HomeNews EventsNewsSpotlight on sustainable public health solutions at the 2nd Singapore International Public Health Conference

Spotlight on sustainable public health solutions at the 2nd Singapore International Public Health Conference

30 Sep 2016

Professor Chia Kee Seng, Dean of the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, highlighting the School's projections on the number of diabetics in Singapore which have played a pivotal role in the national fight against diabetes. 

Several key public health challenges including Singapore's ongoing "War on Diabetes" and the threat of infectious diseases such as dengue and Zika were highlighted at the 2nd Singapore International Public Health Conference and the 11th Singapore Public Health and Occupational Medicine Conference.  

Close to 600 international and local researchers, academics, healthcare professionals, policy-makers and industry leaders from 25 countries attended the Conference on 29 and 30 September 2016. With the theme "Contemporary Challenges, Sustainable Solutions", public health experts gathered to seek sustainable solutions to the many public health challenges facing a growing, developing and more integrated Asia.  Topics discussed over the 2-day Conference revolved around key threads of emerging issues in infectious diseases, the impact of ageing, obesity, and the rising chronic disease burden on population health. 

Professor Chia Kee Seng, Dean of the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, outlined the School's projection efforts in driving the Ministry of Health's recent declaration of a "War on Diabetes", with greater emphasis placed on prevention, and increasing the capacity of Singapore's health promotion and healthcare systems. Nearly $1million will be set aside for the School's 11 upcoming research projects on diabetes. He also announced 3 strategic research areas: (1) to better understand factors for increasing obesity in young adults; (2) to explore lifestyle behaviours of pre-school children; (3) to gain insights into factors influencing health promotion programmes at the workplace. 

"The changing lifestyles, increasing travel and trade, and growing urbanisation in Asia have translated into new public health challenges for the region," said Associate Professor Vernon Lee, President of the College of Public Health and Occupational Physicians, Academy of Medicine, Singapore. "We need to collaborate across different disciplines, institutions and countries to effectively address the impact of rapidly ageing populations and chronic diseases on healthcare costs and public health systems, and also to reduce the risk of infectious diseases spread by the rapid movement of people and goods in our global economy," he added. 

Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Health and Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, delivered the Opening Address as Guest-of-Honour, emphasising the importance of a multidisciplinary and multi-sectorial approach in facing diverse public health challenges.

The Conference also featured plenary speeches from Dr Richard Horton, Editor-in-Chief of The Lancet, Professor Richard Coker, Head of the Communicable Diseases Policy Research Group, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Professor Sarah Harper, Director and Professor of Gerontology at the University of Oxford, and Professor Jacob (Jaap) Seidell, Head of the Institute for Health Sciences, VU University Amsterdam. 

The 2nd Singapore International Public Health Conference is jointly organised every 4 years by the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health and the College of Public Health and Occupational Physicians, Academy of Medicine, Singapore. 

Media Coverage:

Press Release: Public health challenges in Asia call for concerted efforts to seek sustainable and effective multi-disciplinary solutions 

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