The MEM Seminar Series 2002/2003



Public Seminar on


“Air pollution and Children’s Health – A regional perspective”



Prof David Koh

Professor and Head, Dept of Community, Occupational and Family Medicine,

Faculty of Medicine, NUS

Visiting Consultant, National Skin Centre, Singapore


Dr Hong Ching Ye

Dept of Community, Occupational and Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, NUS



Jointly organized by

Dept of Community, Occupational and Family Medicine, NUS

Occupational and Environmental Health Society




Saturday, 15 March 2003

10:00 am – 12:00 noon

Executive Room ER 4

SDE 2  Level 3



Download Reply Slip


For more information, please call

Jennifer @ 6874-3563 or e-mail

Saadiah Awek @ 6874-4959



Several studies on outdoor air pollution in the region show that increasing levels of air pollution are associated with adverse health outcomes. This is in agreement with research findings from other parts of the world. The outcomes demonstrated include increased respiratory symptoms, decreased lung function, increased prevalence of asthma and visits to clinics and hospitals for asthma and related respiratory disorders. Industry, traffic and natural and man-made events e.g. vegetation fires, contribute to the air pollution in the region. Air pollutants specific to this part of the world are indigenous aeroallergens – spores and pollen – that cause sensitization, especially among atopic children.

Within the home environment, passive smoking is a common exposure associated with respiratory ill health. In addition, indoor air pollutants that are reported in the region include the use of smoky fuels, and the burning of mosquito coils - both of which are associated with increased risk of asthma among exposed children.

In the last two decades, a series of periodic events have plagued the region; namely haze from widespread and uncontrolled forest fires. This is an international issue affecting several countries in South East Asia, resulting in adverse health effects to millions of residents. Increases in health complaints, outpatient consultations and admissions to hospitals for haze related health disorders have been documented. The increases have been shown to be directly related to the level of haze pollution. The 1997 episode was the most severe as it was related to abnormally dry conditions due to the El Nino phenomenon. Recent findings of increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes associated with air pollution raises concern that such events may also have been associated with the haze


About the speaker

David Koh is Professor and Head of the Department of Community, Occupational and Family Medicine of the Faculty of Medicine; and Deputy Director of the Centre for Environmental and Occupational Health Research, National University of Singapore (NUS). Dr Koh serves on the advisory boards of several international occupational and environmental health journals, and has undertaken international consulting work with several large organizations and multinational companies. Within Singapore, he is Chairman of the Ministry of Health Specialist Training Committee (Occupational Medicine), Visiting Consultant at the National Skin Centre, a Visitor’s Board member at the Institute of Mental Health. He serves on various advisory committees and panels in the Ministry of Health, Singapore Police Force, Singapore International Foundation, National Trades Union Congress and the Singapore Society of Occupational Health Nurses. 


Hong Ching Ye is Assistant Professor in the Department of Community, Occupational and Family Medicine of the Faculty of Medicine. She is a family physician by training, and a member of the Family Medicine Committee, which oversees the graduate training of family physicians in Singapore. She is also an examiner for the degree Master of Medicine (Family Medicine), and a member of the editorial board of the International Journal of Medicine. Her research interests are in the medical conditions that are commonly seen by family physicians, such as respiratory tract problems and type 2 diabetes mellitus.


Medical Practitioners accredited by CME Programme : 2  Credit Points