|President||Dr. Gan Kim Loon|
|Vice President||Dr. Tan Hooi Hwa|
|Honorary Secretary||Lim Keok Kung, Freddy|
|Assistant Honorary Secretary||See Ek May|
|Honorary Treasurer||Wee Ai Choo|
|Committee Member||Ang Har Boon, Anthony|
|Committee Member||Ng Teck Hiang|
|Committee Member||Tan Gek Cheng|
|Committee Member||Chan-Vaz Grace|
|Committee Member||Chee Chun Woei|
President’s Address 2018/19
Singapore commemorates its bicentennial this year. 200 years ago, in 1819, Sir Stamford Raffles arrived on our island leading to the establishment of the British colony of Singapore that served as a trading port. Singapore has come a long way since then and the Republic of Singapore was formed on 9 August, 1965. Singapore has had its fair share of ups and downs. It weathered through financial crises, SARS and emerged as a city state with one of the highest GDP growth.
For the people with haemophilia in the sixties, their journey with haemophilia was fraught with difficulties. The discovery of cryoprecipitate as a treatment method spelt hope for sufferers. The hope was however short-lived, with the emergence of HIV and the Hepatitis C Virus which affected the haemophilia community all over the world. Singapore’s haemophilia members thankfully escaped the onslaught of HIV but they were not spared the Hepatitis C infection. Some of our members still have to manage the Hepatitis C burden today.
The Haemophilia Society of Singapore’s mission was to enable its members to lead productive lives in society. In the thirty four years of its existence, the Society worked closely with its hospital counterparts for better subsidy rates for factor products to alleviate the financial burden on haemophilia members and their families. The Society would endeavour to do its best in the years ahead to improve the lives of its haemophilia members notwithstanding constraints that may arise. That brought to mind what the late Sir Winston Churchill once said, “ It is always wise to look ahead but difficult to look further than what you can see.”
The year started with Chee Chun Woei and me attending different conferences in Taiwan and Malaysia in January and in March 2019 organised by the pharmaceutical companies and WFH. In April 2019, to mark World Haemophilia Day which falls on 17 April, the Singapore National Haemophilia Treaters’ Group organised a session with Dr Guy Young, who gave an interesting lecture followed by a lively panel discussion.
The Society was fortunate to be named a beneficiary for funds raised by the students of Hillgrove Secondary School in July and the Singapore Island Country Club’s May Day Charity Event. In addition, we had a team of four students from CHIJ St Nicholas Secondary School who chose to champion our Society’s cause in the CITI-YMCA Youth for Causes programme. It was heartening to have students come forward to do their part for the disadvantaged in Society.
Together, with help from our community partners and donors, the Society raised $417,970 for the financial year 2018/2019. Total expenditure was $284,663 of which $243,358 was spent on treatment subsidies, which saw an increase of $25,195 over the previous year. Many of our young members and youths are on prophylaxis and that accounted for the increase in factor usage. The funds raised by the Society benefited the members directly since the Society was helmed by a team of dedicated volunteers,with no paid staff.
The Society is fortunate to have responsive and supportive donors who respond readily when approached for fund raising events or sponsorship. That we were able to meet targets set and to raise the much needed funds for our haemophilic community, could be attributed to the generosity of our well-wishers and kind donors. To all our donors, students, community groups, individuals and pharmaceutical companies who have supported our cause, we say a sincere “thank you”.
Looking ahead, the next WFH World Congress would be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in June 2020. Members of the Society would have an opportunity to attend the largest international meeting for the global bleeding disorders community. It would be stimulating to hear from healthcare professionals and participate in discussions, gain insights on managing haemophilia and to network with haemophilia members from around the world.
Lastly, to end on this positive note, I would like to thank Singapore General Hospital, National University Hospital and KK Children’s Hospital for their care of the haemophilia patients. Also to the Executive Committee for their passion and commitment to the haemophilia cause, my heartfelt thanks.
Dr Gan Kim Loon