Monday, 11 November 2019

Exceptional people: He went hungry as a teen. Now Stuff’d boss is feeding kids who cannot afford a meal

Image for illustration. Salad

It was 1997, he was 16, and the Asian financial crisis was ravaging his parents’ business. “There was money and there was food,” Adrian Ang said. “And then suddenly, there wasn’t any.”

His only meal for the day: Two slices of bread which he got at breakfast, but always saved until midday for fear of running out of fuel too soon. On a lucky day, there would be kaya to go with it.

This bout of privation lasted for a year – but it had a lifelong impact on him.

In April 2019, he and a team of four staff members at Stuff’d – which serves Mexican-Turkish food – launched the Free Food For Kids campaign at their Northpoint City Yishun outlet. The initiative provides one free meal a day to children in need. It has since expanded to Jurong Point, Bugis and White Sands, feeding more than 140 children under the age of 14.

Read more @ https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/cnainsider/stuffd-free-food-for-kids-hunger-food-insecurity-singapore-12073570

Vaping deaths: Health officials find possible cause of mystery illness linked to e-cigarettes


Researchers have made a breakthrough in determining exactly what could be behind the mystery vaping-related lung illness which has killed 39 people in the US.

Vitamin E acetate, an oil, was found in every lung fluid sample from afflicted patients tested by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“This is the first time that we have detected a potential chemical of concern in biologic samples from patients with these lung injuries,” the CDC said.

As of last week, there had been over 2,000 recorded cases of e-cigarette, or vaping, product-use associated injury (ECVPI) by the CDC.

Ref: https://sg.yahoo.com/news/vaping-deaths-health-officials-possible-223654361.html

Screen use tied to children’s brain development

Image for illustration only

A new study using sophisticated brain scans found an association between screen use and the development of young children’s brains, especially in areas related to language development, reinforcing the messages about minimising screen time for preschoolers.

Parents were asked about their children’s screen use, and the researchers used a composite score called a ScreenQ. A score of zero is best, 26, the highest, is worst.

After controlling for age, gender and income, the children with higher ScreenQ scores had lower measures of structural integrity and myelination, especially in tracts involved with language and literacy skills.

The researchers also tested the children cognitively, looking at measures of language and early literacy. The results of the cognitive tests correlated well with the children’s screen exposure; the children with higher screen exposure had poorer expressive language and did worse on tests of language processing speed, like rapidly naming objects.

Ref:
1) https://cnalifestyle.channelnewsasia.com/wellness/screen-time-is-not-bad-just-not-right-time-for-young-children-12067022
2) https://www.todayonline.com/world/screen-use-tied-childrens-brain-development

Benefits & side effects of cashew nuts


Nutrients of cashew nuts

According to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Nutrient DatabaseTrusted Source, 1 ounce of raw cashews (28.35 grams), about 16-18 nuts, contains:
  • 157 calories
  • 8.56 grams (g) of carbohydrate
  • 1.68 g of sugar
  • 0.9 g of fiber
  • 5.17 g of protein
  • 12.43 g of total fat
  • 10 milligrams (mg) of calcium
  • 1.89 mg of iron
  • 83 mg of magnesium
  • 168 mg of phosphorus
  • 187 mg of potassium
  • 3 mg of sodium
  • 1.64 mg of zinc
Cashews also contain vitamins C and B, including 7 micrograms (mcg) of DFE folate.


Side-Effects Of Cashew
  1. Allergy Symptoms - Being allergic to cashew is quite common across the globe. Chances are that if you are allergic to nuts, you are also probably allergic to cashews.
  2. Mess up your digestion - It turns out that raw nuts contain many compounds that impair digestion, including phytates to tannins. Limit your intake of cashew nuts.
  3. Truly raw cashews are not safe to eat, as they contain a substance known as urushiol, found in poison ivy. Urushiol is toxic, and contact with it can trigger a skin reaction in some people. Cashew kernels are often sold as raw but have been steamed, which removes the toxins.

Ref:
1) https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/309369.php#nutrition
2) https://mishry.com/benefits-side-effects-of-cashew-nuts-kaju/
3) https://lilynicholsrdn.com/why-eating-nuts-upsets-your-stomach/

You may want to read How Cashews Almost Killed Me (and I Loved It)

Saturday, 9 November 2019

Heart Palpitations & Magnesium & Calcium

Heart palpitations, a type of cardiac arrhythmia, have been described as an electrical storm in your heart. Heart palpitations can range from mild and sporadic occurrences to life-threatening emergencies.

Magnesium and calcium play important roles in maintaining healthy nerve and muscle function, and imbalances or deficiencies of these nutrients can contribute to your risk for developing heart palpitations.

Magnesium and calcium work together, counterbalancing each other in some of their functions. Magnesium signals muscles to relax, while calcium prompts muscle contraction.

Severe calcium deficiency can lead to a variety of health effects, including abnormal heart rate, convulsions and dementia.  Excess calcium also occurs, particularly if you supplement heavily with calcium or use calcium supplements can lead to irregular contractions that you experience as a racing heart.

Ref: https://www.livestrong.com/article/532527-heart-palpitations-magnesium-calcium/

All nuts are good for you, but these 8 are the healthiest


  • Almonds - Almonds also have the most vitamin E and protein of all tree nuts, providing 6 grams of protein per serving
  • Pistachios - The highest in potassium (291 milligrams) per ounce compared to other nuts, and the highest amount of vitamin B6
  • Walnuts - Walnuts are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids
  • Cashews - Cashews have the highest amount of iron per ounce and the highest in zinc (needed for hair growth) per ounce of all nuts. They also serve as an excellent source of copper and magnesium.
  • Hazelnuts - an excellent source of vitamin E and folate, a very important nutrient for pregnancy
  • Macadamia Nuts - The highest in calories and  the highest monounsaturated fat of all nuts.
  • Pecans - high in monounsaturated fat.
  • Pine nuts - A good source of vitamin E and phosphorous, plus they are high in vitamin K.

Ref: https://www.myrecipes.com/syndication/healthiest-nuts

Download John J. Audubon’s Birds of America (435 Bird Illustrations) for Free

Image for illustration only

Please go here to view and download Birds of America illustrations.

Why Did This Man's Taste Buds Disappear?


When a 64-year-old man stuck out his tongue for a physical exam, doctors could immediately tell something was off: Instead of a typical, textured tongue, his was smooth and shiny. It did not take long for them to recognize why: The man's taste buds were missing (A), a condition called atrophic glossitis, or inflammation of the tongue.

The man, who lives in Singapore, went to the doctor after he experienced pain and redness in his tongue along with a burning sensation around his lips, which had lasted six months, according to the report, published today (Oct. 16) in The New England Journal of Medicine.

But what had caused the atrophic glossitis? Blood tests revealed an important clue: The man's levels of vitamin B12 were very low. Shots of vitamin B12 brought the man's tongue back to normal (B).

Ref: https://www.livescience.com/missing-taste-buds-pernicious-anemia.html

Friday, 8 November 2019

TNP Dollah Kassim Award celebrates 10th anniversary


The New Paper Dollah Kassim Award, an annual accolade which recognises Singapore football talents aged 18 and below, celebrates its 10th year this year, making it a decade in support of youth football.

Six nominees - three each from Under-18 and Under-15 categories - have been picked by a selection panel from the Football Association of Singapore (FAS), after having impressed beyond this year's Centre of Excellence (COE) leagues.

Thanks to Singapore Pools, the previous winners went on overseas training stints with renowned clubs such as England's Newcastle United, French sides FC Metz and St Etienne and Belgium's KRC Genk.

It will be no different for this year's winner.

Ref: https://www.tnp.sg/sports/singapore-football/tnp-dollah-kassim-award-celebrates-10th-anniversary

If you are scared of hidden cameras in your Airbnb, Baidu has an app for that


By now, most of us have heard those stories about hidden cameras in hotels and Airbnbs. They are definitely real. Now there is an app that will help you ferret out hidden cameras in your room… if they’re connected to the same Wi-Fi network.

Chinese tech giant Baidu launched an app yesterday called “Privacy Protection Special Version.” The name itself does not reveal much, but Baidu Security says the detection tool will be able to find any spy cameras connected to a Wi-Fi network with the simple tap of a button.

Baidu Security's researchers found that most spy cameras use similar technology. Peeping Toms often choose a tiny Wi-Fi-enabled camera that can be controlled remotely using an app or other software. After looking at the internet protocols used by these Wi-Fi cameras, Baidu developed an app that uses this information to detect cameras after connecting to the same Wi-Fi network.

This means you would not be able to pinpoint exactly where a camera is hidden. But if a camera in your room is streaming video out over the hotel Wi-Fi network you are connected to, this new app will presumably be able to let you know.

Read more @ https://www.abacusnews.com/tech/if-youre-scared-hidden-cameras-your-airbnb-baidu-has-app/article/3035717?utm_source=TodayOnline&utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=contentexchange

All 85 KFC restaurants in Singapore stop serving plastic cups

All 85 KFC restaurants in Singapore have stopped dishing out plastic cups at the start of November.

The fast-food chain will also trial phasing out paper packaging for 13 dine-in menu items, replacing them with reusable trays from December in two outlets: Kallang and Toa Payoh.

“We are proud to have kick-started a nation-wide movement against single-use plastic straws in 2018. Next, on our continuous drive towards environmental sustainability, KFC Singapore is replacing plastic cups with paper cups in 2019,” said KFC Singapore’s general manager Lynette Lee.

Note: Plastic cover from drinks will still be given upon request.

Ref: https://sg.yahoo.com/news/all-84-kfc-restaurants-in-singapore-stop-serving-plastic-cups-160127768.html

Reasons to cut back on cheese


Ref: https://www.tnp.sg/lifestyle/makan/reasons-cut-back-cheese

Thursday, 7 November 2019

Any amount of running has ‘substantial’ health benefits, new research finds


Running, no matter how fast or often, has “substantial” health benefits and is linked to a significantly lower risk of an earlier death, a new study has found.

Researchers from Australia, Thailand and Finland could see a 27% lower risk of death from all causes at population level when people went for a run, even just for a short jog.

They analysed results from 14 studies of 233,149 people, whose health was tracked for between 5.5 and 35 years.

Ref: https://www.standard.co.uk/news/world/any-amount-of-running-has-substantial-health-benefits-new-research-finds-a4279311.html

My 2 cents:
Even if you cannot run outdoor, you can still run (indoor) on the spot, run to catch a bus, running up a stair or run a bit to your destination instead of walking.

Men can protect themselves against penile, anal cancers with HPV vaccination


The incidence of penile and anal cancers in men in Singapore is low, but there is protection against these diseases in the form of vaccination against the human papillomavirus (HPV).

Deputy head and senior consultant in the Division of Medical Oncology at the National Cancer Centre Singapore Associate Professor Ravindran Kanesvaran told CNA that there have been 19 cases of penile cancer at the centre over the past five years, and 63 cases of anal cancer in men over the same period.

Certain strains of HPV can lead to these cancers in men, although the vaccination is typically encouraged for women as protection against cervical cancer.

“While HPV-related cancers are less common in men compared to cervical cancer in women, men will also benefit from HPV vaccination as it will prevent them from getting cancers like anal cancer, penile cancer and certain head and throat cancers,” Dr Ravindran said. It will also reduce the risk of transmitting HPV to their female partners, he added.

Read more @ https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/men-can-protect-themselves-against-penile-anal-cancers-with-hpv-12065080

7 Weird Signs You Might Have a Heart Problem


  • Swollen legs or ankles
  • Headaches
  • Exhaustion
  • Stomach cramping
  • Fainting
  • Dizziness
  • Upper back pressure

Ref: https://www.womenshealthmag.com/uk/health/conditions/a29681996/7-weird-signs-you-might-have-a-heart-problem/


You may want to read Signs you may have clogged arteries or heart trouble

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

More than 450 people nabbed for possession after vaporisers were made illegal

Image for illustration only

From February last year, when the possession of vaporisers became illegal, to Sep 30 this year, 465 people were caught for the offence.

From January 2017 to Sep 30 this year, there were 219 cases of people selling vaporisers - all of which were sold online.

The use, purchase or possession of vaporisers could warrant a fine of up to S$2,000. Anyone who sells, possesses for sale, imports or distributes vaporisers faces up to S$10,000 and up to six months in jail for the first offence, under the Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) Act.

Read more @ https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/more-than-450-people-nabbed-for-possession-after-vaporisers-were-12064218


You may want to read
1) What we know about the mysterious vaping-linked illness and deaths in US
2) Second Brit death linked to vaping

5 BreadTalk outlets in 3-month trial, including 10-cent charge for carrier bags


Bakery chain BreadTalk said on Tuesday (Nov 5) that it is stepping up its efforts to reduce the use of plastic carrier bags, as a national push to cut down on plastic waste gathers pace.

BreadTalk said that from Nov 15, it will be running a three-month trial at five of its outlets using a new carrier bag which eliminates the need to place individual bread items in separate bags.

Customers at these outlets will also be charged S$0.10 per carrier bag, if they wish to use one, and will be encouraged to bring their own reusable bag, BreadTalk said.

Other companies in reducing plastic bag usage include NTUC Fairprice, H&M, fast food companies in stopping issuing drinking straws and Foodpanda's option of disposable cutlery.

Ref: https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/reducing-plastic-5-breadtalk-outlets-3-month-trial-including-10-cent-charge-carrier-bags

New rules for riding of e-scooters on footpaths


Note: Kick scooter and skateboard are allowed on footpaths, just not too fast or do stunts.

My photo - Sentosa beach


A public domain photo by me

Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Getting measles 'resets' the body's immune system to that of a newborn baby

Image for illustration only

Measles, the contagious childhood disease that is once more on the rise globally, is more harmful than previously thought.

A new analysis of 77 unvaccinated children from the Netherlands carried out by an international team of researchers led by scientists at Harvard has found that the virus erases the body's memory of previous pathogens -- effectively wiping its immunity memory.

The virus eliminated between 11 and 73 percent of the children's protective antibodies, blood proteins responsible for "remembering" previous encounters with disease, the team wrote in the journal Science on Thursday.

This left some of the children with immunity close to that of a newborn baby.

Ref: https://sg.news.yahoo.com/getting-measles-resets-bodys-immune-system-024115427.html

Forum: Affordable health screenings available

We thank Ms Juliana Ang Hiok Lian and Mr Ng Chee Kheon for their suggestions (Make breast, cervical cancer tests free, Oct 31; Include eye test in Chas, Nov 1).

Regular screening for cervical and breast cancers can detect cancer at the early stages, when treatment results in better health outcomes.

To encourage more Singaporeans to go for cervical and breast cancer screening, the Ministry of Health has made screening more accessible and affordable under its national screening programmes.

Under the Screen for Life (SFL) programme, cervical cancer screening and the first follow-up visit at all Community Health Assist Scheme (Chas) general practitioner (GP) clinics are free for the Pioneer Generation (PG), $2 for the Merdeka Generation (MG) and Chas blue and orange card holders, and $5 for other Singaporeans.

Chas blue and orange cardholders are also eligible for free mammograms at the polyclinics.

At polyclinics, tests for cervical and breast cancer screening are subsidised for Singapore citizens and permanent residents. For example, a pap smear test for cervical cancer screening is $15, and a human papillomavirus test is $22.50 for Singaporeans. Mammograms are offered at $25 for PG and $33.75 for MG seniors, and $50 for other Singaporeans.

As mammograms are recommended for women aged 50 to 69, Singaporeans in this age group can use Medisave to pay for them, without needing to pay any cash.

Regular eye screening is generally recommended only for certain groups, among them diabetic patients and the elderly. Diabetic retinal photography is subsidised at polyclinics and participating GP clinics under Chas and the primary care networks. For Singaporeans aged 60 and above, Project Silver Screen provides screening for age-related decline in seniors' vision, hearing and oral health at the same subsidised fees as the SFL.

Lyn James (Dr)
Director, Epidemiology & Disease Control Division, Public Health Group
Ministry of Health

Ref: http://str.sg/JwgG



You may want to read Screen for Life (SFL) is a national screening programme that encourages Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents to go for regular health screenings and follow up

NTUC Fairprice’s ‘no plastic bag’ initiative to be extended to 25 stores islandwide for a year


NTUC FairPrice will be extending its “No Plastic Bag” initiative to 25 stores across the island, up from seven previously, after a month-long trial run received positive feedback from customers.

From Nov 11, the initiative will involve 12 FairPrice outlets — including those in Hougang One, Kallang Wave Mall, Paya Lebar Quarter and Bukit Timah Plaza — five Cheers outlets and eight FairPrice Xpress outlets.


The supermarket chain said in a media release on Monday (Nov 4) that the initiative will last for a year, and shoppers who require bags can purchase them at 20 cents per transaction at the participating FairPrice, FairPrice Finest and FairPrice Xtra stores, or 10 cents per transaction at Cheers and FairPrice Xpress stores. The proceeds will go to the Singapore Children’s Society and The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund.

FairPrice Group chief executive Seah Kian Peng said that they observed more customers started to bring-your-own-bag (BYOB) and show greater awareness for the environment.

Ref: https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/ntucs-no-plastic-bag-initiative-be-extended-25-stores-island-wide-year

Six ways for you to achieve healthier meals


Ref: https://www.tnp.sg/lifestyle/health/six-ways-you-achieve-healthier-meals

Monday, 4 November 2019

New charity fund to provide financial support for Singaporeans with rare diseases - updated


Rare diseases are conditions that affect a very small number of people. They are often diagnosed during childhood and are mostly genetic in origin.

Many rare diseases do not have available treatments and patients often have shorter lifespans as a result, but for some rare diseases, effective treatments are available which can increase patients' life expectancies and improve their quality of life.

These medicines can cost up to hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, explained MOH, and patients often need to take them for their whole lives.

As such, Rare Disease Fund aims to encourage community donations to support Singaporeans with rare diseases who are treated in public healthcare institutions, but cannot afford treatment costs. For every S$1 the public donates, the Government will provide S$3 in matching contributions.

Latest: The Rare Disease Fund now covers Singaporeans with Pompe disease, primary bile acid synthesis disorder; Gaucher disease; and hyperphenylalaninaemia due to tetrahydrobiopterin deficiency.


Read more @ 
1) https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/charity-fund-health-rare-disease-treatment-cost-11682554
2) https://www.tnp.sg/news/singapore/rare-disease-fund-now-covers-singaporeans-pompe-disease

Saturday, 2 November 2019

Forum: How next of kin can access dead person's bank deposits

We thank Mr Goh Kian Huat for his letter, (What happens to unclaimed CPF money, bank deposits?, Oct 24).

For bank account holders who have passed on, there is a process for their next of kin to ascertain and access their assets.

Where the deceased had made a will, the named executor(s) can apply to the court for a Grant of Probate, which can then be used to access the deceased's bank deposits.

If there is no will, then the next of kin would have to apply to the Court for a Grant of Letters of Administration.

The executor or administrator may then take the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration to the banks to find out if there are monies belonging to the deceased.

Upon verification, banks will release monies to the executor or administrator.

This legal process ensures that a deceased's assets are handed over to an authorised person to be distributed to the rightful beneficiaries.

There is no time limit for making such a claim.

Regarding inactive accounts more broadly, some banks proactively reach out to their customers after a long period of inactivity.

Nonetheless, there are practical limits to how far a bank can go to locate an inactive customer.

All banks are expected to maintain accurate records of their customers' accounts and to have added controls to ensure only authorised access to unclaimed monies in inactive accounts.

Mr Goh's concerns highlight the importance of making a will.

We encourage all Singaporeans to do so, so that their loved ones are informed of their assets and intended financial arrangements.

Jerome Lee
Director (Corporate Communications)
Monetary Authority of Singapore

Ref: http://str.sg/JwZT

Singaporeans to pick Founders' Memorial design

Singaporeans are being offered a chance to help pick a design for the Founders' Memorial - and shape the skyline of the future.

Five designs have been shortlisted to honour the Republic's pioneer leaders. The designs will be unveiled to the public from next Monday, to give Singaporeans a chance to vote for one that appeals most to them.

The memorial is slated to open in 2027.


Select your design here.

Ref: https://www.tnp.sg/news/singapore/singaporeans-pick-founders-memorial-design

Recycle with these vending machines

Source: tnp

Instead of accepting coins and notes, the vending machine takes in empty drink cans and plastic bottles. And rather than dispensing drinks, it gives out discount vouchers.

For every four drink receptacles deposited, a discount voucher worth 20 cents - that can be used at any FairPrice, Cheers or FairPrice Xpress outlet - will be issued.

This "reverse" vending machine, like 49 others that will be progressively rolled out across the island by March next year, is the biggest initiative of its kind by the National Environment Agency (NEA) with Fraser & Neave (F&N) to encourage the public to recycle.

Ref: https://www.tnp.sg/news/singapore/recycle-these-vending-machines

Exceptional people: Hotel staff win awards for quick thinking, honesty

From left) Mr Iswady Motar Ali, assistant security manager at Amara Sanctuary Resort Sentosa; Ms Tan Keng Sin, manager at Cool Zone in Shangri-La's Rasa Sentosa Resort and Spa; and Miss Cheng Yu-En, duty manager at Orchard Hotel. Source: tnp
They went the extra mile to help guests in times of need. Read all about them here.

Ref: https://www.tnp.sg/news/singapore/hotel-staff-win-awards-bravery-honesty

Friday, 1 November 2019

Tuberculosis drug price slashed in global push to thwart killer disease

Image for illustration only

French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi slashed the price of a key anti-tuberculosis (TB) drug on Thursday (Oct 31), boosting the battle against the world's deadliest disease alongside the US launch of tests for a new treatment.

The initiatives came as the United Nations seeks to galvanise the campaign against TB, which killed 1.5 million people last year and saw 10 million more infected.

Scientists, who hailed Sanofi's decision to cut the price of its rifapentine drug by two thirds, said the medical shield offered by such treatments would be crucial to the UN aim of eradicating the disease by 2030.

"This lifesaving drug has, until now, been completely unaffordable in developing countries," said Lelio Marmora, head of Unitaid, a global health initiative that helped broker the landmark deal between the firm and the Global Fund.

Read more @ https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/world/tuberculosis-drug-price-global-push-12050856

New daycare centre for the terminally ill gives them support


One of just three palliative daycare services listed by the Singapore Hospice Council, Dover Park's palliative daycare service for patients with terminal illness and their caregivers, was officially opened yesterday.

The daycare is free and provides free transport and meals for its patients.

Mr Timothy Liu, chief executive officer of Dover Park Hospice, which runs the daycare, said the service is funded by the Ministry of Health and the hospice. The latter funds the daycare through donations.

Mr Liu said: "Daycare is an important aspect of palliative care, and it is subsidised to ensure it is affordable to patients who will benefit from it."

Ref: https://www.tnp.sg/news/singapore/new-daycare-centre-terminally-ill-gives-them-support

My photo - Dragonfly


A public domain photo by me

Forum: Highlight examples of good behaviour so others can learn

I am proud to be Singaporean because the majority of us are well behaved and kind. Like any other society, there is a small minority who do not conform.

I have often been offered help without even asking for it.

For example, a middle-aged man who had overheard me and my friends discussing how to get to an MRT station pointed us in the right direction.

In another instance, a young woman walked up to me to help when she noticed I was fumbling with the ATM.

While it is good to be made aware of our shortcomings, it is better to have a balanced view. Being too critical of ourselves will work to our disadvantage.

We may not be the best-behaved people but we are not the worst.

A recent sea cruise gave me the chance to notice how well behaved Singaporeans are compared with passengers from other countries.

Of course, we did not tell off those passengers. They may have had a reason to behave differently from us. And as Asians, we did not show our disapproval outright.

There is a noticeable difference in social behaviour among Singaporeans of different generations. It takes time for society to change.

I believe that social behaviour improves with economic development. In Singapore's case, the economy developed so rapidly that there was no time for graciousness to catch up.

But we should highlight examples of good behaviour so that those who appear to be less gracious will eventually catch up.

Yeo Boon Eng

Ref: http://str.sg/JUuA

Brain tonic soup for that extra mental boost


Ref: https://www.tnp.sg/lifestyle/hed-chef/brain-tonic-soup-extra-mental-boost

Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Pensioners are being 'poisoned' by strong medication because clinical trials use younger people


Pensioners are being poisoned by medication because the elderly are excluded from clinical trials, an NHS chief warned yesterday.

Sir Munir Pirmohamed said older patients are often unable to process strong pills yet can be prescribed between ten and 20 different types of medication at once. He said this led to the risk of adverse effects when drugs interact with each other.

‘Most drugs have been tested in younger people, and tested in people without multiple diseases,’ he told a House of Lords committee. ‘When we use a drug at a dose that is licensed, we’re often poisoning the elderly because of the doses we are using.

‘This is largely because as you get older your renal function declines and you also have drug interactions.

Ref: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7628649/Pensioners-poisoned-strong-medication.html

Exceptional people: Air force engineer lauded for bright idea at Innovation Symposium


An idea by a Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) engineer to replace just the lights on the F-15SG fighter jet instead of the whole wing tip component not only saved money and downtime for the plane but also made its way into the technical manual for F-15 operators all over the world.

According to the technical manual by Boeing, the aircraft's manufacturer, the entire wing position lighting assembly, which houses the lights that make the aircraft easier to spot, had to be changed.

But Military Expert 3 Ng Yong Yong, 47, realised that just the LED module could be replaced, instead of the entire assembly.

It was more than 99% cheaper to do it this way and the whole process took just three man-hours instead of two days.

Ref: https://www.tnp.sg/news/singapore/air-force-engineer-lauded-bright-idea-innovation-symposium

Forum: Funeral industry needs fundamental reforms

It should concern the public that the funeral industry was flagged by the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore for poor record-keeping practices (Taxman recovers $175m in GST, penalties from Jan-Sept, Oct 14).

The industry is not ready for Singapore's transition to a smart nation.

The Association of Funeral Directors should help members digitalise their operations and strengthen their internal controls.

Funeral service providers need to exercise more oversight and due diligence to comply with current regulations.

An industrywide code of conduct to raise the level of professionalism appears to be lacking, and practices vary greatly from company to company.

Some operators that claim to provide funeral-related services are merely name-card holders without full-time staff.

As such, the funeral industry needs to see some fundamental reforms.

The Government and the relevant stakeholders should review the industry's operations and identify consumers' key requirements.

The review should also examine the adequacy of current public-health-related laws.

A comprehensive piece of legislation will eliminate non-compliant companies and go a long way towards consolidating the funeral services market and raise its standards.

Chen Jiaxi

Ref: http://str.sg/JUud

#JokowiChallenge: Indonesian president’s unusual cross-legged sitting pose becomes internet’s latest obsession






Read more @ https://www.todayonline.com/jokowichallenge-indonesian-presidents-unusual-cross-legged-sitting-pose-becomes-internets-latest

Tuesday, 29 October 2019

Measles cases in Singapore hit 149 amid global increase

Image for illustration only

The number of measles cases in Singapore has hit the highest level since an outbreak in 1997, figures from the Ministry of Health on Thursday (Oct 24) showed.

According to the latest weekly infectious diseases bulletin published on Thursday, there were 149 measles cases in Singapore as of Oct 19.

That is more than four times the number of cases for the whole of 2018, when there were 34.

The number of measles cases in Singapore hit 1,413 in 1997, before the Government introduced the two-dose MMR vaccination schedule in 1998. The number of cases fell to just 114 that year.

Read more @ https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/measles-cases-singapore-highest-level-mmr-vaccine-12033560

Scam warning: SGH files police report over fake invoice scam


The Singapore General Hospital (SGH) said on Saturday (Oct 26) that it has filed a police report over a fake invoice scam.

The hospital also cautioned members of the public against falling for such falsified documents.

"A fake invoice bearing SGH logo was brought to our attention. It was used to borrow money. Please do not fall prey to such scams," SGH said in a post on Facebook.

SGH requested for the public to message them via Facebook should they encounter such a letter.

Read more @ https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/sgh-fake-invoice-scam-police-report-12037526

Mother claims her nine-year-old son's eczema cleared overnight after giving him cocoa butter moisturiser





 A mother claims her nine-year-old son's painful eczema was cleared overnight by a cream she bought in Aldi.

Sarah Boyd, from Caerphilly in Wales, was devastated that 'nothing was working' to relieve Ben of his skin condition.

His eczema left him with cracked and bleeding feet, and he even found it painful to put his shoes on and walk.

But Ben's feet improved overnight after trying the Palmer's Cocoa Butter, which was on sale at the budget supermarket chain.

Ref: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-7609211/Boys-eczema-cleared-overnight-taking-2-60-cocoa-butter-moisturiser-Aldi.html

Forum: Unclaimed monies: CPF Board could be more proactive


More can be done to encourage people to nominate the beneficiaries of their Central Provident Fund (CPF) savings.

Perhaps retirees could be recruited to go door to door to speak to CPF members and explain the benefits of nominating beneficiaries and how to go about the process (Unclaimed CPF monies grow to over $200m, Oct 21).

The seniors can be paid for each visit as an incentive.

As the custodian of our savings, the CPF Board should do all it can to ensure that the money does not lie unclaimed when a CPF member dies. The board could be more proactive - that is the socially responsible thing to do.

Mayur Vora

Ref: http://str.sg/JUsM

Monday, 28 October 2019

People who feel younger are healthier than those who feel older, say experts

Not long ago, Stephanie Heller, a New Jersey realtor, was leaving her gym after a workout when she noticed a woman in the parking lot struggling to bend down. “I don’t know if she dropped something and had to pick it up, or if her shoe was untied,” Heller said, but she eagerly bounded over to help. The woman blamed old age for her incapacity, explaining that she was 70. But Heller was 71.

“This woman felt every bit her age,” she recalled. “I don’t let age stop me. I think it’s a mindset, really.”

Each of us has a chronological age, the number we commemorate on birthdays. But some 50-, 60- and 70-year-olds look and feel youthful, while others do not. Scientists can measure these differences by looking at age-related biomarkers – things like skin elasticity, blood pressure, lung capacity and grip strength. People with a healthy lifestyle and living conditions and a fortunate genetic inheritance tend to score “younger” on these assessments and are said to have a lower “biological age.”

Scientists are finding that people who feel younger than their chronological age are typically healthier and more psychologically resilient than those who feel older. They perform better on memory tasks and are at lower risk of cognitive decline. In a study published in 2018, a team of South Korean researchers scanned the brains of 68 healthy older adults and found that those who felt younger than their age had thicker brain matter and had endured less age-related deterioration. By contrast, people who feel older than their chronological age are more at risk for hospitalization, dementia and death.

Ref: https://cnalifestyle.channelnewsasia.com/wellness/you-re-only-as-old-as-you-feel-12010858

How even a little exercise could help you avoid many types of cancer


In 2008, a large group of researchers convened to comb through the available science about exercise and cancer and decide if there was enough evidence to tell patients that they could and even should work out. In 2010, the group published its recommendations, which amounted to saying that exercise appeared to be safe for most people with cancer and they should try, in general, to be active.

Since then, however, there has been “exponential growth” in research related to exercise and cancer, says Kathryn Schmitz, a professor of public health and cancer control at Penn State University and the immediate past president of the American College of Sports Medicine.

So, last year, she and almost 40 other researchers from 17 international health groups gathered to determine whether there was sufficient evidence now to refine the recommendations about cancer and exercise. The group wound up gathering hundreds of studies involving animals and people that examined the impacts of exercise on dozens of aspects of cancer risk and cancer recovery.

And they concluded that there was more than enough evidence to start suggesting that exercise should be a part of standard treatment for most people with cancer. They also found that exercise should be considered a means to substantially drop the risk of developing cancer in the first place.

Ref: https://cnalifestyle.channelnewsasia.com/wellness/exercise-advice-for-surviving-cancer-and-maybe-avoiding-it-12007292

My photo - hibiscus flower


A public domain photo by me

Hip fracture rates in Singapore falling

Hip fractures affect disproportionately more women than men as an abrupt oestrogen decline after menopause puts them at greater risk of osteoporosis, which increases the risk of hip fracture by two to three times compared with men.

Other strong risk factors for osteoporosis are older age and lower body mass index.

After looking at 50 variables, the study concluded that likely risk factors for osteoporosis in Singaporean women were: Short stature, older, thin and Chinese.

Osteoporotic hip fractures in women above 50 years are eight times more common than breast cancer in Singapore.

Read more @
1) https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/hip-fracture-rates-among-spore-chinese-women-fall-still-far-higher-malay-indian-women
2) https://www.tnp.sg/news/singapore/hip-fracture-rates-singapore-falling

Eye stroke

A man in China went blind in one eye after suffering an 'eye stroke' while using his smartphone in bed, according to reports.

The man, known only as Wang, is said to have temporarily lost his sight while playing games on the device with the lights off.

Doctors in Xi'an, Shaanxi province, diagnosed him with central retinal artery occlusion.

The condition, also known as an eye stroke, is caused by a blockage or narrowing of the arteries carrying oxygen to the retina. They affect one per cent of the population.

Severity of eye stroke:
  • The most common type of eye stroke is called central retinal artery occlusion. It can leave you with little useful vision.
  • You might be able to see a hand move, but not much more. Rarely, your vision might return on its own.
  • If you have the less serious blockage in the smaller arteries, your vision may go back to normal about 80% of the time.

Ref: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-7613781/Doctors-China-claim-smartphone-addicted-man-left-temporarily-blind-eye-stroke.html

Sunday, 27 October 2019

Saturday, 26 October 2019

Exceptional people that helped locals in times of trouble

1) One SBS worker saves a life, another reunites family

(Left) Mr Ang Eng Huat and Mr Abdul Azim Abdul Azizam

2) Manager stops housewife from falling victim to ‘Interpol mission’ scam

(From left) Ms Sally Tay, assistant service manager at DBS Bank; Ms Chiang Boon Cheng Kristie, 42, customer service manager from OCBC Bank; and Mr Ong Teck Cheong Alson, 31, a bank teller from OCBC

3) Commuters recognised for helping to catch upskirters

Ms Chiang Su Sia being handed the award by Assistant Commissioner of Police Evon Ng

The end of hair loss during chemo?


Scientists claim to have found a way to stop cancer patients from losing their hair during chemotherapy.

The destruction of healthy cells, as well as cancerous ones, causes common chemotherapy side effects, such as hair loss.

However, researchers at the University of Manchester found coating follicles with another type of cancer drug may prevent hair loss.

Laboratory tests showed CDK4/6 inhibitors made the follicles 'less susceptible' to chemotherapy drugs called taxanes.

Ref: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-7456511/The-end-hair-loss-chemo.html

Just one dose of 'hugely exciting' eczema jab 'improves the skin of patients within a month'


Millions of eczema patients may benefit from a new injection after scientists found a jab may treat the common condition.

Oxford University scientists found the pioneering therapy improved the skin of 12 patients – and the results lasted for a month.

Charities today said the results were 'hugely exciting' and claimed the medication, called etokimab, is part of the 'future of treatment'.

Researchers are now planning to trial the antibody treatment – which patients get intravenously – on 300 eczema sufferers.

Ref: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-7605453/Pioneering-eczema-jab-improves-skin-patients-month.html