How to deal with post
Ouch...! My Throat Hurts
Keeping Your Child Safe
Menjaga Keselamatan Anak Anda
Protect Your Eyes From Cataract
More HFL Centres To Serve The Community 7
Woodlands Polyclinic Reopens
Be A Volunteer
Healthy Recipe: Fish Curry
A newsletter fo r p atients • F eb - M ar 2 0 0 8
How to deal with post-holiday ailments
The Chinese New Year holiday has been a time of visiting and feasting. Over the 4 days festive period, many
people went around visiting friends and relatives and indulged in their favourite Chinese New Year goodies.
Now that the holidays are over, people returned to their usual routine and many found themselves caught
with some common post-festive ailments such as indigestion, diarrhea and sore throat. These could be the
result of overeating of festive food and goodies. Harmful bacteria could also have been passed from one
to another when people partake in gatherings during the holidays, causing infection.
Besides visiting the doctor, there are ways which you can make these ailments go away.
Indigestion, also known as dyspepsia (dis-pep-see-ah), happens when you
eat too fast, especially by consuming high-fat foods quickly. Indigestion can
result in abdominal pain, nausea, abdominal bloating, belching, and sometimes
To treat indigestion, drink lots of fluid and have enough rest. Antacids may
also help in relieving the discomfort. There are different antacid preparations
available over the counter. As Antacids can interact with certain medications
such as antibiotics, iron, digoxin and warfarin, speak to your pharmacist to
select the most suitable antacid for you.
Diarrhoea can be caused by bacterial infection and food intolerances such as
consuming too much food that consist of artificial sweeteners and lactose.
When signs of diarrhoea appear, you should drink lots of water as diarrhoea
causes dehydration. Cut down on caffeine as it will worsen your diarrhoea.
As for food intake, stick to bland fare until the diarrhoea subsides.
What you can take to ease the diarrhoea:
- Charcoal pills (it helps to absorb toxins and reduce stomach “wind”). However,
it may interact with your current medicines so make sure you take it at least 2 hours apart from your
- Rehydration drinks (to prevent dehydration)
- Loperamide (to reduce stool frequency)
Talk to your pharmacist or doctor for more advice.
3. SORE THROAT
During the Chinese New Year period, many people spent their time visiting relatives and friends and may
have neglected their fluid intake. This may result in a sore throat. To ease a sore throat, take lots of
fluid and gargle with warm salt water. (More information on sore throat remedies can be found on page
If the conditions get worse, you are advised to seek medical treatment with your doctor.
MICA (P) 264/01/2007
My throat hurts
Most sore throats go away without treatment, often
within a week or so. Increasing your fluid intake and
getting extra sleep can help speed up your recovery.
Here are some things which you can do to ease the
pain and discomfort:
Increase your fluid intake. Fluids help keep mucus
thin and easy to clear. Have more soups. Drink more
water – not soda or drinks which contain caffeine
because they can dehydrate you further.
Gargle with warm salt water. Mix 1/2 teaspoon
of table salt in a full glass of warm water, gargle,
and then spit the water out. This will soothe your
throat and clear it of mucus.
Take honey and lemon. Stir honey and lemon to
taste into a glass of very hot water, allowing it to
cool to room temperature before you drink it.
Suck on a throat lozenge or hard candy. This
isn’t necessarily soothing in itself, but it does stimulate
saliva production, which bathes and cleanses your
throat. If you have diabetes, take sugar-free candies.
Humidify the air. Adding moisture to the air prevents
your mucous membranes from drying. This can
reduce irritation and help you sleep better. Change
the water in a room humidifier daily and clean the
unit at least once every three days to prevent the
growth of harmful molds and bacteria.
Avoid smoke and other air pollutants. If you are
a smoker, stop smoking for the time being - better
still, stop smoking completely!
Rest your voice. If your sore throat has affected
your voice box, talking may lead to more irritation
and a loss of voice.
You may want to see a doctor if your throat gets too
painful or if you are also having a fever. If your
doctor prescribes antibiotics for you, be sure to take
the entire course even when you are feeling better.
This helps prevent a partially treated infection from
returning and complications from bacterial infections.
Taking the entire course also helps to prevent bacteria
from becoming resistant to the antibiotics.
Prevention is better than cure
The single best way to prevent illness is also one
of the simplest: hand washing. Do it often, especially
when there are sick people around you. If soap and
water are not available, alcohol-based hand sanitiser
is an alternative to hand washing.
• Avoid sharing eating utensils, glasses, napkins,
food or towels with others.
• Clean telephones, remote controllers and computer
keyboards with sanitising cleanser regularly.
When you travel, clean phones and remote
controllers in your hotel room.
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Cough or sneeze into a tissue and then throw it
• Do not smoke and avoid exposure to secondhand smoke.
By Ms Ong Soo Im, Senior Pharmacist, NHG Pharmacy
With care and vigilance, you can help
prevent childhood accidents from happening,
whether at home or on the street.
In Singapore, accidental injuries are the second
leading cause of death among children, with
more than half happening at home. In 2001, it
accounted for 18 per cent of all deaths in children
below 16 years old.
If adults can exercise some caution, many of these accidents can actually be prevented.
Falls can be fatal. Children are insatiable explorers and love to pry and reach for high places. This is often
seen in active toddlers that are about 15 to 17 months old. Children below 4 years old also do not have
total control of their bodies and may misjudge their movements, causing them to fall from furniture, staircases
or playground equipment.
To avoid this, you may want to arrange home furniture in a way it is difficult for them to climb up and
constantly supervise them closely.
Toys are meant for children to have fun with and learn. Before buying any toy, check for sharp edges or
removable parts which can be accidentally swallowed by young children. Choose toys that are age-appropriate
and read the safety labels on them. Avoid toys that have strings, cords or spinning devices that may hurt
Scalds and burns are common and easily preventable injuries. Keep children out of the kitchen when
cooking. Put the iron away and out of reach of children after using it. Avoid using table cloths as children
may tug at them and cause hot food to fall on them. When running a bath for your child, fill it with cold
water before adding in the hot water to prevent him from being scalded should he jump in playfully. Use
thermos flasks with safety locks.
Drowning can take place in your own home, and it can happen very quickly. Young children should not
be left alone in the bathroom, especially in the bath-tub, not even for a few seconds because accidents can
happen in a split second.
Choking deaths usually occur in children under the age of five, and the majority of them are toddlers under
two years old. These toddlers love putting things into their mouths. To prevent this, keep small objects out
of reach. Do not feed babies when they are crying or lying down. Remind children not to play, talk or laugh
Potentially harmful products like washing detergents, pesticides and medications should be kept out
of reach of children to prevent them from getting their hands on these products and accidentally poisoning
Poisoning can also happen from over-dosing from medication, which can happen if parents doctor-hop
and end up giving their children the same medication prescribed by different doctors. Always read the labels
carefully and medicate your child by following the instructions closely.
Equip yourself in times of emergency
Always keep a first-aid box in your home for emergency use. Learning basic life saving techniques for choking
and other emergencies will also be helpful. Have a list of emergency numbers (nearest clinic and hospital)
next to your phone for easy access is also important so that you do not fumble around looking for the
numbers when the need arises. Nevertheless, prevention is still better than cure.
Dr Karen Ng, Head, Ang Mo Kio Polyclinic
Dengan keprihatinan dan kewaspadaan, anda
dapat mengelakkan kemalangan di kalangan
kanak-kanak, meskipun di rumah ataupun di
Di Singapura, kecederaan akibat kemalangan adalah punca kedua yang terbesar yang menyebabkan kematian di
kalangan kanak-kanak, dan separuh daripadanya berlaku di rumah. Pada tahun 2001, ia telah membabitkan 18 peratus
daripada jumlah kematian kanak-kanak di bawah umur 16 tahun.
Jika orang dewasa bersikap lebih berwaspada, kebanyakan kemalangan ini boleh dielakkan.
Akibat terjatuh boleh membawa maut. Kanak-kanak mempunyai sifat ingin tahu dan sangat suka untuk memeriksa
dan memanjat tempat-tempat yang tinggi. Ini biasa berlaku di kalangan kanak-kanak bertatih yang aktif dalam lingkungan
umur 15 hingga 17 bulan. Kanak-kanak yang berumur kurang daripada 4 tahun tidak boleh mengawal badan mereka
dengan sepenuhnya dan mungkin tersalah imbang dalam gerak-geri mereka, yang menyebabkan mereka terjatuh dari
perabot, tangga atau alat permainan di taman.
Untuk mengelakkannya, anda mungkin ingin menyusun semula perabot di rumah anda agar sukar bagi mereka
memanjatnya dan pastikan agar anda sentiasa mengawasi mereka dengan dekat.
Permainan bertujuan untuk menggembirakan dan memberi pembelajaran kepada kanak-kanak. Sebelum anda membeli
sebarang permainan, periksa dahulu supaya tiada bahagian-bahagian yang tajam atau bahagian yang mudah dialihkan
yang mungkin akan ditelan oleh kanak-kanak dengan tidak sengaja. Pilih permainan yang sesuai dengan umur dan baca
maklumat keselamatan pada label. Elakkan permainan yang mempunyai tali dan tali pintal, atau alat yang berputar
kerana ia mungkin akan mencederakan anak anda.
Kulit melecur dan terbakar adalah kecederaan yang biasa berlaku dan boleh dicegah. Jangan biarkan kanak-kanak
masuk ke dapur semasa anda sedang memasak. Simpan seterika setelah menggunakannya dan letakkan di tempat
yang tidak mudah dicapai oleh kanak-kanak. Eloksekiranya anda tidak menggunakan alas meja kerana si-kecil suka
menyentapnya dan membuat makanan panas tertumpah ke atas mereka. Bila menyediakan tempat mandi si-manja,
isi dengan air sejuk dahulu sebelum mengisi air panas untuk mengelakkan kelecuran berlaku kepada anak anda sekiranya
dia melompat masuk sambil bermain-main. Gunakan botol termus yang berkunci.
Kejadian mati lemas boleh juga berlaku di rumah sendiri dan dengan begitu cepat sekali. Anak kecil tidak boleh
ditinggalkan bersendirian dalam bilik mandi, terutamanya dalam tab mandi, walaupun untuk beberapa saat kerana
kemalangan terjadi dalam sekelip mata sahaja.
Kematian akibat tercekik lazimnya berlaku kepada kanak-kanak berumur di bawah lima tahun, dan kebanyakannya
ialah kanak-kanak bertatih di bawah umur dua tahun. Anak kecil ini suka meletakkan benda-benda dalam mulut mereka.
Untuk mengelakkannya, jauhkan semua benda-benda kecil. Jangan beri makanan atau minuman apabila bayi sedang
menangis atau baring. Beri peringatan kepada kanak-kanak supaya jangan bermain, bercakap atau ketawa semasa
Produk yang berpotensi berbahaya seperti sabun pencuci, racun perosak dan ubat-ubatan mesti disimpan jauh dari
kanak-kanak bagi mengelakkan mereka dari mencapainya dan terjadi keracunan dengan tidak sengaja.
Keracunan juga boleh berlaku jika terlebih makan sukatan ubat. Ini lazimnya terjadi apabila ibu-bapa berjumpa ramai
doktor, dan akhirnya memberi ubat yang sama yang telah disyorkan oleh doktor-doktor tersebut. Selalu baca maklumat
pada label dengan teliti dan berilah ubat kepada anak anda mengikut arahan dengan teliti.
Bekalkan diri anda untuk waktu cemas
Sentiasa simpan kotak kecemasan di rumah anda untuk waktu kecemasan. Mempunyai pengetahuan mengenai teknikteknik menyelamatkan nyawa akibat tercekik dan untuk kecemasan lain adalah sangat berguna. Menyediakan senarai
nombor-nombor telefon untuk kecemasan (klinik dan hospital terdekat) di tepi telefon anda supaya mudah dirujuk,
adalah sangat penting agar anda tidak terkial-kial mencarinya apabila memerlukannya. Namun demikan, pencegahan
adalah lebih baik sebelum terlewat.
Protect Your Eyes From Cataract
Has your eyesight gone fuzzy and what you see is a blur?
It may be due to cataract, a condition in which the clear
lens of the eye becomes cloudy. This reduces the amount
of light entering the eye and impairs vision.
Cataract is neither a tumour nor an abnormal growth of
tissue in the eye. It is due to degeneration in the contents
of the lens, resulting in its clouding.
Cataract develops from a variety of reasons. The most
common cause is ageing or senile cataract, which affects
the elderly. Those with diabetes mellitus are also prone to
cataracts. Genetic factors are also a cause of congenital
cataracts which are present at birth or caused by an
infection. An eye injury or physical trauma may also damage
the lens and cause traumatic cataracts.
• Cloudy or blurry vision.
• Problems with light. These can include headlights that
seem too bright at night; glare from lamps or very bright
sunlight; or a halo around lights.
• Colours that seem faded.
• Poor night vision.
• Double or multiple vision (this symptom often goes away
as the cataract grows).
• Frequent changes in your eyeglasses or contact lenses.
When a cataract is small, you may not notice any changes
in your vision. Cataracts tend to grow slowly, so vision
gets worse gradually.
Treatment is necessary when it interferes with your daily
activities like reading and watching TV, and a surgery is
the only effective way to remove cataract. It is performed
as a day-surgery.
The procedure is known as phacoemulsification. It involves
making a small incision on the cornea to access the lens.
Special instruments are then used to soften the cataract
lens, which is in turn drawn out through the use of a suction
device. No stitches are required in the surgery. An intraocular
lens implant is subsequently inserted into the original
capsule of the natural lens of the eye. These are permanent
implants, which require no maintenance.
Cataracts cannot be cured with medication.
Can cataract be prevented?
Although cataracts are not completely preventable, you
can delay getting them. Quitting smoking, avoiding
overexposure to sunlight, drinking alcohol in moderation,
and eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables can retard
the formation of cataracts. There is no scientific proof that
using eye drops and doing eye exercises can prevent you
from getting cataracts.
If you are at risk of certain eye diseases like glaucoma or
diabetic retinopathy, go for regular screening tests as
advised by your doctor. If you have diabetes mellitus, you
should go for regular retinal photography and see your
doctor regularly to achieve optimal diabetic control.
By Dr Colin Tan, Ang Mo Kio Polyclinic
More Health for Life Centres to serve the community
We have expanded our Health for Life (HFL) Centre to
reach out to more people in the community. Three new
centres are now opened in Ang Mo Kio, Jurong and
to assess your overall state of health and to offer early
detection, intervention and treatment that will help minimise
the likelihood of complications resulting from life-threatening
HFL Centre has also redesigned its health screening packages
to better suit your needs. Going beyond the traditional
medical checkup, HFL’s screening programmes are tailored
Find out more about HFL’s packages at
[email protected] For enquiries and appointments,
call 6355 3000 or email to [email protected]
Health for Life Centres are located at:
Ang Mo Kio Branch
(situated within Ang Mo Kio
Polyclinic, Level 2)
Blk 723 Ang Mo Kio Ave 8
(situated within Jurong
Polyclinic, Level 3)
190 Jurong East Ave 1
Bukit Batok Branch
(situated within Bukit Batok
Polyclinic, Level 2)
50 Bukit Batok West Ave 3
Toa Payoh Branch
(situated within Toa Payoh
Polyclinic, Level 2)
2003 Toa Payoh Lor 8
(situated within Woodlands
Polyclinic, Level 3)
10 Woodlands Street 31
Woodlands Polyclinic Reopens
After 10 weeks of renovation and upgrading, Woodlands Polyclinic finally re-opened its doors to the public
on 1 February 2008.
The modernised clinic now houses more patient-friendly features and services. We have implemented an
improved signage system, barrier-free access for the elderly, a new regional Dental Centre, a new health
screening centre, and a new therapeutic garden within the facility. Through these improvements, we hope
to provide higher standards of primary care to residents in Woodlands and the neighbouring estates.
Specially For You
Be a Volunteer
If you’ve visited our polyclinics recently, you might
have noticed several warm and friendly faces guiding
elderly patients around or helping out at workshops.
No, they’re not our new clinic staff. In fact, they’re
our patients… and they’re also our newly recruited
NHG Polyclinics has introduced an exciting volunteer
programme, and we’re looking for people from all
walks of life to join our growing team. You’ll meet
new friends, learn new skills and, best of all, make
a huge difference to our staff and patients.
So, why not join us as a volunteer today? All it takes
is a big smile, warm heart and passion for helping
others - and you’ll be on your way to brightening
How can you help?
Whatever your skills and interests, we’ve a wide
range of volunteer opportunities for you to choose
• Guiding and ushering patients
• Helping patients take their height and weight
• Providing administrative support
• Organising workshops and forums
• Taking part in community outreach programmes
If you’re 15 and above, are in good general health
and enjoy interacting with people, we’d love to hear
Please fill up this form and hand it to any of our
polyclinic staff. We will be in touch with you shortly.
4 palm-sized Mackerel (90gms each)
1 tsp of curry powder
2 green chillies, halved lengthwise
4 medium tomatoes, quartered
6 ladies fingers, halved
1/2 cup of tamarind juice
2 tsps of oil
1 tsp of lemon juice
2 stalks of curry leaves
1/4 tsp of mustard seeds
2 cloves garlic, grind to paste
4 shallots, grind to paste
1. Heat oil and sauté ladies fingers. Remove and
2. In the same pan, add mustard seeds, curry
leaves, ground paste and fry for 2-3 minutes.
Add curry powder and stir well.
3. Add tamarind and lemon juices, and green chillies.
4. Bring to boil and add Mackerel. Simmer until
Mackerel is cooked.
5. Stir in tomatoes and ladies fingers.
0.5 (per serving)
TIP: Cut vegetables
just before cooking
to prevent nutrient
loss. Brinjal and
carrots may be added
to increase fibre
content, colour and
Areas of interest
Guiding and ushering
Helping patients take their height and weight
Workshops and forums
Community outreach programmes
We also welcome schools and organisations that are
interested to take on a volunteer project. Please contact
us at [email protected] or 6355 3000.
Dr Tung Yew Cheong, Woodlands Polyclinic
Ms Eleanor Toh, Corporate Communications, HQ
Ms Jancy Mathews, Health Promotion & Preventive Care, HQ
Ms Pauline Ang, Singapore Footcare Centre
Ms See Yen Theng, NHG Pharmacy
The information produced is for reference and educational purposes
only. As each person’s medical condition is unique, you should not
rely on the information contained in this newsletter as substitute
for personal medical attention, diagnosis or hands-on treatment. If
you are concerned about your health, please consult a healthcare
Reproduction of the articles in whole or part without permission is
For advertising rates and enquiries, please call Ms Audrey Lee at
64966696 or email [email protected]