Speech by Health Minister and Advisor to Chua Chu Kang GRC, Mr Gan Kim Yong, at the Launch of Healthy City for All Ages @ Chua Chu Kang, 21 July 2013

Dear Residents,

1. A very good morning. I am very happy to be here to join you at the Healthy Carnival at Chua Chu Kang today, to exercise together, bright and early.

A Healthy City for All Ages @CCK

2. Today marks the launch of the Healthy City for All Ages @ Chua Chu Kang project. This is an initiative by Chua Chu Kang, for Chua Chu Kang, to make our community a much more active and healthy one for all our residents. Our constituency is part of the eleven constituencies that have participated in the “City for All Ages” programme by the Ministry of Health, to support local communities to promote active ageing and ageing in place for seniors.

3. This is an initiative for everyone in Chua Chu Kang. In the past few months, grassroots leaders in Chua Chu Kang, led by Mr Tan Chee Horng, Chairman of the Healthy Living Programme, have worked with various agencies, such as Health Promotion Board, Alexandra Health Services, Jurong Health Services and Ministry of Health to develop a comprehensive plan to promote healthy living to all residents in Chua Chu Kang.

4. There is something for everyone in Chua Chu Kang. For residents aged 50 and above, the grassroots leaders will work with healthcare institutions to conduct regular health screenings nearer to your home, in your respective RC zones. The health screening will only cost $2 and we encourage all of you to actively take part. This is a good chance for you to be more aware of your health and state of well-being, including your weight, height, your blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol. We hope that doing so will empower you to take better ownership of and manage your own health.

5. But that is not all. After screening, residents with chronic conditions will receive health counselling and advice on how to manage their conditions, including invitations to follow up health talks and workshops. Community nurses will contact you via phone calls to give you health advice based on your screening results. They will also link you up with your neighbourhood doctor and sign you up for health or exercise courses to help you to manage your conditions.

6. We have a plan for the young too. The Health Promotion Board will reach out to pre-schools, primary and secondary schools in Chua Chu Kang to make these schools “health-promoting schools” by partnering them to deliver comprehensive health promotion programmes. Our young children will learn about healthy eating, the importance of exercising, social and mental health, the harmful effects of tobacco and many other things that will lead them to a healthy lifestyle.

7. For all residents, you can look forward to a “health promoting environment” in Chua Chu Kang, such that everyone can adopt a healthy lifestyle. We will offer you more choices to exercise in your neighbourhood, by putting more walking trails across Chua Chu Kang. The first walking trail has just been completed and it is just around the CC. It’s a 1.8km-long walking trail with special location markers along the way to help you track your progress as you do your exercise.

8. Part of our plan is to make the canal that runs through Choa Chu Kang a “health promoting canal”! We will hold regular brisk-walking activities beside the health-promoting canal. This way, residents can enjoy walking with your friends and family and have your fitness and general health monitored regularly at the same time.

9. In addition, HPB will reach out to all the food outlets in Chua Chu Kang to encourage them to provide healthier food options so that our residents can have a choice to opt for healthier food in Choa Chu Kang.

A Transformation In 3 Years

10. We hope that this initiative for Chua Chu Kang will allow us to help Chua Chu Kang residents to have a healthier lifestyle over the next 3 years. This is a concerted whole-of-CCK effort to achieve three key objectives.

11. First, to make healthy living all pervasive. We hope to reach out to at least 30% of all Chua Chu Kang residents aged 50 and above, to encourage them to go through health screening and take active steps to better manage their own health. We also aim to reach out to the young in Chua Chu Kang, by converting all the schools in Chua Chu Kang to Health Promoting Schools and we target to have 200 Youth Ambassadors to help spread the healthy living messages.

12. Second, we seek to achieve a real change to the daily living habits and health conditions of our residents. We hope to see more residents adopt healthy living and make a switch in their lifestyles, either to eat more healthily, exercise more or quit smoking. We also hope that residents with chronic illness will become more aware of their conditions and take active steps to manage their conditions.

13. Third, we hope that this is not a one-off effort, but a sustainable and continuous ground up movement. We hope to make healthy living the norm across generations of Chua Chu Kang residents and our community in the long run. For example, by educating our young on healthy living, we hope that these efforts can yield long-lasting and sustainable outcomes.

Conclusion

14. To achieve this vision of a Healthy Chua Chu Kang requires each one of us to act now – the grassroots, the various agencies, and most importantly, you. And so I look forward to your active participation in these healthy initiatives in Chua Chu Kang so that we can embark on this transformative journey together.

15. Thank you for coming and I hope you will have fun at the health carnival.

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