Promoting Both Health and Environmental Awareness in Annual Health Screening Event


The annual free health screening service co-organized by Tzu Chi Singapore and Bukit Panjang Senja-Cashew Community Club’s Women Executive Committee (WEC) has entered its third year. An eco-awareness corner was also in place to spread environmental message to the residents.

Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports, visiting the health screening site with his grassroots leaders. (Photo: Luo Yi Hao)

Traditional Chinese Medicine consultation was also provided at the health screening event. (Photo: Luo Yi Hao)
The health screening event served about 676 residents that day. (Photo: Ong Chun Suan)
Mr Anthony Fulwood was impressed by the charity and compassionate works Tzu Chi has done worldwide. (Photo: Luo Yi Hao)
Residents, young and old, heeded the call for early detection and prevention. (Photo: Luo Yi Hao)
Young entrepreneur Mr Wong Wei Peng intends to introduce Da Ai Technology’s PET-turn-fabric technology to Singapore. (Photo: Ong Chun Suan)
(Photo: Luo Yi Hao)

The health screening service was held on 7 Nov at the newly commissioned Senja-Cashew Community Club instead of the ‘usual’ Bukit Panjang Plaza as compared to past years. Setting up of the event took place at about 8pm the night before at the multifunction hall that was the size of eight badminton courts despite the heavy showers.

The experienced volunteers quickly transformed the hall into nine sections, namely registration, height and weight measurement, blood pressure reading, urine test, blood test, TCM consultation, western physicians’ consultation, refreshment and reception, posters display and eco-awareness corner.

As with all Tzu Chi events, the Tzu Chi volunteers gathered half an hour before the event with their palms together and piously prayed for world peace.

Mdm Chen Yen Zhu was among the few residents who arrived at the multifunction hall two hours before the official opening at 10am. The resident, who has not been having health checks for some time, got to know about the free service through a friend and came early as she did not pre-register with the Community Club (CC) like others.

Mdm Chen very much welcomed the company of our volunteers during the screening and shared with them that she had turned vegetarian some time ago after being diagnosed with hypertension and that the diet change does help in controlling her blood pressure. The volunteers' company throughout the screening process warmed the resident's heart so much that she even returned home to bring homemade vegetarian pumpkin buns for the volunteers as a token of appreciation for the health screening service.

Promoting both health and environmental awareness

At about 11.30am, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports arrived with his grassroots leaders to show their support for the event. The minister and his entourage was received and shown around by Tzu Chi cadres Ong Wee Heng and Zhao Xin Yu.

The minister began his round starting from the registration counter and stopped by all the stations until the eco-awareness booth. Dr Balakrishnan was warmly greeted with handshakes and friendly smiles from the residents during his walkabout. The minister, who is also a qualified ophthalmologist, even demonstrated the proper technique of blood pressure (BP) measuring to a CC volunteer at the BP reading station.

The minister continued his visit to other facilities of the CC accompanied by his grassroots leaders after his stopover at the health screening venue and joined the rest for a Japanese vegetarian lunch prepared by Tzu Chi at one of the meeting rooms. After which, the minister expressed his gratitude to Tzu Chi volunteers for their effort and cooperation in making the annual health screening a successful event.

Sister Zhao and Brother Ong took the opportunity to propose to the minister the idea of setting up a permanent educational recycling centre in Bukit Panjang Constituency. Besides promoting awareness of environmental protection, the centre will also become a venue for meaningful recycling activities for the elderly residents. The minister acknowledged the idea and agreed to look into feasibility of the proposal.

Anthony Fulwood, the only Caucasian at scene, was seen registering for the health screening. The six footed Englishman was attracted to the event after having seen Tzu Chi volunteers doing outdoor publicity at a nearby shopping centre.

Mr Fulwood was deeply impressed by the charity and compassionate work Tzu Chi has done worldwide after browsing the poster display and eco-awareness corner. “Tzu Chi volunteers’ effort in reaching out to the needy and environmental problems is truly commendable, especially in a socially stable and comfortable Singapore,” noted the Singapore permanent resident.

Knowing well that action speaks louder than words, Mr Fulwood, who is also a Residents' Committee (RC) member, pledged to participate in Tzu Chi's monthly community recycling activity in future.

Resonance of good affinity

“I am astonished by the multiple cleansing effects of fermented fruit peels that can be used as home cleaning detergent," exclaimed Mdm Lee Ngak Lek after she was introduced to the formula of eco-enzyme by the volunteers at the eco-awareness corner. "I would certainly try making some at home.”

In fact, Mdm Lee has been bringing recyclable items to Tzu Chi’s Bukit Panjang recycling point every month. She is certainly one who supports Tzu Chi’s campaign of converting “trash” to “cash” for the needy.

Another resident attracted to the eco-awareness corner was a sporty young entrepreneur Mr Wong Wei Peng. As an Engineering student at Nanyang Technology University in 2004, Mr Wong went to Aceh, Indonesia to help the South Asia tsunami victims with his invention of a water filtration system after the disaster. He remembered seeing the Tzu Chi logo at some of the tents at the disaster site and was curious about the organization that went to the remote area to provide relief. He was hence attracted by the same Tzu Chi logo on a banner outside the multifunction hall and decided to walk in to satisfy his curiosity.

Mr Wong got a better understanding about Tzu Chi’s Four Missions and Eight Footprints from the volunteers on duty and was particularly impressed with the Tzu Chi entrepreneur arm's technology of transforming Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) bottles into fabric for garments, and expressed interest in bringing the technology to Singapore through his company.

The health screening service ended harmoniously at about 5.30pm, with volunteers from both Tzu Chi and the organizing committee of Senja-Cashew Community Club forming a circle and sang the Tzu Chi’s song “One Family”.

A total of 47 medical personnel, 115 Tzu Chi volunteers and 35 volunteers from the Community Club were mobilized for the event. 676 residents went through the health screening from measurement of blood pressure to consultation of doctors from both western doctors and Traditional Chinese Medicine physicians.

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