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CM Toh, SK Chew, CC Tan
Correspondence: Dr C M Toh, TOH_Cheong_Mui@moh.gov.sg
The epidemiological transition in Singapore from infectious to chronic, non-communicable diseases created different challenges for our public health system. The population-based strategy is adopted in primary prevention, through the promotion of a healthy lifestyle--smoking cessation, physical activity, eating right and managing stress. Complementing this are measures to detect chronic conditions early through screening and optimal treatment of the disease. While improvements were seen in the common risk factors of smoking and physical inactivity, prevalence of measurable risk factors like hypertension increased between 1992 and 1998. In 2000, the Ministry of Health initiated a series of national disease management plans for major disease conditions affecting Singaporeans. This approach uses a comprehensive and systematic approach to integrate the various components, with identification of responsible parties to ensure successful implementation of initiatives. Chronic diseases will remain prevalent as our society rapidly ages. Close monitoring of our initiatives in disease management will provide information on the long-term efficacy of such strategies.
Keywords: chronic diseases, health promotion, disease management, Singapore, public health
Singapore Med J 2002; 43(7): 333-339