Since 2020 began, a topic that the public has been most concerned with is definitely health. On February 9, the fifth edition of APEC Experts Forum organised by APEC Institute of Business, Phoenix Health and Singapore Eye was successfully broadcasted.
In this special Chinese New Year edition of the webinar, we were joined by both local and overseas guests: Dr. Lin Ying, Director of Internal Medicine and Oncology at Singapore Chung Hwa Medical Institution, and Dr. Wang Xing, Associate Chief Physician of Cardiology at Tianjin Hospital 254. Based on the theme of Family Health Guide 2021, both the experts discussed personal and family health during COVID-19 and focused on the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases. With vivid examples, they presented an interesting sharing session on health management to the audience.
Is the vaccine enough to prevent against the virus for families? How should we keep our family healthy during the new year? How do patients with cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases strengthen their health? Under the shadow of the global pandemic, this webinar on individual and family health management and has thus attracted great attention from our audience.
The webinar was hosted by APEC Institute's Learning Consultant Joanna.
Vaccination Progressing Steadily in China & Singapore, But Individual Prevention Should Not Be Neglected
With more 310,000 newly diagnosed cases daily, and over 106 million total cases in the world to date, the webinar was focused on prevention, control, and vaccination of the COVID-19 virus. In the webinar, Dr. Lin Ying first analyzed the current situation of prevention and vaccination in Singapore to our audience. On January 8, Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong took the lead in injecting the vaccine. Following that, more than 110,000 people in Singapore have been vaccinated within a month. The Health Sciences Authority had received more than 400 reports of adverse side effects, of which only 3 were severe allergic reactions. The adverse side effects usually disappeared after a few days, and the serious allergic reactions have been cured after treatment. In overall, the vaccines have proven to be safe and effective, which shows that Singapore is solving the COVID-19 situation effectively.
Dr. Wang Xing also pointed out that China's vaccination program is also proceeding in an orderly manner. Under the assumption that everyone has been vaccinated, we should gradually establish immunity and eventually eliminate the virus. However, he also stressed that some special groups who have contraindications to vaccination, such as pregnant and breastfeeding women, and people who are allergic to the vaccines will not be able to be vaccinated. In addition, patients with chronic diseases and those who have received more than two kinds of vaccines at the same time cannot receive the Covid-19 vaccine for the time being.
However, Dr. Lin and Dr. Wang stressed that although the vaccine is effective, individual prevention should not be neglected, and it is still necessary to wash our hands frequently and wear masks. Although the prevention and control of the pandemic in China and Singapore is stabilising, however we still need to abide by the various prevention and control regulations by the government in order to protect the health and safety of ourself and others. Such measures include adhering to social distancing measures and reducing gatherings to a limited number of people. By abiding to these rules and regulations, we would be able to guarantee the success of preventing and controlling the pandemic.
Director of Internal Medicine and Oncology at Singapore Chung Hwa Medical Institution Dr Lin Ying gave an exciting sharing on the topic of health management.
Taking Care of Your Health During Chinese New Year
Dr. Lin also pointed out that people should take extra care of one’s health during Chinese New Year. Health problems often arise during this period, especially to those with gastrointestinal diseases. Although we often indulge in various meals during Chinese New Year, we should still avoid consuming foods high in fats and sodium.
Dr. Lin further stressed that for people with conditions such as diabetes, hyperuricemia, gout, hypertension, hyperlipidemia etc. should pay more attention to their diet during the festive period. For example, gout patients should avoid eating hotpot and seafood, as these foods contain high levels of purine which will induce gout. Additionally, people should also not drink extremely hot soup as it may cause esophageal cancer; and not to consume extremely cold beverages which may cause gastrointestinal spasm and abdominal distension and indigestion etc.
If one encounters digestion and stomach problems because of overeating, Dr. Lin also provided a useful tip, which is to drink Pu'er tea that helps to reduce oiliness. It has been recorded in The Compendium of Materia Medica that teas such as Pu'er tea, Oolong and Dahongpao are all beneficial in promoting digestion.
Dr. Wang Xing, Associate Chief Physician of Cardiology at Tianjin Hospital 254 sharing on how to prevent and manage chronic diseases.
Family Health Management from Young to Old
A healthy lifestyle should not only be maintained during Chinese New Year, but also throughout our entire life. Dr. Wang pointed out that not only do we have to deal with COVID-19, but also long-term health problems. According to the latest statistics, the obesity rate of children aged 6 to 18 is as high as 20%, and for children under 6 it is as high as 10%. Obesity in children is gradually becoming a social problem. If they do not pay attention to it, they may have problems such as high blood pressure, high blood sugar and high blood cholesterol when they grow up. Therefore, parents and teachers need to teach them how to live a healthy lifestyle. They should keep away from smoking and drinking, control their weight, exercise more, maintain a healthy diet, and get regular sleep. Parents should set an example and grow healthily with their children.
For adults, health issues are even more important. According to the latest report 2020 Report on the Disease and Nutrition Status of Chinese Residents, the occurrence rate of hypertension is 27.5%, diabetes is 11.9%, the hypercholesterolemia is 8.8%. If these health problems are not controlled, they may develop into cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, which are the chronic diseases with the highest mortality rate. Therefore, to develop a healthy living, one needs to learn to self-regulate and de-stress, as well as develop a regular schedule.
As for the elderly, Dr. Wang pointed out that China has entered an ageing society. The number of elderly people in China will reach 260 million in 2020 and may increase to 460 million by 2040. Most of the elderly may develop chronic diseases, so in addition to good personal prevention, they should continue to develop a healthy lifestyle and manage them properly. They should listen to professionals and doctors’ advice, avoid listening to rumors, buying fake health products and trying various traditional methods, so as to improve the quality of life and prolong life span.
Prevention Is Key for Chronic Diseases
As an expert on cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, Dr. Wang also focused on the prevention and treatment of such diseases. He pointed out that the occurrence rate of chronic diseases has increased sharply due to the ageing population, rapid changes in lifestyle and diet. In 2019, death caused by chronic diseases accounted for 88.5% of total deaths in China, of which 80.7% are caused by cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, cancer and chronic respiratory diseases. Therefore the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases is of utmost importance.
Dr. Lin also pointed out that chronic diseases should be taken care of in the right way in order to stay healthy. Patients should practice self-control as doctors do not have enough time to monitor every single patient. Dr. Wang also proposed that the best treatment for cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases is prevention, which includes a healthy diet and exercise. It is only when we do a good job in investing in our health while in our youth then can we be healthy in our old age.
The APEC Experts Forum is a webinar series organised by APEC Institute of Business, which focuses on current affairs, new business leaders, healthcare and other current topics. The series will enable companies and individuals to develop a global perspective and grasp important information in time, providing excellent opportunities and an international learning platform for organizations and individuals. This webinar is the first edition held in 2021, and APEC Institute of Business will be bringing a series of exciting topics this year. Stay tuned!