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					              Singapore                                                                                                                                 today tuesday september 20, 2011         18

¢ Hsa suspends licence of Zerin 500mg paracetamol tablets
The Health Sciences authority             — to “prevent the exposure of mem-
                                                                                      medical clinics and pharmacies.
                                                                                          Four reports of product defects
                                                                                                                               Data to be collected
(HSa) has suspended the licence of
Zerin 500mg tablets due to product
                                          bers of the public to a product that is
                                          not compliant to quality standards”.
                                                                                      have been investigated last month,
                                                                                      where some tablets were found to
                                                                                                                               to improve healthcare
defects in some tablets.                       Zerin contains paracetamol and is      contain small foreign particles.                  tan WeiZHen                      “Prevention at an individu-
    although the health risk to con-      available as an over-the-counter medi-          Consumers are advised to stop                                             al level is quite straightforward
sumers is low, the HSa said it is         cine. all sales and distribution of Zerin   consuming the product, but those         SINGAPORE — Over the next five       but prevention at a population
suspending the licence of the tablets     tablets have been discontinued from         who have should not be alarmed as its    years, some 50,000 Singapore-        level is much more complex,”
— used for the relief of fever and pain   public healthcare institutions, private     defect poses low risk to their health.   ans will have their lifestyles and   Prof Chia said.
                                                                                                                               attitudes towards healthcare              The school will go beyond
                                                                                                                               tracked, in a project to collect     studying the causes of diseases
                                                                                                                               data to develop more effective,      and treating them, and bring to-
                                                                                                                               prevention-based healthcare.         gether different disciplines and
                                                                                                                                    A initiative by the new Saw     different sectors in the com-
                                                                                                                               Swee Hock School of Public           munity to address prevention.
                                                                                                                               Health at the National Univer-
                                                                                                                               sity of Singapore (NUS), simu-
                                                                                                                                                                    The project and school
                                                                                                                               lations will be run on the data      are part of the shift
                                                                                                                               collected to show the effects        towards prevention-
                                                                                                                               of existing policies, which will
                                                                                                                               help in fine-tuning them.
                                                                                                                                                                    based healthcare in
                                                                                                                                    With data to be collected       Singapore, where the
                                                                                                                               from the various races here, Sin-    focus will be on the
                                                                                                                               gapore will be a good testbed, as
                                                                                                                               the data can be mapped for the
                                                                                                                                                                    population rather than
                                                                                                                               rest of Asia, said dean designate    the individual.
                                                                                                                               Professor Chia Kee Seng at the
                                                                                                                               launch of the school yesterday.           The school — created from
                                                                                                                                    Through house-to-house          the existing Department of Epi-
                                                                                                                               visits, a voluntary question-        demiology and Public Health
                                                                                                                               naire will be put to the resi-       in the School of Medicine —
                                                                                                                               dents, covering topics such as       will also train future doctors
                                                                                                                               lifestyle, perceptions towards       and conduct research in four
                                                                                                                               health, and knowledge.               areas: Epidemiology, biostatis-
                                                                                                                                    Where respondents are           tics, health services and policy
                                                                                                                               agreeable, they will be brought      research, and health behaviour
                                                                                                                               for a screening and blood sam-       and promotion.
                                                                                                                               ples will be taken. The system            At the launch, Health Min-
                                                                                                                               used to collate the data will run    ister Gan Kim Yong noted three
                                                                                                                               on a budget of S$7 million a year.   challenges in the public health
                                                                                                                                    The project and the school      landscape: The emergence of
                                                                                                                               are part of the shift towards        lifestyle-related diseases with
                                                                                                                               prevention-based healthcare in       an ageing population, the threat
                                                                                                                               Singapore, where the focus will      of infectious diseases, and the
                                                                                                                               be on the population rather          need to develop leaders in the
                                                                                                                               than the individual.                 area of public health.

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