Singapore

Wellness hub for enhanced health screenings for mums and toddlers

If you are a mother taking your infant to the Punggol Polyclinic for a vaccination, do not be surprised if a nurse asks if you would like developmental screenings for your child as well, or some reading materials on child nutrition.

Mothers and their young children can now benefit from a first-of-its-kind programme at the Punggol Polyclinic that provides enhanced health screening services and holistic care.

The Temasek Foundation Integrated Maternal and Child Wellness Hub was officially launched yesterday by Second Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Manpower Josephine Teo.

It aims to ramp up existing services offered by polyclinics such as immunisation and basic health checks by extending enhanced child developmental screening, growth monitoring, nutrition and lactation support, and screening for postnatal depression in mothers.

Launched last July as a three-year pilot, the programme is a collaboration between KK Women's and Children's Hospital (KKH), SingHealth Polyclinics and Temasek Foundation, with the latter committing $2.56 billion to it.

Specialists from KKH have trained Punggol Polyclinic nurses and health educators to enhance their knowledge on postnatal depression in women, child development, as well as infant and young child nutrition and growth.

Since the start of the programme to Dec 31 last year, 1,697 children received their developmental screenings at nine, 18 and 30 months old. This helped to detect potential developmental delays in 200 children.

During the same period, 1,126 mothers were screened for postnatal depression in the three months after they gave birth, with 28 cases detected.

The hub's services are available to women who have given birth in the past three months, and children aged 0 to 30 months who get their developmental check-ups and vaccinations at Punggol Polyclinic.

Only Singaporean and permanent residents are eligible.

MEDICAL & HEALTH