and close up so they no longer release sweat.

Spray type of antiperspirant. [Image for illustration only]

Apply 2 strokes up and 2 strokes down to each armpit (for stick type). You should only need to do this once or twice a week for good quality antiperspirants.

Read more @ http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-4887678/Doctor-reveals-correct-way-deodorant.html#ixzz4tAkLlD2Q

My 2 cents:
There are concerns that aluminium particles may cause Alzheimer's Disease or cancer as more aluminium are found in the brains of Alzheimer's Disease patients and more women are having breast cancer.

Researches done did not confirm the above concerns but that does not mean there is no link.  Heavy metals are present in food, in the air and man make products. So even if one does not use products containing heavy metals, one may still have cancer or Alzheimer's Disease. But using more man make products like antiperspirant will increase the sources and more heavy metals to be introduced into our bodies.

Video: How do bees make honey


My 2 cents:
I have been taking raw honey for the past few months. Raw honey is better than those clearer ones as it is not processed much, hence retains more nutrients.

Effects of eating honey:
  • I do not feel that tired these days. Even if I would take a nap, I could not sleep
  • My eyes are not that tired and dry anymore. I have since stopped taking eye supplement
  • Honey helps my digestion
  • Best of all, I lost some weight (hibernation diet), especially those areas that even exercising has no effect.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Exceptional people: More than just maids, they bring hope to others

From running marathons to racing dragon boats, domestic workers in Singapore are fighting stress and depression – as well as doing good for charity – with the help of non-profit group Race2Share.

Race2Share is a non-profit group founded here in 2015 to engage people - initially Filipinos mainly – in sports and volunteer work.

Its members have helped raise awareness and funds for social causes, by organising runs – such as to raise awareness over the sexual abuse of deaf women and children; conducting bike and swim clinics; and competing in long-distance races, like the Race Against Cancer in July.

On top of this, some also devote time every Sunday, which is their only rest day, to volunteering at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH), where they bring some joy into lonely residents’ lives.


Team of ITE staff develops device to simplify kidney stones removal


A new innovation to simplify the process of removing large or complex kidney stones has been developed by a team of staff from the Institute of Technical Education (ITE).

The team, in collaboration with the National University Hospital (NUH), the National University of Singapore (NUS) and Invivo Medical, created a mechanism called a Percutaneous-Access-to-Kidney-Assist Device (PAKAD) that can reduce X-ray exposure, risks of complications and shorten recovery periods for the patient.

With the help of the PAKAD, a needle is systematically adjusted, guided and stabilised into alignment with the targeted stone instead of free-hand techniques to locate the stones. An endoscope surgical instrument is then inserted through the needle passage to fragment and remove the stones.

Ref: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/team-of-ite-staff-develops-device-to-simplify-kidney-stones-9229462

Nearly 40% of children in abuse cases under age seven

Image for illustration only
Nearly 40% of child abuse cases investigated by the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) in the past three years involved victims younger than seven.

Yet, pre-schools have been found to be inadequate in spotting signs of child abuse, said experts, who called for regular standardised training for the teachers, which is currently not available. This is important as many child abusers are immediate family members and pre-school educators become an important line of defence for the children, they said.

Child abuse includes physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional or psychological abuse and neglect. They involve children up to age 16. MSF investigates cases in which the abuse happens within the family.

Over the years, the number of child abuse cases has shot up from 381 in 2014, 551 in 2015, to 873 last year.

Ref: http://str.sg/4jgE

You may want to read Pre-school teachers not sure how to handle child abuse cases: Survey

Forum: Heed your body's limits when exercising

The death of Mr Stephen Begley during the Singapore International Triathlon last Sunday was tragic (Cardiorespiratory failure caused death of expat triathlete; Sept 13).

It was reported that the cause of death was cardiorespiratory failure, but I believe there was an underlying pathology that caused it, as cardiorespiratory failure is what ultimately happens when anyone dies. Most healthy athletes and national servicemen who succumb to sudden death during strenuous activity die of heart rhythm abnormalities.

Many life-threatening irregular cardiac rhythms do not show up during normal clinical examinations and basic ECGs.

Doctors who are asked to certify a patient's fitness to exercise are always put in a quandary. They can only guess the best they can with the available information.

Weekend warriors intuitively know when to stop when the pain of exercise puts a strain on their cardiorespiratory function.

Seasoned athletes, however, may push the boundaries of their endurance to improve themselves. That is where the trouble starts.

Short of very sophisticated and expensive investigations under the purview of a cardiologist, nobody can guess how the heart will respond under severe duress.

The best advice any doctor can give is: When in doubt, don't.

A stringent disciplined diet with an active lifestyle combined with moderate exercising guarantees longevity far better than a wanton diet desperately compensated for by overly strenuous, arrhythmia-inducing and heart-stopping exercises.

Yik Keng Yeong (Dr)

Ref: http://str.sg/4jqN

S$5 subsidised diabetes screening extended to at-risk Singaporeans under 40


Singaporeans below 40 years of age found to be at risk of diabetes after completing a free online questionnaire can now get themselves screened for the disease at a subsidised fee of S$5.

The free Diabetes Risk Assessment (DRA) tool – which takes only two minutes to answer – was rolled out by the MOH on its HealthHub.sg website on September 1 as part of its efforts to “go upstream to facilitate early detection and intervention”.

The seven-question measure aims to help younger adults between 18 and 39 uncover their current risk for undiagnosed diabetes, and determine if they should go for diabetes screening. It includes questions such as “how much time do you spend on physical activity in a week?” and “how often do you drink sugary beverages (like coffee, tea and bubble tea)?”

Ref: http://www.todayonline.com/singapore/s5-subsidised-diabetes-screening-extended-risk-singaporeans-under-40

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Exceptional company: Uber appointed ambassador for Singapore Association for the Deaf

A year after it rolled out its Beethoven programme, Uber Singapore's number of deaf driver-partners is 10 times what it was before, from 20 to 200.

Today marks the first day of the International Week of the Deaf, and Uber's first day as a newly-appointed Singapore Association for the Deaf (SADeaf) ambassador.

The programme introduced several deaf-friendly functions in the drivers' app, including flashing notifications and prompts to passengers about their driver and to enter their destination ahead of the ride.

These drivers' cars are fitted with small signs that teach riders basic sign language and gives them tips on interacting with the drivers.

Ref: http://www.tnp.sg/news/singapore/uber-appointed-ambassador-singapore-association-deaf