Health News

  • Urgent Care Centre doctor dispels common misconceptions about urgent and private healthcare in Singapore
    by Sophia Kuek on June 20, 2024 at 1:00 am

    Picking a healthcare provider may be daunting, especially if you find yourself overwhelmed by questions about insurance coverage while stuck in hypotheticals about the future state of your health. However, it all really boils down to four main considerations, according to Dr Adrian Wong, a Senior Resident Physician at Gleneagles Hospital's Urgent Care Centre (UCC). Dr Adrian Wong is a Senior Resident Physician at the Gleneagles Hospital Urgent Care Centre. PHOTO: AsiaOne/Dennis Palit "The important considerations for medical care are the 3Cs and 1R - convenience, condition, cost and reputation," shared Dr Wong. In an in-depth interview with AsiaOne, the seasoned UCC physician also shared more about his healthcare experience and dispelled three common misconceptions that people might have about private care. Read on to learn more about choosing a healthcare provider before your next doctor's visit. […]

  • Pfizer's Duchenne gene therapy fails in late-stage study
    on June 13, 2024 at 1:33 am

    Pfizer said on Wednesday (June 12) its experimental gene therapy for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) failed to improve the motion function of patients in a late-stage trial compared with a placebo. The therapy also did not show a significant difference compared to placebo in secondary goals of the study such the time it takes for patients to rise from the floor or improve speed in a 10-metre run or walk. DMD is a genetic muscle wasting disorder in which most patients lack the protein dystrophin, which keeps muscles intact. The disorder affects an estimated 1-in-3,500 male births worldwide. Pfizer's one-time gene therapy aims to deliver a shortened version of the missing human dystrophin gene to DMD patient's cells. The results of the trial in boys ages four to seven years marks another setback for Pfizer, which needs revenue from new medicines as billions of dollars from sales of Covid-19 products have evaporated due to sharply declining demand. […]

  • Get up and go: How the walking trend is making strides in Singapore
    by Jessica Novia on June 10, 2024 at 9:57 am

    Walking is having its moment. If you have been scrolling through social media lately, you might have stumbled upon #hotgirlwalk, showing women incorporating outdoor walks into their fitness routines. The hashtag has been trending globally on short-video app TikTok since 2021, with the clips having been viewed more than 1.2 billion times. Other viral sensations on the platform include #NatureWalk videos – people walking or hiking in nature – with 250.7 million views, and #WalkingBackwards videos – trekking around in reverse to improve balance and reduce knee pains – with 16.2 million views. Then there is #SilentWalking, for those who prefer walking without headphones or any audio distractions – clips with that hashtag have garnered a total of 879,000 views. The walking trend is also gaining traction in Singapore. A quick search for “walking group Singapore” throws up more than 20 groups on Facebook, including one – Singapore Walking Group – with more than 10,000 members. […]

  • Indonesia ramps up fight against tuberculosis amid concerns on economic impact
    on June 10, 2024 at 8:10 am

    JAKARTA — Indonesia plans to run clinical trials of several vaccines to fight surging cases of tuberculosis (TB) in 2024, with concerns the disease might affect economic growth, ministers said on June 10. The South-east Asian country has seen TB cases spike during the past few years, with the health ministry estimating there were over one million cases in 2023, compared to around 820,000 in 2020. In 2022, deaths from TB in Indonesia reached around 134,000, the second highest in the world after India. Three-quarters of the patients were in the productive age group and 45 per cent of all patients did not work, raising concerns that the spread of the disease is hurting economic activity, human development minister Muhadjir Effendy told a government meeting with provincial leaders. The minister did not provide an estimate of the impact on growth. Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said Indonesia plans to conduct a trial of TB vaccine developed by global pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline in July, involving 2,500 people. The vaccine development is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. […]

  • 'It's heartrending because this can be prevented': Doctors on why cervical cancer is still a top killer in Singapore
    by Akshita Nanda on June 4, 2024 at 7:15 am

    SINGAPORE — Mas Azura Abdul Rahman, 32, works as a clinic manager for a gynaecologist. The trained nurse knows the importance of screening for cervical cancer, which is done through regular pap smears or testing for the human papillomavirus (HPV). Still, the married mum of three children aged five to 13 has been hesitant to go for regular pap smears, citing discomfort and embarrassment over the test. In early 2022, she was diagnosed with a pre-cancerous condition and had to have the affected cells of the cervix removed. Subsequent testing has shown that she is out of danger, and she is now looking forward to her pap smear later in 2024 to reinforce her clean bill of health. Her advice to other women now is to prioritise routine testing for cervical cancer. "Don't be scared, don't be stubborn," says Azura. Cervical cancer is preventable and easily screened for, doctors say, yet it remains one of the most common cancers in women in Singapore. […]

  • Free TCM clinic run by charity organisation opens in Punggol
    by Samuel Devaraj on May 27, 2024 at 2:51 am

    SINGAPORE - A new clinic providing free traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) services officially opened in Punggol on May 26. Seu Teck Medical Institution (Punggol Branch) at Block 176A Edgefield Plains provides services such as consultation, dispensary services, acupuncture and therapeutic tuina massage. The clinic, which has been running since March, has two physicians. This is the third free TCM clinic operated by Seu Teck Medical Institution, a charity managed by Bukit Timah Seu Teck Sean Tong Institution. The other two are in Jurong East and Clementi. All three clinics rely entirely on donations to sustain their operations. Pasir Ris-Punggol MPs Teo Chee Hean and Yeo Wan Ling were at the new Punggol branch's official opening. Speaking at the event, Senior Minister Teo said TCM plays a very important role in helping and encouraging residents to stay healthy and stay fit. "Many of the residents want to live a happy and healthy life, and they also believe in a good balance in the body and in the environment, and the TCM techniques help us to find that," he said. […]

  • New in town: Sportswear brand Hoka opens first physical store in Singapore at Ion Orchard
    by Melissa Teo on May 13, 2024 at 9:35 am

    Those into running would probably have heard of Hoka, a US sportswear brand that specialises in comfortable, chunky shoes.  Previously, their products were only available online or in partner stores like Foot Locker Orchard Gateway@Emerald and Running Lab Takashimaya.  Now finally, they have a place here to call their own.  In a press release on May 13, Hoka announced that they have opened their first official and physical outlet in Singapore at Ion Orchard. "We have been experiencing strong demand for Hoka in Singapore in the past few years, with an increased interest in running," said Prasanna Bhaskar, general manager and senior director of APAC distribution and e-commerce.  "We are very excited to announce the first official Hoka store in an effort to ramp up our presence in the region and offer the running community a space where they can interact with our running advisors."  The brand currently has physical stores in countries like Japan and the Philippines.&nbs […]

  • People with 2 copies of a risk gene have genetic form of Alzheimer's, scientists say
    on May 7, 2024 at 3:03 am

    CHICAGO — People who carry two copies of the APOE4 gene are virtually guaranteed to develop Alzheimer's and face symptoms at an earlier age, researchers reported on Monday (May 6) in a study that could redefine such carriers as having a new genetic form of the mind-wasting disease. The reclassification could change Alzheimer's research, diagnosis and approaches to treatment, according to the researchers, whose study was published in the journal Nature Medicine. "Through these data we are saying that perhaps this is a genetic form of this disease, not merely a risk factor indication," study co-author Sterling Johnson of the University of Wisconsin's Alzheimer's Disease Research Centre told reporters in a briefing. Scientists have known for three decades that people with two copies of APOE4 gene variant have significantly higher risk of developing the disease than people with the most common version of the APOE gene, known as APOE3. About two per cent to three per cent of the general population, or 15 per cent of people with Alzheimer's, have two copies of the APOE4 variant. […]

  • 'Allow people to have better control of their life': NKF expands overnight dialysis with over 200 new slots
    by Joyce Teo on April 26, 2024 at 1:29 am

    SINGAPORE — The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) will expand its overnight dialysis capacity from 36 slots in two centres to 250 slots in five centres by 2027 to meet the evolving needs of its patients, as well as to keep pace with fast-rising demand from a rapidly ageing population. This was announced at NKF's 55th anniversary event, held at its headquarters in Kim Keat Road on April 25. With 41 dialysis centres, NKF is the biggest dialysis provider in Singapore, caring for around 5,500 of the roughly 9,000 people here who are on dialysis. Other patients are treated mostly at private dialysis centres. The fight against kidney failure continues as, each day, six new patients are diagnosed with kidney failure in Singapore. "The total number of kidney failure patients is rising: 10 years ago it was 5,500, today it is 8,800," said Health Minister Ong Ye Kung at the event. The major culprits are diabetes and hypertension, which are precursors to kidney failure, he added. […]

  • Health-harming heat stress rising in Europe, scientists say
    on April 22, 2024 at 3:23 am

    BRUSSELS — Europe is increasingly facing bouts of heat so intense that the human body cannot cope, as climate change continues to raise temperatures, the EU's Copernicus climate monitoring service and the World Meteorological Organisation said on Monday (April 22). In a report on Europe's climate, Copernicus and the WMO noted last year's extreme conditions, including a July heatwave which pushed 41 per cent of southern Europe into strong, very strong or extreme heat stress — the biggest area of Europe under such conditions in any day on record. Extreme heat poses particular health risks to outdoor workers, the elderly, and people with existing conditions like cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. Parts of Italy recorded seven per cent more deaths than normal last July, with victims including a 44-year-old man painting road markings in the northern town of Lodi who collapsed and died. […]