Over 300 residents and visitors to the Town attended the inaugural Community Health Fair 2013, jointly organised by the Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council and the 3 Constituency Committees (AJCC, HGCC and PECC), in partnership with the Singapore Cancer Society.
The event – consisting of informative posters, take home pamphlets and health talks by surgeons and nutritionist – educated the residents living in the three constituencies on the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of common illnesses such as diabetes and colorectal cancer. Health maintenance and disease prevention via a healthy diet were also emphasized. A dialogue was held after each talk, during which the doctors and nutritionist answered various concerns and questions such as colonoscopy risks and the definition of ‘healthy carbohydrates’.
During the event, Faecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) kits were also given out to residents aged 50 years and above. Volunteers from the constituency committees and the Singapore Cancer Society were present to educate them on the correct usage of the FOBT kits.
Madam Tan, a housewife who lives near Bedok Reservoir Road, first learnt about the health fair from banners put up around her estate. She said, “Volunteers were patient and helpful when we (residents) asked questions on the usage of the FOBT kits. Prior to the event, elderly citizens like me also do not know that such testing means (FOBT kits) are widely available. After this event, I learnt how to sign up for these FOBT kits to ensure I am checked for colorectal cancer every year.”
Echoing her views, Mr. Tan, a retiree living in Rivervale Drive said, “The health fair has surpassed my expectations as it did not merely distribute FOBT kits; we (residents) had a platform to seek professional medical advice with regards to our current health problems such as toe infection (a first symptom of diabetes) during the dialogue.”
Wendy, a resident from Hougang, hopes that health fairs such as the one organised on Sunday can be held with more regularity. She concluded, “It is a good initiative by the town council to organise this health fair to raise awareness amongst the residents with regards to health issues we may face. I hope such events can be held once every half year, if that is possible.”
MPs for Aljunied GRC Mr. Low Thia Khiang and Mr. Pritam Singh, as well as MP for Punggol East SMC Ms. Lee Li Lian were also present to interact with the residents at the event.
Photo credit: Mr Fong Guo Feng