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3rd Quarter 2011 Newsletter

Parents getting up to speed with financial literacy

Beacon of hope for struggling single parents

Temasek Cares says it is on track to meeting its target of assisting 600 single parent families overcome financial hardship through Project SPARK (Successful Parents And Resilient Kids).

It has contributed S$600,000 to Project SPARK to help struggling single parents support their children and families after divorce or the loss of a parent.

Under the scheme, a case manager helps single parents to enrol in skills upgrading courses including IT knowledge and financial literacy. Project SPARK also defrays the cost of childcare while these parents are being trained or are seeking work.

An example is Mdm Oked Daud, who had been struggling to support her children through secondary school after her husband’s death in 2005. She was earning S$520 a month as a school canteen assistant before she found Project Spark. Her efforts at computer training and financial literacy have now found her work as an administrative assistant at a secondary school, earning her a bigger income.

Project SPARK hopes to increase the numbers being supported by its programme. For this initiative, Temasek Cares has partnered self help groups such as the Chinese Development Assistance Council (CDAC), Indian Development Association (SINDA), Yayasan MENDAKI and the Eurasian Association.

Training of nurses in Hainan, China

Nursing professionals become master teachers to train Hainan healthcare workers

A grant of S$1.5 million from Temasek Foundation made it possible for Nanyang Polytechnic International to train 156 master healthcare professionals from Hainan over 2 years. They included officials of medical institutions and the Hainan Public Health Bureau, nursing management students, nursing educators and clinical instructors.

The main aim of the course was to upgrade the level of nursing training for healthcare professionals in Hainan. Participants are now better equipped to train others and have been teaching 2,000 nurses across the Chinese province in areas such as critical care, assistance in surgical procedures and emergency care methods.

The Hainan Public Health Bureau has also organised sharing sessions for the participants to share key learning points, nursing teaching methods and specialised nursing procedures with students from 74 medical institutions and schools.

As a result of the training, new training manuals on intensive care nursing, peri-operative nursing and emergency nursing were published by the Hainan Public Health Bureau to complement the existing national curriculum.

Researcher preparing cell culture medium

Major step in development of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease vaccine

Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) has become a common disease in Singapore in recent years but no vaccine is currently available to stop its spread. In 2010, infections continued to rise to new highs with 30,878 infections reported.

In Asia, there were 1.7 million infections across China between January and November last year. Epidemics were also reported in Taiwan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Korea and Hong Kong.

A solution may be close. Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory (TLL) has taken the first step in helping to develop a vaccine through its development of “platform technologies”.

The TLL team, led by Professor Jimmy Kwang, has filed a patent application for its research, while the initial findings were published in the international journal, PLoS One, in July 2011.

Another group in TLL headed by Dr K B Chua, a senior Public Health Pediatrician and Virologist, has also identified cold-adapted temperature sensitive strains of the EV71 virus, which causes HFMD, as potential vaccine candidates. Dr Chua and his team are now performing proof-of-concept studies for their vaccine strains.

Professor Kwang and his team have been conducting research into the EV71 virus since 2009. Their work started after Singapore experienced 30,000 cases in 2008, the largest epidemic at the time.

The NorthLight School

Help for special needs students extended

Temasek Cares, in partnership with Northlight School, will be extending a pilot programme to support students with special learning needs.

The programme, which started in academic year 2011, was originally slated to help 180 students till the end of academic year 2012.

The scheme, which is aimed at helping students with developmental disorders and delays, has shown promising results so far. Students under the programme understand lessons better and are attending classes more regularly. Temasek Cares has decided to extend the programme till academic year 2013.

Temasek Cares will support the programme with a grant of S$441,500 over the next 3 years. This enables Northlight School to engage specialists, such as occupational and speech therapists, to assess students’ learning needs and provide appropriate therapy to help prepare them for life beyond the classroom.

The school was established in January 2007 to support students at risk of dropping out of the education system, either because of failed attempts at the Primary School Leaving Examinations or premature school leavers who have yet to complete secondary education.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 1 Aug - Singapore Millenium Foundation has partnered with National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, National Institute for Education and Tropical Marine Science Institute to fund new niche research projects over 3 years in pedagogy and learning, specials needs education and ageing nd non-medical bioscience.
  • 26 Jun - Temasek committed to giving back to society[more]
  • 26 Jun - Temasek dedicates endowments to Dr Ee Peng Liang and Dr Balaji Sadasivan [more]

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