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14 Jun 2024

14th Jun 2024

The interagency Child and Maternal Health & Well-being (CAMH) Taskforce has completed its Strategy and Action Plan and published its report on 14 June 2024. The CAMH Strategy and Action Plan set out three thrusts and nine recommendations, which have been translated into 48 initiatives, to drive better health outcomes for children and their families, and maximise the development potential of our young. We have already implemented 28 of these initiatives, with the remainder to be progressively implemented over the next two years.

2. Whilst Singapore has achieved good outcomes for child and maternal health, we face new challenges. For example, the age of first-time mothers is rising. This raises the risk of pregnancy-related complications, and childhood obesity which is a precursor to obesity later in life. We therefore need to continually adapt and do more through a more concerted whole-of-society effort to optimise child and maternal health for a healthier next generation of Singaporeans.  

3. The CAMH Taskforce was convened in January 2021 to explore ways to strengthen holistic support for the health and well-being of children from birth to 18 years old, and their families. Led by Minister for Social and Family Development and Second Minister for Health, Mr Masagos Zulkifli, and supported by representatives from over 20 agencies across the health, social and education sectors, the Taskforce is part of the government’s larger efforts to address individual health needs and modifiable risk factors beyond the health domain.

4. The Taskforce has conducted a comprehensive review of evidence-based research with experts, and consulted families and frontline officers from the health, social and education domains to identify gaps and discuss ways to enhance support for children and their families. A summary of the key thrusts and recommendations is in Table 1.

Table 1: Summary of Key Thrusts and Recommendations 

Thrust 1: More Evidence-Based Resources & Support for Couples in Preparing for Parenthood 

Recommendation 1: Help couples achieve better health for themselves and for their next generation

Recommendation 2: Enhance psycho-emotional support for couples or pregnancy and parenthood 

5. Research has shown that maternal health and family environments have long-term impact on a child’s development and well-being. As such, we are doing more to support couples in preparing for parenthood. The key initiatives include the following:

a) Scaled up mental health screening and support for pregnant women, mothers and fathers at the public maternity hospitals like KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital and National University Hospital, as well as polyclinics antenatal follow-up from 2022. 

b) Updated the Appropriate Care Guide on Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) in August 2022 and launched the perinatal mental health guidelines in February 2023, to support healthcare professionals in identifying women with maternal depression and anxiety and GDM early, and providing monitoring and support for women receiving care throughout pregnancy and post-pregnancy phases. 

c) More antenatal education programmes to be rolled out at community touchpoints from mid-2024 to improve accessibility and help the couples better prepare themselves for the physical, emotional, and practical aspects of pregnancy, childbirth, and parenthood. 

Thrust 2: Better Support to Uplift Children, Adolescents & Families in Adopting Healthy Lifestyles and Habits 

Recommendation 3: Across agencies and partners, uplift families and empower parents to nurture healthier, happy children and adolescents 

Recommendation 4: Inject fun for children, adolescents, parents and grandparents to adopt healthy lifestyle habits together as a family 

Recommendation 5: Encourage the creation of a nurturing home environment for children and adolescents 

6. Children’s early health behaviours, such as diet, physical activity, sleep and screen use are associated with their physical, cognitive and psychosocial development. We will continue to provide more and timely healthy living resources and information to guide parents and families in cultivating healthy lifestyle habits in their children. The key initiatives include the following:

a) The Health Promotion Board launched Parent Hub in 2021, which provides parents with one-stop access to reliable health-related information. The online portal provides resources to prepare couples for parenthood such as managing gestational diabetes and psycho-emotional issues faced by children and parents.

b) Launched various guidelines on health and lifestyle issues, covering physical activity (2021), screen use (2023), feeding and eating (2024) to provide parents and healthcare professionals with advice in helping children inculcate and sustain the adoption of healthy habits.

c) The Ministry of Education’s Student Learning Space introduced online interactive resources on good eating habits and balanced meals for students. These resources provide bite-sized information on healthy habits to make it easy for students to act on.

Thrust 3: Enhance Cross-Domain Integration of Services and Support for Children, Adolescents & their Families in the Community 

Recommendation 6: Deliver services to the family as a unit to enhance convenience and access to services

Recommendation 7: Enhance social-health-education partnerships and integration to reduce barriers to access services across domains

Recommendation 8: Enable right-siting of care and scale up care options in the community for children, adolescents and their families

Recommendation 9: Provide more flexible options for in-service provision and services bundling to help vulnerable groups navigate and access services

7. We will work towards making support services more integrated and accessible to families, and uplift those with greater needs. Our key efforts include:

a) A mother-child dyad service delivery model in polyclinics to enable mothers and children to access healthcare services as a unit and receive services relevant to them in the same visit. This service delivery model has been implemented in 19 polyclinics as of January 2024. 

b) Launched the Family Nexus pilot at four sites at Our Tampines Hub (November 2022), Choa Chu Kang Polyclinic with satellite presence at Keat Hong ServiceSG office (September 2023), Punggol Polyclinic (October 2023) and Sembawang Polyclinic at Bukit Canberra (November 2023), to provide a one-stop hub for health and social services for families with young children and couples planning for marriage and parenthood.

c) The healthcare clusters implemented pilots i.e. Project HOME (October 2022) and HEADS-UPP (January 2023) to enhance support for lower income families in collaboration with social agencies and preschools. There are also efforts to uplift at-risk adolescents in the primary care or community settings, including preventive health screening and advice, and management of psychological symptoms. 

8. Over the years, we have laid a strong framework to nurture good health in children and their families at home, schools and in the community, resulting in positive overall child and maternal health outcomes. Through the CAMH Taskforce, we have leveraged the expertise and insights of experts and key stakeholders to identify areas for improvement and enhance our support for mothers and children. 

9. We hope that the Taskforce report will highlight to Singaporeans the importance of keeping mothers and children healthy and well, and ongoing efforts to roll out the Action Plan together to empower future generations to grow well and realise their potential. The CAMH Strategy and Action Plan Report is available on the MOH website at